Obits for may 5
Her life was marked by her love of music, beginning at the age of 12, when her mother allowed her to travel with Truett Mounce accompanying his quartet at engagements in the area.
She attended most of her school years at Ecru, but began Pontotoc High School her junior year where she was voted Most Beautiful and graduated in 1949.
While working at Ray's Department Store, DeVan Dallas looked out the door one day and saw, as he put it, the prettiest girl he had ever seen crossing the street and added, "That's the girl I'm going to marry," and he did and remained so for 68 years until his death.
Most of her adult life was spent attempting to make ladies out of her three daughters, but she did venture out into the business world as music director at Callie Young's kindergarten for many years, as a Welcome Wagon hostess and as an employee at what was originally Brown's Flower Shop.
Her greatest contribution, though, was her service to her church and community. As a member of First Baptist Church, she shared her God-given talent in all areas of the music program, from accompanying choirs of all ages, solo handbells, ensembles, but with her greatest passion being the adult choir, where she was known to cock her head to a certain side if you sang a note off key.
Her community service included being one of the original Board of Directors of the Bodock Festival. She could be found anywhere from entertaining at nursing homes, to working with Pete Doles and The Young Inspiration, making a record album with her trio, performing numerous times on the Buddy and Kay early morning TV show and playing for the Elvis Presley Christmas program with her band, Remember When. She was a member of the Pontotoc Music Study Club and the Fine Arts Club.
Her sweetest and most time-consuming commitment was being Mommie and Nana.
Her services were Monday, May 3, 2021, at First Baptist Church Pontotoc with Dr. Ken Hester officiating. Burial will follow at Pontotoc City Cemetery.
She is survived by her daughters, Dr. Diane Sauers (Jack), Pam Dallas and Sandy Dallas. She is also survived by three grandchildren, Cinda Dallas Browning Nicholson (Danny), Preston Leathers (Kala) and Melissa McAnally (Jason), and her beloved great-grandchildren, Piper Ellouise Nicholson, Presley Kate Leathers, Emerson James Leathers, Bo Hughes Leathers and Ellouise Love McAnally.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Dewayne Boyd, and her husband, DeVan Dallas.
Pallbearers will be Preston Leathers, Danny Nicholson, Jason McAnally, Bill Warren, Don Leathers, Tommy Butler, Lee Hatcher and Mike Dillard.
Honorary pallbearers will be Larry Young, Janis Burns-Tutor, Barnell Griffin, Billy Clay Rodgers and Larry McCord.
Jane held several positions throughout her career, all of which were deeply rooted in community service. She was the Director of Three Rivers Area Agency on Aging and served in this position for 20 years before retiring. During that time she helped establish Senior Centers in eight northeast Mississippi counties. She was on the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Association of Area Agencies on Aging, serving as its President at one time. She also served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Pontotoc City School District for 15 years and had the honor of being the first woman to serve on the Board.
Jane was an active member of Pontotoc First United Methodist Church where she loved serving by singing in the Choir.
Jane loved nothing more than spending time with her family and friends. She was an avid Bridge player and loved hosting parties. She was a fantastic cook, who enjoyed spending time in the kitchen and cooking for her friends and family.
Following the death of her husband Rodney, Jane married Mark Hardin in 1994. After they married, she moved to Birmingham, Alabama. She returned to Pontotoc following his death in 2004.
Jane is survived by her children Rayburn Mapp (Julie), Bailey Mapp (Elizabeth), Anelese Holt, Jane Lanier Mapp, and Mark Hardin, Jr., her sister, Angela McDonald, six grandchildren Brittany Wilemon (Chad), Mallori Corder (Evan), Haley McIngvale (Jessica), Sara Catherine Trent (Ty), Carlie Mapp (Jordan), and Jonathan Holt and six great grandchildren.
A celebration of her life was held at Pontotoc First United Methodist Church on Sunday, May 2. Browning Funeral Home in Pontotoc was honored to assist the family with the arrangements.
Condolences may be offered at www.browningpontotoc.com
She is survived by her children, Patty Sewell (Lynn), Larry Joe Robbins (Jamie), Jimmy Roy Robbins (Sonya), Mike Crawson (Karen), Scotty Crawson (Michelle), and David Crowson (Amanda); 15 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and 1 brother, Billy Joe Purdon.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 48 years, Earl Crawson; 2 daughters, Rita Crawson and an infant daughter; parents, Harrison and Wordie Purdon; 2 brothers; 1 sister; and 1 grandson Chris Culp.
Service were Friday, April 30, at Tutor Memorial Funeral Home in Pontotoc. Bro. Pete Gregory and Bro. David Poynor officiated. A private burial followed in Old Robbs Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Matthew Crowson, Colin Crawson, Caleb Crawson, JR Robbins, Chad Robbins, Josh Robbins, Colten Tutor, and Hayden Lepard.
Honorary Pallbearers were her great-grandsons.
He is survived by Martha Black, Anthony F. Black (Dr. Arretta Lynne Carter-Black) and Alaric Black; three grandchildren, Chuana Durden, Brisith Jackson, Branden Harris; three sisters, Allyson J. Ruff- Long, Eve Massey, Vanessa Goree; four brothers, Walter Garth, Sam Black, Jeffery Goree; four aunts, five grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends. Funeral services were Friday, April 30 at Gateway M. B. Church 1282 Palmetto Road Verona, MS. Burial was in the Verona Cemetery. Agnew & Sons Funeral Home of Verona was in charge of arrangements. Family and friends may sign the guestbook at www.agnewandsons.com
He is survived by his 4 children, Shelia Grisham (James), Mitzi Hill (Wayne), Jeff Calloway (Ann), and Kevin Calloway, all of Pontotoc; 6 grandchildren; and 9 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; Smith and Ethel Calloway; 1 sister, Loretta Pratt; and 1 granddaughter, Jessica Patterson.
A graveside service was held Friday, April 30, at Pontotoc City Cemetery with Bro. Dale Henderson officiating. Tutor Memorial Funeral Home of Pontotoc was in charge of arrangements.
Pallbearers were Marty Jack Gillespie, John Collums, Eric Loggins, Vick Holladay, Jake Holladay, and Landon Holladay.
Billy is survived by his wife of 57 years, Sarah Allen Walton; his children, George William "Bill" Walton, Jr. and Sherry Walton Allen; 3 grandchildren, Trey Robbins, Kenni Walton, and George William "Trip" Walton III; 3 great-grandchildren, Gunner Robbins, Mason Handlon, and Gabe Walton; brother, David Walton of Memphis; 6 sisters, Wilma Sartin of Pontotoc, Joanne Osbourne of Jackson, TN, Marie Jones, Lela Delaney, Katie Walton, and Margie Walls, all of Pontotoc; and a host of nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, D.W. and Artie Wages Walton; 3 brothers, Darwin Walton, D.C. Walton, and Thomas Walton; 5 sisters, Earnie Mae Lindsey, Theta Lindsey, Syble Franklin, Geral "Gerry" Broadway, and Linda Sewell.
Services were Thursday, April 29, at Midway Baptist Church. Bro. Danny Prater and Bro. Chad Higgins officiated. Burial was in Midway Cemetery. Baldwin Memorial Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Pallbearers were Gary Higgins, Matthew Foster, Jeremy Delaney, Lee Warren, Ty Walls, and Mark Broadway.
Honorary Pallbearers were Shane Kelly and Brad Sartin and the Deacons of Midway Baptist Church.
The 11th of 12 children, Gene was born on May 5, 1931, in Pontotoc to Dr. George Lowery and Annie (Dempsey) Clement in their home right off the Courthouse Square by the Methodist Church. His early life was filled with fun as he played up and down the city streets. When he was thirteen years old, Gene's mother died which had a great impact on his life. His father instilled in him a lifelong love of fishing, and they made many memories at "The Clubhouse" (now known as the Nettleton Fox Hunting and Fishing Club). In his last days he yearned to catch just one more fish.
During his years at Pontotoc High School Gene excelled in all sports. "Speedy Clement," as he was known on the football field, was also a stand-out player on the basketball, baseball and track teams. After graduating from Pontotoc High School, he continued his studies and his sports at Itawamba Junior College, playing both football and baseball, as well as serving in the National Guard. When his Guard unit was activated during the Korean War, his service continued as a proud member of the 31st Infantry "Dixie" Division of the U.S. Army at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. Upon discharge Gene returned to IJC and completed his education.
He married his childhood sweetheart, Marilyn Abernethy, on June 19, 1951. They were married 67 years until her death in 2018. Gene and Marilyn made their home in "Happy Hollow" in Pontotoc where they were blessed with two daughters, Beverly and Melanie. During his career, Gene worked in various roles at several local businesses as well as being a sales representative for Armstrong Flooring Company of Memphis. Ultimately, he retired at age 70 after working for 20 years at First National Bank (First Choice Bank) where he enjoyed visiting with his former coworkers in his later years.
In 2005 Gene and Marilyn left their beloved Pontotoc, relocating to Tupelo to be near their daughters. In 2014 they moved to Mitchell Center of the Traceway Retirement Community where he continued to make new friends and used his sense of humor to bring joy to the residents and staff. To be able to be with his family during the pandemic Gene lived with his daughter Beverly and her husband Steve before returning to Mitchell Center in November 2020.
To know Gene was to love him. He always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. He was well known for making people laugh with his joke telling. Although it is a much-used phrase, Gene truly never met a stranger, being voted Friendliest Man in Pontotoc. He was consistently seen at funeral visitations of those he knew well or even barely at all. He was the model father, never missing his daughters' music recitals, church programs, or performances when they were growing up. That support continued in every facet of their adult lives. He was a sweet, gentle spirit and a loving caregiver to his "Happy Hollow" neighbors, his father, his in-laws, and most importantly to his wife. Above all he was kind and respectful to everyone.
For his entire life, Gene was a member of First United Methodist Church in Pontotoc, faithfully attending Sunday morning and evening services, Wednesday prayer meeting, and any other time the church doors were open. He loved his church where he was a member of the Twelve Plus Sunday School Class and served as an usher, Sunday School Superintendent, member of the Administrative Board, Pastor-Parish Relations Committee, as well as singing in the adult choir when his wife Marilyn was the director. At the time of his death he had been a member of the church longer than anyone in the congregation.
A true and lifelong Pontotoc Warrior, Gene attended high school sporting events into his 80s. When he was no longer able to go in person he was sure to listen on the radio. He was also an avid Ole Miss football fan, and he and his family were season ticket holders for decades. He shared his knowledge and love of sports with his daughters, teaching them the rules of the game from the time they were little girls.
Gene was a proud veteran and attended the annual reunions of the 31st Infantry Division. He received numerous awards from that organization, as well as the Sonny Montgomery Award for his dedicated service to all veterans. He loved his country, listening to its patriotic music, and saluting its flag.
He is survived by his daughters, Beverly (Steve) McAlilly and Melanie Clement; brother George (Bobbie) Clement; brother-in-law and sister in-law, Dr. and Mrs. Cecil (Patsy Abernethy) Jenkins and sister-in-laws, Nancy Abernethy Sharp, Barbara Clement and Annis Clement and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn; and his siblings: Annie Clyde, Mildred, Ethel, LaPearl, Carolyn, Fred, Robert, Charles, Francis and Sidney.
His daughters are grateful for the loving staff at Mitchell Center who cared for him like family as well as Kindred Home Hospice for their care the last 4 months of his life.
A Service of Death and Resurrection was held on Wednesday, April 28, at First United Methodist Church in Pontotoc with The Rev. Brad Hodges and The Rev. Kenneth Corley officiating. Burial followed at Pontotoc City Cemetery. Pallbearers were Steve McAlilly, Bill Rice, Bob McGee, Joe Johnson, Q.T. Tutor and Johnny Campbell. Holland Funeral Directors - Tupelo Chapel are entrusted with the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 308, Pontotoc, MS 38863, or Mississippi Methodist Senior Services, P.O. 1567, Tupelo, MS 38802.
The family requests that everyone wear a mask. The service will be livestreamed on the Facebook pages of Pontotoc First United Methodist Church and Holland Funeral Directors.
Sarah leaves to mourn her husband of 42 years, Charlie Wilson; sons Marcus (LaKeisha) Souter of Upper Marlboro, MD and Tanka Souter of Pontotoc; step-daughters Kim Hill and Tanya (Carl, Sr.) Wright of Racine, WI; two grandchildren Emmanuel James and Eden Joy of Upper Marlboro, MD; brothers James (Mae Opal), David, Wilson; and a sister Marilyn Ivy all of Pontotoc, MS.Finally, she leaves a host ofnieces, nephews and in-laws. She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings Betty Jean, Neal, Archie, Walter, Roy, Earl Jr., and Don.
Services were Saturday, May 1, at McDonald United Methodist Church in Pontotoc, MS. Interment followed at Pontotoc City Cemetery. Services entrusted to Payton Mortuary.