Dr. James ‘Doc’ Ferguson
Woodstock, Georgia
Dr. James S. "Doc" Ferguson, former director of University of Alabama "Million Dollar Band" and the"Pride of the South Marching Band" at the University of Mississippi passed away at the age of 85 on March 17, 2021. At the time of his death heresided in Woodstock, Georgia with his wife, Micki, his puppies, Gracie and Lucy and his beloved backyard full of cypress trees, catalpa trees, and bluebirds. 
Jim was born November 24, 1935. He was preceded in death by his father, Verell Pennington Ferguson and his mother, Ruth Smith Ferguson in Columbus, Mississippi. He was also preceded in death by his brother, Verell Pennington "VP" Ferguson, Jr. and his sister Betty Ferguson Allen. His is survived by his wife Micki Ferguson,his son James Smith Ferguson, Jr and his wife, Victoria Fisher Ferguson andtheir two children, Jack Fisher Ferguson and Max Pennington Ferguson. Son Robert Alexander Ferguson. Stepchildren, Travis and Shana Childress and Robert and Sunshyne Pothier. His is also survived by two step grandchildren Lorelei Pothier and Carter James Pothier. 
There will be a celebration of his life later when it is safe to do so. He graduated from S.S. Lee High School in 1953. He earned his B.A.degree from the University of Mississippi in 1956. He entered the teaching profession by taking a position as Director of Bands, Pontotoc Mississippi High School in 1957 followed by his position as Band Director at Marks MississippiHigh School 1958-1960 and H.V. Cooper High School Band in Vicksburg, Mississippi1961-1963. 
He received his Master of Music Degree in 1965 and his Doctor of Music Education in 1966. From 1966 - 1970 Jim was the Director of Bands and Full Professor at The University of Mississippi. Then he became the Director of Bands and Full Professor at the University of Alabama from 1971through1983. After retiring from band directing, Jim started Datron Software Services in Birmingham, Alabama. 
In 1992 he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana with Micki and their blended family and obtained his Master of Social Work degree. When the family moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1996, Jim worked as an Oracle DBA and Data Analyst, before retiring once again in 2011 to enjoy nature and create musical projects. Jim remained an ardent student of all subjects for his lifetime. In the weeks preceding his death he had decided he was going to learn to play piano like Dr. John. He was doing very well on the piece, "Just a Closer Walk with Thee.”
In his childhood he played daily on the Toby Tubby and the Luxapalila Creeks near Columbus. He was a dedicated teacher, pilot, a sailor, and a wonderful father, friend and life companion. When he retired in 2011 he began in earnest his devotion to his beloved backyard bluebirds and his puppies. He often said he wanted to talk to the animals like Tarzan did. Gracie and Lucy listened devotedly to every word he said. I believe the bluebirds were listening in his backyard. Perhaps he's flying over the rainbow with bluebirds right now, as he often said he wanted to do. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Audubon Society at https://www.audubon.org. Condolences can be left for the family at www.GeorgiaFuneralCare.com
Linda Faye Butler
Linda Faye Butler, 74, passed away Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at NMMC-Tupelo, MS. Linda was raised in a large family, living in several surrounding counties before settling in Pontotoc County. She married and raised 3 children in the Troy, MS community. She worked for 40 plus years at Paine Supply in Tupelo, MS, before retiring. She loved the outdoors, mowing her yard, working her flowers, cooking for her grands and spending time teaching them about Jesus.
Linda is survived by her daughter, Kathi Walker (Brian); her sons, Brad Butler (Beverly) and J.J. Butler; grands, Dalton Butler (Lauren), Dayton Butler, Dempsey Butler, Taylor Powell, Brady Dowdy, Landon Butler, and Lanna Butler; her sisters, Marie Kennedy and Mable Taylor; sisters-in-law, Johnnie Mae Davis and Carol Davis; a host of nieces and nephews; and 1 great-grand, Stella Kate.
She was preceded in death by her parents, George Washington Davis and Lela Belle Matthews Davis; 3 brothers, 3 sisters and an infant sister.
Funeral services were Saturday, March 27, at Troy First Baptist Church. Bro. Brock McWhirter officiated with Bro. Greg Herndon offering the eulogy. Burial was in Pleasant Grove Cemetery. Tutor Memorial Funeral Home of Pontotoc was in charge of arrangements.
Pallbearers were Dalton Butler, Dayton Butler, Landon Butler, Brady Dowdy, Bobby Franklin, and Robbin Davis.
Honorary Pallbearers were Glen Davis, Christopher Armstrong, and Chris McMillen.
Laborn Murphree
Laborn Newton Murphree, 82, passed away March 27, 2021 in his home, surrounded by his two children and their spouses. Laborn was a retired licensed practical nurse and tax preparer for many years. Up until he suffered a back injury while on the job, Laborn thrived in helping the elderly, during the time he worked in the nursing field. Laborn loved his family very much and demonstrated it in a multitude of ways. He was adventurous and enjoyed numerous vacations, trips, camping, and even white water rafting with his family. His love for God and the Bible were evident in his daily living. Laborn was a member of Houlka United Pentecostal Church.
Laborn is survived by his children, Nathanael Murphree (Shari) and Paula Webb (Chris); grandchildren, Zack Murphree and Zoie Murphree; brothers, Donald Murphree (Patsy), Danny Murphree, and Steve Murphree (Myra); sister, Elisabeth Lance; special friend of the family, Teresa Bryant; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Laborn was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Correan Tapley Murphree; parents, Gladys Buford and Trudie Elvira Costin Murphree; brother, Lynn Murphree; sister, Charlotte Maxey; nephew, Gary Wayne Henry; sister-in-law, Virginia Murphree; and niece, Cheryl Burress.
Graveside Service were held, Monday, March 29, at Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Bruce, MS with Bro. Lane Galloway officiating. Tutor Memorial Funeral Home of Pontotoc, MS was in charge of the arrangements.
Nathanael and Paula would like to extend gratitude to Baptist Hospice of Batesville, MS for assisting in keeping Daddy as comfortable as possible, providing exemplary care, prayers, and treating us all like part of their family. Special recognition is to be given to Tiffany Jones and Jileene Aron of Hospice.
Herbert Reeves
Herbert E. Reeves, 83, passed away March 27, 2021 at his home. He was born March 6, 1938 to Oscar Reeves and Edna Davis Reeves. He was a 1956 graduate of Pontotoc High School. On March 21, 1959 he married Ernestine Whitlow and had two children, Della Wages and Billy L. Reeves. He was a member of Woodland Baptist Church. He worked in the furniture industry and loved the outdoors, gardening, and loved his family and his pets.
He is survived by his 2 children, Della Wages (Wayne) and Bill Reeves (Mickie); 7 grandchildren, Andy Perry (Rae), Monica Keith (Kris), Joseph Wages (Victoria), Jason McDonald, Joey Hughes, Alex Reeves, and Adam Reeves; 8 great-grandchildren; 2 brothers, Charles Reeves (Ruth) and Bobby Reeves (Greta); several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; 4 sisters, Annie Smitherman, Lois Reeves, Nadine Reeves, and Edna Ruth Swords.
Services were Monday, March 29, at Woodland Baptist Church with Bro. Justin Varnon officiating. Burial followed in Pleasant Grove Cemetery. Tutor Memorial Funeral Home of Pontotoc was in charge of arrangements.
Pallbearers were Joe Hughes, Adam Reeves, Kris Keith, Andy Perry, Joe Wages, and Wesley McDonald.
Emma Jean Harrell
Emma Jean Holesome Harrell was born in Pontotoc County on January 25, 1935 to Ecue Holesome and Cora L. Sandlin Holesome. She was the youngest of four children born to this union. Emma Jean was reunited with her heavenly family on the morning of March 23, 2021. 
Emma Harrell professed a faith in Jesus Christ and joined Usher Valley United Methodist Church at a young age. Later, the family relocated and joined McDonald United Methodist Church and remained an active and faithful member until her health began to fail. She served as a church secretary, a member of the Usher Board, and was a longtime member of the adult choir. Emma Harrell loved and served as a faithful member of Pontotoc chapter, Heroines of Jericho, Court # 22. She loved her neighbors, friends, and family and was always giving of her time to help others. She was a volunteer for the American Red Cross for a number of years. Emma Harrell worked passionately and tirelessly during her lifetime. She was employed with George and Ruth Simon, Riveria Shirt Factory, and retired as an inspector from Smith & Nephew-Richards after many years of service. 
Emma Harrell was a devoted mother of five children of Pontotoc, MS: Veleria Copeland, Edwin Bernard Harrell, Therston Boyce Harrell, Priscillia Marie Barnes (James), and Angela Patrice Vaughn (Greg). She loved her seven grandchildren: Allen Copeland, Jr., Schree Harrell, Kelsey Barnes, Lionel Copeland, Kaleb Barnes, Martavious McKnight, and Skylyn Vaughn; and seven great-grandchildren: Dorale Portis, Kambria Harrell, Omari Copeland, Kali Barnes, Tatiana Copeland, Kayla Holloway, and Ryker Barnes. She also leaves to cherish her memory a host of other cousins, nieces, nephews, and one sister-in-law, Florine Roberson; Emma Harrell spent special times with first cousins: Ada Bell Dogan and Joan Flowers. Emma Harrell was preceded in death by her parents, Ecue and Cora Holesome, brothers: James A. Holesome, Thomas Melvin Holesome, and Billy Ray Holesome; and one sister, Nettie Mae Holesome Hamilton.
Services were Friday, March 26, at McDonald United Methodist Church in Pontotoc, MS. Interment followed at Pontotoc City Cemetery. Services entrusted to Payton Mortuary.

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