Obits for sept 18
He leaves to cherish his memory his wife of 37 years, Myra Harrell-Starks of Pontotoc, MS, his 4 daughters, Miranda Starks, Larissa Dastinot, Gabrielle Starks, and Jessica Starks, all of Pontotoc, MS; Grandchildren Amiyah LaRae Dastinot and Solomon Elijah Golden-Starks of Pontotoc, MS; God-daughter, Samantha Moore of Racine, WI; 5 brothers, M.L. Starks of Racine, WI; James Starks of Van Buren, AR; Robert Starks of Fayetteville, AR; Willie and Marvin Starks of Gore Springs, MS; 5 sisters, Jo (William) Berryhill, Annie White, and Gari (Clarence) Horn of Racine, WI; Bertha Howard of Appleton, WI; and Dorothy Allen of Gore Springs, MS, as well as a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rufus Starks and Benetta Robinson-Starks, sister Jessie Dean Starks, and brothers Nathaniel and Larry Darnell Starks.
Funeral services were Monday, September 16, at Pontotoc Second Baptist Church. Interment followed at Pontotoc City Cemetery. Services entrusted to Payton Mortuary.
She was born at home on March 19, 1929 to William Buford and Jo Margaret Knox Furr in Pontotoc, MS.
During her childhood, she took piano lessons from Miss. Vera Salmon, which ultimately led to her lifelong journey of performing on both piano and organ. At the age of 12, she had the opportunity to accompany Ms. Ruby Elzy on the piano. She enjoyed playing for the children during Vacation Bible School at her home church, Pontotoc First Baptist.
While still a child, she acquired the nickname "Hop" because she would answer their home phone in the persona of Hedda Hopper, a popular gossip columnist during that time.
After graduating from Pontotoc High School, Martha Jo attended the all-female college, Ward Belmont, for two years. She transferred to her beloved Ole Miss, where she was a member of Chi Omega Sorority and accompanied the Ole Miss Men's Glee Club. While at Ole Miss she met her future husband, Dr. Ferris D. "Count" Fisk , and had the pleasure of being the Alpha Tau Omega Sweetheart her senior year.
Following their marriage on September 19, 1950, Martha Jo taught public school music in Turrell, AR. Later, she enriched the lives of many students in Oxford and in Pontotoc, and blessed the lives of all she touched.
One of her greatest delights, while living in Oxford was playing the organ at the Ole Miss Basketball games. She always played Archie Manning's favorite song, "Aquarius" and on a dare, played "Old McDonald Had a Farm" when the MS State Bulldogs came to town to play basketball.
Her last service was at her church home, Pontotoc First United Methodist Church, where she played the organ and piano.
She was a past member of the Pontotoc Hills Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution and the Pontotoc Music Club.
Along with her joy of playing the piano, she enjoyed gardening, telling jokes, and listening to Barry Manilow music.
Martha Jo is survived by three daughters, Mary Margaret Grisham Ferguson (John), Michelle Fisk (Tony Bethune), and Melanie Fisk (Mike Ash); two granddaughters, Margaret "Maggie" Grisham Winter (Patrick) and Alise Ferguson Young (Jay); two great-grandchildren, Cole Grisham and Kensley Winter, and a great grandchild to which she was anxiously awaiting the arrival, Wayne Young.
She is preceded in death by her parents, and her husband of 37 years.
A celebration of her life will be held on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at the First United Methodist Church with Rev. Ken Corley, Rev. Brad Hodges and Rev. David Hamilton officiating. Burial will follow in the Pontotoc City Cemetery. Browning Funeral Home in Pontotoc is honored to assist the family with the arrangements.
Visitation will continue today from 10 to 11 AM Wednesday at First United Methodist Church.
Pallbearers will be Chris Owens, Tony Bethune, Mike Ash, Stephen Donaldson, Mike Campbell and John Ferguson. Honorary Pallbearers will be Cole Grisham, Ken Grisham and Wayne Mahon.
Memorials may be sent to the Humane Society of the United States, 1255 23rd Avenue NW, Suite 450, Washington, DC 20037 or at humanesociety.org.
Condolences may be offered at www.browningpontotoc.com
In 1963, he graduated from Tupelo High School. He was in the United States National Guard for six years. During his working life, he was a butcher at Page's Supermarket, manager of the meat market at Piggly Wiggly, dispatcher at Cody Oil Company, sales representative for Sales Mark, and retired as a merchandiser at Acosta. He was an outdoorsman who enjoyed turkey hunting, deer hunting, fishing and watching hummingbirds. He was known as being a master griller and cook, famous for his pot roast, steak, divinity, and fruitcake. He also enjoyed traveling, camping and his mornings at Scarlet's Donuts. A Christian, he was a member of Hope Church in Tupelo and formerly a member of Chesterville Baptist Church.
Len is survived by his wife, Sandy Shelton of Tupelo; four children, Tammy Spears (Vic) of Saltillo, Melanie Harrison (Scottie) of Pontotoc, Tina Shelton of Shannon and April Hurley (Grady) of Saltillo; eight grandchildren, Stephanie Smith (Brandon), Lauren Aldridge, Austin Spears, Alyndria Leifheit, Sophie Harrison, Banna Robinson, Addison Hurley and Brock Harrison; two great-grandchildren; three siblings, Glenn Shelton (Donna) of Belden, George Shelton of Chesterville and Margie Snipes (Grover) of McKinney, Texas and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and great-grandson, Brandon Smith, II.
Services honoring his life were Saturday, September 14, at the Jefferson Street Chapel of W. E. Pegues with Bro. Dean Moody officiating. Burial was in Chesterville Memorial Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Austin Spears, Brock Harrison, Greg Shelton, Scottie Harrison, Grady Hurley, and Vic Spears.
Memorials may be made to Parkinson's Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131 or The Michael J. Fox Foundation, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014.
The service was recorded for those who were not be able to attend at www.peguesfuneralhome.com. Expressions of sympathy may be left at www.peguesfuneralhome.com.
Services were Sunday, September 15, at Browning Funeral Home with Rev. David Hamilton and Rev. Bill Rambo officiating and Bill Rutledge shared reflections. Music was provided by Rev. James Francis and Bobby Forman. Burial was in the Pontotoc Memorial Gardens. Browning Funeral Home in Pontotoc was in charge of the arrangements.
Survivors include her children, Linnette McAnally of McComb, MS, two sons; Michael Rodgers of Belden, MS and Joseph Rodgers of Pontotoc, MS; one sister, Thelma Biffle Morrison of Dallas, TX.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, two sisters, Lena Biffle Shackleton and Mavis Biffle Sappington; and four brothers, Dean Biffle, Sidney Biffle, Raymond (Jack) Biffle and William Biffle.
Pallbearers were Carter Biffle, Jack Biffle, William Thomas Biffle, Roger Bland, Ken Rodgers, David Rodgers and Bill Rutledge.
Memorials may be sent to Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, 17th Floor, and Chicago, IL 60601 or at www.alz.org
Condolences may be offered at www.browningpontotoc.com
He is survived by his mother, Cathy Pettit; brothers, Erick Pettit (Sundra), and Cain Pettit (Eulaine); sister, Angela Johnson (Jeremy); nieces and nephews, Karson and Kase Pettit, Brennen and Austin Taylor, and Mazie Mae Johnson; he will also be greatly missed by many other, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
He is preceded in death by his grandparents, James "JW" Windham and Doris Russell Ard, Adrain and Ruby Doss Pettit, and his father, William David "Hank" Pettit, all of Pontotoc County.
Services were Sunday, September 15, at Tutor Memorial Funeral Home in Pontotoc with Bro. Pete Gregory officiating. Burial was in Pleasant Grove Cemetery. Tutor Memorial Funeral Home of Pontotoc was in charge of arrangements.
Pallbearers were Ryan Harrington, Casey Poyner, Lynn Bland, Mike Kelly, Danny Murphree, and Cody Holladay.
Honorary pallbearers were Blake McCoy and Peter Vance.