Elder Mother Vella Mae Green


On December 26, 1929, in Pennsylvania County, Virginia, an angel made her appearance on earth; her name was Vella Mae Logan. She was the eighth of ten children born to the late Crenshaw and Katie T. Logan. Vella attended Pennsylvania County Schools in Danville, Virginia, where she graduated and went on to work in the tobacco factory, restaurants, the nursing home, and as a homemaker. Vella professed her hope in Christ at an early age and joined Little Mount Zion Pentecostal Faith Church, where she was saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost. She answered her life's call as an evangelist, traveling across many states opening various churches. With her sweet and caring spirit always helping and feeding others, Vella later became a mother of the church.

In December of 1951, Vella was joined in holy matrimony to the late Joe Green, Jr.; from this union, two sons were born. After the death of her husband, she was appointed Pastor of New Hope Pentecostal Faith Church until her death.

On January 5, 2021, God whispered her name, and told her to take her rest. Vella was preceded in death by her husband, Joe Green, Jr.; son, Marvin L. Green; her parents; her nine brothers and sisters; and goddaughter, Thelma Craft.

Vella leaves to cherish her memories: son, Arnez J. Green of Pontotoc, MS; grandson, Torey (Annette) Green of Pontotoc, MS; granddaughter, Tonya (Stacy) Green-Farr of Pontotoc, MS; two sisters-in-law, Vera N. Young of Pontotoc, MS and Kazue Logan of Lansing, KS; goddaughter, Norma Wilson of Wetumpka, AL; two godsons, Alex Armstrong of Calhoun City, MS, and Bishop Motley Davis of Lynchburg, VA; two spiritual sons, Willie Herron and Louis D. Shelton; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, church family, and friends. Vella loved everyone, and everyone loved her.

Graveside services were Thursday, January 14, at the Pontotoc City Cemetery. Services entrusted to Payton Mortuary.

Dick Rice


Richard “Dick” Rice, 80, legendary and celebrated Chief Meterologist, Emeritus, for WTVA-Tupelo Television died from complications due to the Covid 19 Virus at 5:30 PM Saturday, Janaury 16, 2021 at North Miss. Medical Center in Tupelo. Dick and his late wife, Jill, moved to Tupelo in l979 after his brilliant full career in the U. S. Navy, and have made their home in Mooreville since. Jill died on Nov. 17, 2020. Richard Thomas Rice was born on Sept.15, l940 in Ware, Mass. to the late Thomas and Jean Lech Rice. He attended public schools there ultimately enlisting in the U. S. Navy. He did his basic training at Millington, Tn. Naval Station where he met Jilda “Jill” White of Memphis. They were married on Sept. 24, l960. Chief Petty Officer Rice served as a meteorologist on ships around the globe during his 20 year military career. He would predict weather patterns and sea swells as well as forecast ballistic winds and densities in the atmosphere for missile launches.

Dick and Jill moved to Tupelo in July, l979 where he began an illustrious career as Northeast Mississippi’s weatherman even up till his death. He became a household “family figure” to literally thousands and found great joy in speaking to civic groups and especially school children about his job and career. Many children were introduced to Dick as the “Santa Tracker” every Christmas Eve. A great part of Dick’s legacy will be the mentoring he did for his colleagues at WTVA Television station in Tupelo. He was a “go to” man for advice, counseling, fun and direction in life as well as in the profession of broadcasting.

Outside TV, Dick was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He adored Jill and his children and was a doting grandfather to the grands and great grands. A great lover of God’s creation, Dick was a master gardener known most especially for growing prized tomatoes every year at his home in Mooreville. He loved sharing the produce with his colleagues and friends everywhere. Dick and Jill were members of the Eggville Church of Christ.

Per his request, a private family graveside service was held at Lee Memorial Park in Verona with his grandson, John speaking. Condolences or personal reflections of Dick’s life may be e-mailed to hollandfuneraldirectors@comcast.net

Dick is survived by his daughter, Debbie Rice Vines and her husband, Grady of Mooreville; three grandchildren, John Vines (Courtney) of Saltillo, Robert Vines (Kimberly) of Etta and Scotty Vines of Mooreville; 3 great grandchildren, Lauren, Aaryn and Chloe Vines. his brother, David Rice (Patty) and sister, Eileen Chrabascz (Rich) of Somers, Conn. ; several nieces and nephews. Dick was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Jill, his son, Gary.

Honorary pallbearers were present and former members of the staff of WTVA Television in Tupelo.

The family requests that memorials in Dick’s memory be made to Sanctuary Hospice House, P. O. Box 2177, Tupelo, MS. 38802. Cards may be mailed to the Rice Family at 5281 Cliff Gookin Blvd., Tupelo, MS. 38801.

Holland Funeral Directors is honored to be serving their friends.

Charles McMillen


Charles McMillen, 81, passed away Friday, January 15, 2021 at NMMC-Tupelo, MS from complications of Covid. He was born July 26, 1939 to C.G. "Red" McMillen and Marion Hardy McMillen. He was a member of Midway Baptist Church. He was an avid gardner, specializing in tomatoes. Charles was a retired farmer, raising cotton, soybeans, corn, hogs, and cattle.

A graveside service was held Monday, January 18, at Pleasant Grove Cemetery with Bro. Danny Prater officiating. Tutor Memorial Funeral Home of Pontotoc was in charge of arrangements.

Charles is survived by his daughter, Judy Fooshee (J.R. Kirkpatrick); his son, Rodney McMillen (Brenda); two brothers, Bobby McMillen (Lanelle) and Edwin McMillen; four grandsons, Justin Fooshee (Valarie), Jacob Fooshee, Zack McMillen, and Evan McMillen(Chantelle), six great-grandchildren, Abbey, Chayton, Einsley, Eevie, Ryder, and Corbyn, and a special friend, Glenda Faye.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Polly Ann Stegall McMillen; his parents; sister, Linda Winter, and sister-in-law, Ann Russell McMillen.

His grandsons will serve as pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo, MS.

Billy Doyle ‘Catfish’ Massey


Billy Doyle "Catfish" Massey, 71, passed away Tuesday, January 12, 2021, at NMMC in Tupelo. He was born May 14, 1949. Services were Saturday, January 16, at Tutor Memorial Funeral Home in Pontotoc. Burial followed at County Line Cemetery.

Boyce Richardson


Boyce "Mr. Red" Richardson, 91, passed away January 12, 2021 at NMMC-Tupelo, MS. He was born June 4, 1929. He was a devoted man to his family. He loved spending time eating, playing dominos, washers, UNO, and horseshoes. He retired from MDOT as a heavy equipment operator. After retirement, he enjoyed trading; mostly knives and tractors. He and his entire family enjoyed many years of vacationing in Branson, MO.

Boyce is survived by his twin sister, Loyce Benefield; son, Danny Richardson (Linda) of Ecru; daughter, Sandra Taylor (David) of Ecru; son, Kent Richardson of Pontotoc; 7 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Walter and Mary Elizabeth Richardson and his wife, Helen Loree Richardson.

Service were Thursday, January 14, at Tutor Memorial Funeral Home in Pontotoc with Bro. J.W. Owens officiating. Burial followed in Ecru Cemetery. Tutor Memorial Funeral Home of Pontotoc was in charge of arrangements.

Pallbearers were Whitney Taylor, Greg Garvin, Kevin Jolly, Jake Russell, Jake Tarter, and Kenneth Wayne Richardson.

Honorary Pallbearers were Tommy Hall, Larry Hall, Terry Pence, Walter Clyde Richardson, Gary Richardson, Ricky Richardson, and David Taylor.

Carl Ritchie


Butch Ritchie, 71, passed away January 14, 2021 at his home. Butch was born in Pontotoc county and spent his early adult life singing and playing piano with various gospel groups. He had a great love for people and gospel music. For twenty years he owned "The Video Shop" in New Albany, MS and impacted a great many lives. He was a member of Hillcrest Baptist Church. He will be remembered as a great friend to a host of people.

Butch is survived by his sister, Velinda Martin (Owen) of Tupelo; son, Josh Ritchie (Stephanie); grandchildren, Joshua Ritchie, Emma Ritchie, Mae Ritchie, and Ava Ritchie.

He was preceded in death by his parents Q.T. and Audell Ritchie.

Funeral services were Sunday, January 17 at Baldwin Memorial Funeral Home in Pontotoc. Burial will be in Carey Springs Cemetery. Baldwin Memorial Funeral Home in Pontotoc was in charge of arrangements.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Hillcrest Baptist Church.

Madalyn Bails


Madalyn Brooke Bails 21, passed away Monday, January 11, 2021 at the North MS Medical Center in Tupelo, MS. She was born June 12, 1999 unto Antoinette Freeman and the late Rodney Bails. She was a member of New Zion M. B. Church, where she was a very active member. She was a member of the choir, Vacation Bible School and District, State and National Convention. Madalyn graduated from Shannon High School in Shannon, MS, she graduate as fourth in her class. While in high school she was a member of the band, Beta Club.

Madalyn took college courses while still in high school. She graduated from Mississippi State University after three years with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Science with a Child Development Concentration on November 25, 2020.

Madalyn memories will be cherished by her mother, Antoinette Freeman; grandparents, Chink and Shirley Freeman, and Dorothy Bails: uncles , Perry Antone Freeman, Dwight (Grenetie) Bails, Lavell (Sophioa) Tate, and Derick Tate; great aunts Arnita (Harvey) Moore, Dorothy (Sextus) Shannon, Lois (Charlie ) Stone, Onie B. Hill and Aundra (Larry Coleman; God parents, Roy and Stephanie Patton; God brother, Bryce Patton God sister, Sydney Patton; special friends, , classmates, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorors Lambda Eta and many special cousins. Preceded in death by her dad, grandfather, Leroy, great grandmother, Lou Lou and several uncles.

Funeral services were Friday, January 16, at New Zion Cemetery in Plantersville. Agnew & Sons Funeral Home in Verona were honored to assist with the arrangements. Family and friends may sign the guestbook at www.agnewandson.com.

Rickey L. Hooker, Sr.


Rickey Lynn Hooker, Sr., 66, passed away January 12, 2021 at Baptist Memorial Hospital - Oxford, MS. Rickey graduated from Pontotoc High School in 1972. After he and Phyllis married, he worked for Hooker Pulpwood Yard with his dad, Gladney. He was an air traffic controller in Memphis before starting his own business Hooker Construction. He then drove for 18 years with Ashley Furniture. For the past 5 years he drove for The Market Basket. Rickey enjoyed helping raise money for children in need. He was the president of Ashley's Angels. In his free time, he enjoyed spending time with his camping friends. Most of all he loved spending time with all of his family.

Rickey is survived by his wife, Phyllis Williams Hooker; children, Rickey Hooker, Jr.(Kelly) and Georgia Hooker Sewell; grandchildren, Brittany Sewell Castillo (Josh), Katelyn Hooker Killough (Ben), Jayden Hooker, and Faith Sewell; great-grandchildren, Ana, Gabby, Rosie, JJ, and Caden; brothers, Jackie Hooker (Sandra) and Danny Hooker (Christy) and aunts, Faye Taylor Robbins, Carrie Ferguson, and Jean Ferguson.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Gladney and Mavie Ferguson Hooker; and his brother, Bobby Rex Holloway.

A graveside service was held Friday, January 15, at Bethel Cemetery, Union County with Bro. Brian Sansing officiating. Tutor Memorial Funeral Home of Pontotoc was in charge of arrangements.

Pallbearers were Donnie Taylor, Larry Ferguson, Jayden Hooker, Ben Killough, Josh Castillo, and Rickey Hooker, Jr.

Ben Ratliff


Bennie Max Ratliff, 81, passed away peacefully at his home with his family at his side on Friday, January 15, 2021. He was born on February 18, 1939, in Toccopola, MS, to Rex and Paula Mae Bishop Ratliff.

Ben was a member of the Pontotoc Church of Christ and was previously a member of the Pine Bluff Church of Christ for 53 1/2 years. He enjoyed teaching Bible classes for several years. He was a dedicated Christian who put the Lord first in his life, and then his family.

Ben served two years in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany and other parts of Europe. He had a strong work ethic and liked to stay busy. He was a professional bricklayer for over 40 years and achieved a master level. The majority of his work was on commercial buildings. In semi-retirement, he bricked the columns for the Walk of Champions at Ole Miss. He was also a cattleman and farmed several acres for many years. In retirement, Ben loved working in his garden and flower beds. He enjoyed watching the Atlanta Braves play baseball, and he especially loved spending time with his family. He will be greatly missed.

He loved his hometown of Toccopola and was very much involved in his community. He helped organize several fundraisers throughout the years to support such efforts as the community center, the volunteer fire department, and raising funds for families in need. He served on the committee for upgrading the town's ballfield and helped with efforts for getting a medical clinic in Toccopola. He always enjoyed working at the Belks' annual Hoedown for St. Jude. He helped with scouts, coached t-ball and little league baseball, and helped organize the annual Toccopola Christmas Parades.

Survivors include his wife of over 55 years, Margaret Bowles Ratliff; his children, Michelle Plunk (Carlton) of Saltillo, Brad Ratliff of Shannon, Bart Ratliff (Shelia) of Toccopola; his grandchildren, Nathan Plunk (Kelli) of Saltillo, Chelsea Plunk of Hernando, B.J. Ratliff of Virginia, Catherine Sullivan (Matt) of Pocahontas, AR; one great-grandchild, Elizabeth Plunk of Saltillo; and several nieces and nephews.

Ben was preceded in death by his parents and his two brothers, Bill and Bob Ratliff.

There was a private family graveside service Sunday, January 17, with Brother Clyde Mize and Brother Bob Williams officiating. Burial was in the Lebanon Cemetery in Toccopola. Tutor Memorial Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements. Pallbearers include Dean Bowles, Jr., Donald Coleman, Nathan Plunk, Chris Ratliff, Jeff Smith, and Barry Wardlaw. Honorary pallbearers were Arvel Miles, Mike Bowles, Tony Bowles, and Matt Sullivan.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital or to the Dayspring TV Program (307 N. Gloster St., Tupelo, MS 38804).

Virginia Thurman

New Albany

Virginia "Peaches" Thurman was born in Oakman, Alabama on April 6, 1932, the daughter of Grady and Lura Cooper. She lived her childhood in Oakman until her family moved to Union County during her adolescent years. She lived in the New Albany area into her young adulthood. She attended Macedonia High School and met her present husband, Bill "Pop" Thurman in Tupelo in 1971. She and Bill were married on September 18, 1971. Bill was a Senior Economist with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and his job required him to travel to 8 states. During their first years of marriage, she often traveled with him much of the time.

Later, they moved to Atlanta, Georgia for several years where Bill was officially based. In 1979 they moved to Jacksonville, Florida where they lived for 16 years. After Bill retired, they bought a motor home, traveled and lived in it for 6 years. Virginia dearly loved being nomadic and traveling. They even drove the motor home to Alaska and back. In 2002 they bought a home and moved to Ellenton, Florida where they resided until 2017 when they moved to New Albany. They have lived in New Albany since. Virginia and Bill are members of Glenfield Baptist Church.

Virginia was exceptionally talented. She was an excellent artist and painted and sold numerous paintings. She especially liked doing landscapes. While in Atlanta, she had a full-page article written about her in the local newspaper with her paintings displayed. She was also very crafty and loved embroidery. She loved southern gospel music and was particularly fond of the Gaithers.

She is survived by her husband, Bill "Pop" Thurman, her daughter, Kathy Chism (Bob), her son, Wallace Leath (Brenda), Wallace and Kathy's step brother, Danny Jordan (Tommi), all of the Union - Pontotoc area. She is also survived by one sister, Joan Peckman of Ellenton, FL, six grandchildren, Joni McLarty, Rodney Leath, Leann Gregory, Jessica Garrison, Anthony Leath and Patience Russell, fifteen great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.

A Graveside service was held Monday, January 18 in Glenfield Memorial Park with Pastor Jerry Lowery of Glenfield Baptist Church officiating. Arrangements were provided by New Albany Funeral & Cremation Care.

The family request that memorials be directed to Glenfield Baptist Church, 1032 W. Bankhead, New Albany, MS 38652.

The staff of New Albany Funeral & Cremation Care invites you to share memories with the Thurman family at nafuneralsandcremations.com.

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