In Memoriam

Millsaps shares in the loss of our loved ones and friends. If you are aware of the death an alumnus/a, parent, or friend, please send the information to


Peggy Suthoff Collins, Class of 1954, died on June 6, 2017.

A loving and compassionate person who gave meaning to her Christian faith, who blessed the lives of so many people, was born in Moss Point, Mississippi on January 14, 1932 to William Henry and Ethel Davis Suthoff.

After graduating Moss Point High School she continued her education at Millsaps College where she was a member of the Kappa Delta Sorority and many other organizations, including the Millsaps Singers.  She was graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and after graduation taught in the first grade.

It was at Millsaps that she met, courted, and eventually married "Eddie" Collins, her husband to be of 62 years.  Describing the courtship, she would say: "I chased him until he caught me."  Two lifetime friends wrote of her on her 80th birthday; Edna Boone: "Remarkable, generous, courageous, thoughtful, accomplished, gracious, and delightful..."   Polly Williams: "In each of her exciting roles in life - as wife, mother, first lady, she was always the essence of grace, friendliness and just plain goodness."

She assumed the role of first lady when her husband accepted the presidency of Millsaps College (1970-1978) and the College of Charleston, S.C. (1978-1985).  In this capacity she was the official host of the college, working with students, faculty members as well as supervising official college functions for visiting dignitaries. 

She and her husband were world travelers, visiting over 40 countries.

She is preceded in death by her parents, three brothers: Bernard, Norville, Wannon and her sister Barbara Miles.

She is survived by her husband, Dr. Edward M. Collins, Jr., sons Stephen Marc (wife Ellen), David Edward (wife Suzy), John Kevin (wife Beth); grandchildren - Elizabeth, Stephen, Nicholas, Andrew, Cameron, Emily, Kevin and great-grandchildren - Annie, Harrison, Molly, Mary Ella and Beau.

A special "thank you" to Twana Isom who not only gave her care, but also love and a deep friendship.

Pallbearers will be grandsons Stephen, Nicholas, Andrew, Cameron, Kevin and nephew Eric Suthoff.

Funeral services will be held Monday, June 12, 2017 at Hartman Jones Funeral Home, McComb, Mississippi.  Visitation will be held at 1:00 p.m. with services at 2:00 p.m.  Reverend Dr. T.W. Lewis and Reverend Don Fortenberry will officiate with burial following at Hollywood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the General Scholarship Fund at Millsaps College, 1701 N. State Street, Jackson, MS 39210. Telephone: 601-974-1000.


Patricia Murphy “Patt” Derian, Class of 1964, died May 20th, 2016.

Her husband, Hodding Carter III, said she died at their home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, after suffering from Alzheimer's disease for about 10 years.

"She was amazing," Carter said of his wife of nearly 40 years. "I've had a fairly active life and have known a lot of people. But I've never known anyone as clear-eyed, as honored, as tough, as empathetic and as willing to face evil than Patt. She was the most extraordinary human being that I've ever known."

Derian, former President Jimmy Carter's assistant secretary of state for human rights, made the Argentine Dirty War one of her top causes. Though the Argentine military denounced Derian's interference, the lives of some high-profile captives were spared as a result.

In a statement, Jimmy Carter expressed sadness on hearing of Derian's death.

"As the senior State Department official in charge of human rights during my administration, Patt spent hundreds of hours meeting with victims and their families. She became a champion of oppressed people around the world, helping me exert pressure on dictatorships from Argentina to South Korea," Jimmy Carter recalled. "Because of her determination and effective advocacy, countless human rights and democracy activists survived that period, going on to plant the seeds of freedom in Latin America, Asia, and beyond."

Known as Patt to her friends, Derian grew up in Danville, Virginia. She graduated from the University of Virginia School of Nursing in 1952 and married Paul Derian, an orthopedic surgeon, shortly thereafter.

Derian and her family moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where she became an active supporter of public school desegregation. By 1968, Derian had helped found the Democratic Party of the State of Mississippi or Loyalist Democrats, a biracial alternative to the segregationist Regular Democrats and the all-black Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

During the 1976 U.S. presidential election, Derian was deputy director of the Carter-Mondale campaign. After Carter won, he nominated her to be coordinator for human rights and humanitarian affairs but he changed that title to assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs. She served in that post until 1981, working to improve U.S. foreign policy coordination on humanitarian issues such as human rights, refugees and prisoners of war.

Derian divorced in 1976 and two years later married Hodding Carter, who served as assistant secretary of state for public affairs during the Jimmy Carter administration.

"She was so tough, she often scared the hell out of me," her husband said. "She believed that what we as a country said were our principles ought to be our principles."

"She just absolutely took it on, whether it was some racist sheriff in Mississippi or some butcher in Argentina or some dishonest office holder in her own administration. She spoke truth to power and never stopped. I'm blessed that I was with her," he said.

Joyce McLemore Rush, Class of 1950, died July 8th, 2016.

Joyce was the daughter of Annie Williams and T.J. McLemore, Sr., and was a member of Lauderdale County’s founding family. After graduating from high school, she attended two years at Millsaps College College with her soulmate and the love of her life, Dr. Lowry Rush, Jr., who she married on July 11, 1946. They would have celebrated their seventieth wedding anniversary this year. During her time at Millsaps, Joyce was a cheerleader, homecoming queen and member of the Chi Omega Sorority.

Joyce was very active in the Meridian community and served on various boards and committees for many years, including the Meridian Medical Auxiliary, Girl Scouts of America, Meridian Junior Auxiliary, among others. She was also Queen of the Junior Auxiliary Mardi Gras Ball. She was an avid bridge player and enjoyed playing with her many friends.

Joyce was a longtime member of Central United Methodist Church and, in her later years, First Christian Church. She loved and cherished her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and considered herself blessed. She always said she had lived a wonderful life and when she died, she asked loved ones “not to mourn her death, but to celebrate her life”.


Marjorie Watson, Class of 1958, died July 9th, 2016.

Marjorie Watson passed away peacefully at the age of 83. She was dearly loved by her late husband James, and by her children Nigel and Yvonne.


Joseph P. Mueller, Class of 1948, died July 11th, 2016.

Joe Mueller was born to Helen McManus Mueller and Joseph Henry Mueller in San Antonio, Texas in 1926. During World War II, Joe attended flight school at Millsaps College as part of a Naval V-12 training program. He served in the Korean War as forward artillery observer and rose to the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He said that one of his fondest memories was climbing Mt. Fuji in Japan while on leave. Summiting, he was welcomed into a weather observation station, sipping tea and listening to classical music above the clouds.

After the war Joe earned his degree in Petroleum Engineering. He met his wife of 62 years at a Corpus Christi wedding, and married Patty Puig Mueller in 1954. Together they raised five children in Corpus Christi. In 1957 he and Patty started Mueller Engineering, a petroleum engineering firm that they ran together for 40 years.

Joe received tremendous joy in serving on the Kennedy Memorial Foundation Board for many years, working with people to help better the lives of others. As a man of enormous generosity of spirit, Joe Mueller will be greatly missed.


Gay Piper Gwinner, Class of 1959, died July 30th, 2016.

Gay was born June 11, 1937, in Macon to Bernard and Frances Piper. She received her BA in 1959 from Millsaps College. There, she met her first husband and the father of her daughter, Rachael.

After that marriage ended, Gay went to graduate school and earned her MS from Georgia State University’s School of Urban Studies. She was chosen to participate in Jimmy Carter’s Presidential Management Intern Program. Recruited by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, she worked there until retirement. Later, she volunteered with Savannah’s Neighbor to Neighbor Mediation Center.

In 1993, Gay met the love of her life, Maurice Gwinner. They married and shared 21 years before his 2015 death. In 2003, Gay and Maurice moved to a senior living community in Macon, where they lived out the rest of their lives.

Frank Davis Allen, Jr., Class of 1960, died August 11th, 2016.

Frank Davis Allen, Jr., the son of Frank Davis Allen and Pauline Crabtree Allen, was born in Helena, Arkansas, on August 30, 1937.  His family moved to the Jackson area in 1950.  Frank graduated from Chamberlain Hunt Military Academy in 1954, then majored in political science at Millsaps.  He later graduated from Vanderbilt Law School and was admitted to the bar in Washington, D.C. 

Frank spent over 20 years as an attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.  His work spanned voting rights and jury discrimination cases, school desegregation, and criminal prosecutions. Frank married MaryLee Campbell, a research analyst in the Division, in December 1970.

Frank was a founding board member and dedicated supporter of Capitol Hill Village, a non-profit that helps residents of Capitol Hill age in place. He was also an active member of the Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church and its choir.

Charlies Ray “Charlie” Brackett, Class of 1960, died August 11th, 2016.

Charlie was a beloved husband of 55 years, and a father to four children. He was also described by his family as a wonderful grandfather to 8 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. Charlie had a love for life. His most important accomplishments included his family, friendships, and taking his family on adventures around the world.

The Reverend Eugene Covington Holmes, Class of 1955, died August 17th, 2016.

Reverend Holmes was born on December 17, 1932 in Aberdeen, Mississippi; son of Howard Eugene Holmes and Emma Maye Covington Holmes. As a child, he lived in Kosciusko, Mississippi, where his father owned and operated Royal Crown Cola and Nehi Bottling Company.

He is a Graduate of Millsaps College, Jackson, Mississippi, A.B., 1955 and received his Masters of Divinity at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, in 1957. Licensed to preach May 29, 1950, admitted on trial and ordained Deacon by Bishop Marvin A. Franklin, June 8, 1956. Reverend Holmes served at Sallis UMC, Inman Park UMC in Atlanta; Bethel UMC; Four Churches in Nichols, SC, and many more congregations. Furthermore, the current United Methodist hymnal's liturgy was written and developed under Rev. Holmes' leadership.

He married Eleanor Leigh Haynes of Albany, Georgia, on June 10, 1954 and together had three sons. Later, they were blessed with four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Mary Virginia Austin Anderson, Class of 1967, died August 30th, 2016.

Mary Anderson, 71, was born to the late Bryan Galloway Austin, Sr., and Mary Virginia Holmes Austin in Tampa, Florida, on March 2, 1945. She grew up in Jackson and graduated from Provine High School where she was a National Merit Finalist. Mary went on to attend Millsaps College and graduated from Louisiana State University with a B.A. in psychology in 1967.

Jacquelyn “Jackie” Butler, Class of 1959, died September 15th, 2016 in Houston, Texas.

A loving woman to so many, she was known as “Jackie” to her friends, “Sister” to her brothers and family, and “Nanny” to her five grandchildren. Jackie was born Oct. 16, 1938, in McComb, the daughter of John Clifton and Louise Girling Felder. Her curiosity, love of books and wit began at an early age. She graduated early from high school at age 16 and was the first woman to take both biology and chemistry at Southwest Mississippi Junior College. Jackie graduated from Millsaps College in 1959. She married James Hilton Butler the very same year, and the two would be married for 45 years until his 2004 death.

Dr. Milton “Mitt” Roby, Class of 1956, died September 22nd, 2016 surrounded by his family.

Mitt attended Durant High School, Milllsaps College and University of Mississippi Medical Center. After graduating from Medical School, Mitt served in the United States Air Force in the Southeast Asia Theater during the Vietnam War. While there, he was awarded the Bronze Star. After returning home, he practiced medicine in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, before moving to Natchez, MS. Mitt then became a family Doctor in Natchez and remained there until he retired. He loved motorcycles, guns, hunting, Ole Miss, cowboys and his dog.

Donie Sykes Green, Class of 1952, died September 23rd, 2016.

Donie was born March 30, 1930, in Aberdeen, MS. She lived in Jackson, MS and attended Central High School. She later attended Milsaps College where she joined Kappa Delta Sorority. Donie retired from Tennessee Valley Authority, where she worked as an executive assistant in the General Council's office.

Donie married Edward H. Green, Jr., on August 25, 1956 at Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church. Donie and Ed lived in Knoxville, TN since 1960, where they raised their two children.

Deirdre McCrory Henry, Class of 1980, died September 24th, 2016.

Deirdre was born on November 19, 1959 in Jackson, MS to Floyd McCrory and Esta Williams McCrory. She received a B.A. in English from Millsaps College. After receiving her J.D, Deirdre practiced law in Mississippi for 26 years.

She will always be remembered for her fierce intelligence, razor-sharp wit, and most importantly, the abundant love she showed to the people around her.

Mildred D. Robinson, Class of 1961, died September 26th, 2016.

Mildred was born in Jackson, MS and had been a resident of Ocean Springs for the past 44 years. She taught elementary school in Gulfport and Kindergarten at Big Ridge Baptist Church. Mildred was devoted to her family and to her church, Parkway Baptist.

Faye G. Tucker, Class of 1950, died September 29th, 2016.

She was born in Jackson, MS to Toy Vivian and Lawrence C Griffin on November 16, 1928. After her father's death at a young age, her mother married Henry Fenton DeWees who she described as the best father anyone could have asked for. In 1950 she graduated Beta Sigma Omicron from Millsaps College and shortly after graduation she married the love of her life Van K. Tucker. They owned a successful accounting business together and were married for 66 years before her death. She enjoyed a life of entertaining guests, travel, fishing and just relaxing on the back porch.

Frances Patterson Walton, Class of 1951, died September 30th, 2016.

Frances was born on June 25th, 1930 to Frances Lucille Rhymes and Malone Kelly. After attending Jackson Public Schools and graduating from Central High School, Frances graduated from Millsaps College as a music major, doing so early in order to marry O.B. "Billy" Walton, the love of her life. A consummate Southern woman, Frances grew deep Mississippi roots but adored traveling with her husband. Billy and Frances were childhood sweethearts who explored the world together.

Frances was a devoted mother, a playful, adoring grandmother, and a delighted great-grandmother who also dedicated herself to the civic life of Jackson. Her support of and involvement in numerous community and arts associations were her trademarks; notable highlights of her involvement include her tenure as President of the Junior League of Jackson, her time spent as President of the Symphony League, and her 30 years as a member of the Explorers Women's Bible Study leadership.

Frances will be remembered as a feisty and vibrant woman who always rose to the occasion, turning her greatest challenges into opportunities. Many of those she loved the most mourn her loss in this life: her husband, Billy Walton; son and daughter-in-law Ben and Marita Walton; and daughter, Kelley Walton Fenelon, all of Jackson. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren will miss their Mimi as well: Bennett and Samantha Walton in Houston, Texas and their children Caroline, Otis, and Jack; Rhymes and Prentice Stabler in Nashville, Tennessee and their children Pace and Ramsay; Marita Walton of Jackson, Mississippi; Kelley Frances and Melissa Fenelon Snarr, also in Nashville, and their son Marrin; Patterson Fenelon in Miami, Florida; and Laura Walton Fenelon in Nashville.


Calliope Prekezes, Class of 1959, died October 2nd, 2016.

Calliope was born in Jackson, Mississippi on March 22, 1937 to the late, John and Irene Dorizas. She attended Central High School, then graduated with honors from Millisaps College in 1959 with a math degree. She will be remembered as a loving wife, mother, sister, aunt, and grandmother.


Elizabeth Tip Stuart Jacob, Class of 1940, died October 4th, 2016.

Elizabeth Jacob was born in Morton, MS on February 17, 1923 to Newton Tip Stuart and Minnye Ott Stuart.

Tip, as she was known to everyone (and Mother Tip by her grandchildren) attended Milsaps, where she was a member of Phi Mu sorority. She was married to Marvin Jacob for 63 years until his death in 2004. She and Marvin lived in Morton where their seven children were born. She was an integral part of Marvin's Professional Photography business, which took pictures of high school seniors and weddings all over central Mississippi.

Tip loved Scott County and the wonderful people there where she had grown up and reared her family. She was actively involved in church, in many civic clubs, and charities. Her greatest joys were her faith in God, her family, and her dear friends.

Kathryn Runge Reaves, Class of 1952, died October 6th, 2016 at home surrounded by her family.

Kathryn was born March 31, 1929, in Jackson, Mississippi, to Louis A. Runge and Jennie Bullard Runge/Brown. Throughout her life, she was lovingly known as Katy, Kathy, Kathryn, Momma K, and KK.

Kathryn graduated from Central High School in Jackson, and through the years, remained in contact with many of her friends there. For most of her adult life, Kathryn resided in North Carolina, caring for her family and many beloved pets. She worked for several years in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system, and was later employed with Home Insurance Company. After retiring, she remained in Charlotte, enjoying her children, her church, and her friends, until moving to Tucson in 2004.

Charles H. Robinette, Jr., Class of 1962, died October 16th, 2016.

Charles Robinette, Jr. was born July 28, 1940 to Charles Harris Robinette Sr. and Vivian Smith Robinette. He was a 1958 graduate of Greenwood High School, then received a Bachelor of Science degree in History from Millsaps College in 1962.

Charles went on to work for Leflore Economic Association, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Tandy Corporation, was co-owner of Metalcraft, Inc., and owner of a number of electronic stores. After that, Charles committed the rest of his professional career to the Mississippi Office of State Auditor as an investigative auditor.

He married his wife, Connie, in 1980.

Albert Ellis Davis, Jr., Class of 1960, died October 18th, 2016.

Albert Ellis Davis, Jr., was born on August 26th, 1938 to Albert Ellis Davis, Sr., and Dorothy Anne Smith Davis. He attended public schools in Laurel and Jackson, graduated with honors from Millsaps College, and enjoyed a 35-year career with The Coca-Cola Company. He cherished his family and loved to share life experiences of world travels through his wonderful talent for photography.

While the highlights of Albert's career are too numerous to list, among them were his role as Director of Marketing in Tokyo, Japan, Vice President of Marketing for the Coca-Cola Company, and leadership roles in the development of The First World of Coke in Atlanta, the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta, the Torch Run of the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, and the Everything Coke exhibits in Las Vegas and New York City.

After to his retirement from Coca-Cola in in 1996 and his return to Jackson, Albert continued his personal involvement at his alma mater, Millsaps, at Briarwood Presbyterian Church, at the Jackson Symphony, and in his St. Catherine's community.

Linda Kay Townes, Class of 1971, died October 18th, 2016 at home.

Linda worked as a news reporter for the McComb Enterprise Journal and later was a MS State Hospital Licensed Social Work Coordinator for care of the homeless and displaced persons in the Jackson, MS area. She was a graduate of McComb High School and Millsaps College. Linda had many interests, including art, music, literature and her beloved dog, Clemmie.

James Hand “Jimmy” Carter, Sr., MBA Class of 1997, died October 19th, 2016.

Jimmy was born on July 1, 1961 in Rolling Fork, MS. He graduated from All Saints Episcopal School in 1979. It was here that he met many of his lifelong friends.

Jimmy had a love for school and always wanted to challenge himself by learning something new. After completing his undergraduate studies, Jimmy received his MBA from Millsaps College, and went on to become a CPA. At this point he began taking guitar lessons to further his love for music.

Jimmy married his beloved Robin on August 14, 1983. Their marriage was described by their family as “a love and friendship that only got better, every year, for 33 years.” The couple loved to travel, and their favorite destination was New Orleans. Jimmy also loved playing guitar with friends, gardening and cycling.

Fred M. Walker, Class of 1952, died October 19th, 2016.

Fred was the son of the late Fred Walker, Sr. and Margaret Luna Walker. He attended Waterproof High School and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business from Millsaps College. He served our country in the United States Marines during WWII in the South Pacific.

Fred loved the Lord, his family and his church. He was a faithful member of Alta Woods United Methodist Church where he served in many different capacities, taught Sunday school and worked in the church thrift store. He enjoyed sports and had coached Little League Baseball for over 18 years, he was a hunter and fisherman, but most of all he loved to play golf. He traveled the world where he enjoyed playing different courses in China, Japan, Tokyo, Scotland and across the United States.

Fred Alexander Jabour, Jr., Class of 1959, died October 21st, 2016.

Fred was born in Vicksburg, MS, on July 5, 1935, but lived in Rolling Fork and Clinton for most of his life. He completed his undergraduate degree at Millsaps College in 1959. Afterwards, he taught Physics, Chemistry, and Math at Murrah before becoming an agent with Allstate where he worked for 35 years.

His lifetime zeal for education continued into retirement as he enrolled in numerous enrichment courses through the years at Millsaps. Because he had a yearning for travel, Fred and his wife enjoyed opportunities to tour many countries and experience different cultures. As a sports enthusiast, he was an avid fan of Ole Miss football and especially the Manning family. He tried to watch every game that Peyton and Eli played. He also enjoyed following local area athletes in their professional careers.

Fred's dry sense of humor will be missed by all. He leaves a legacy of memories for his family to cherish going forward.

Elizabeth Grace Nichols “Beth” Gittins, Class of 1985, died October 23rd, 2016.

Beth was the daughter of the late Maudie and Bob Nichols of Jackson. She was the youngest of a spirited brood of five children growing up in the 70's in northeast Jackson. She graduated from Jackson Prep and then Millsaps College, making lifelong friends who remained loyal and loving throughout her life.

After college, she found her great adventure by moving to Washington, DC where she interned for Sen. Thad Cochran. Beth loved playing a role at the 1988 Republican presidential convention in New Orleans and the inauguration of President George H.W. Bush. She received appointments to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Peace Corps, and the USDA.

She returned to Jackson in the early 90's, married Bill Gittins and began her happily ever after. She was a lifelong communicant of St. Andrews Cathedral, belonged to the Junior League of Jackson, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Beth was a friend to all and a role model of strength during adversity.

Gadi E. Lum, Jr., Class of 1959, died October 24th, 2016.

Gadi retired in Tampa, FL after a successful career in medical sales to play golf with his wife Patsy and their friends. Gadi and Patsy also enjoyed many years of travel together, then in 2005 they moved to Tennessee to be closer to their son, daughter and grandchildren.

Dr. John D. Stringer, Class of 1955, died October 24th, 2016.

Dr. Stringer, a native of Yazoo City, graduated from high school there in 1947. He served in the U.S. Merchant Marines to save money for college until being called to serve his country in the U.S. Army. His time in the military was spent in Germany, where he was in a tank battalion and earned the rank of Sergeant.

His service time further motivated him to pursue his education with a goal of dentistry as his career. He completed his undergraduate degree with honors at Millsaps College and was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. While in Jackson, he met his wife to be, Nelda Joyce Gatewood. Together they went to Memphis, Tennessee, where he earned his dental degree, then he began his dental practice in Long Beach, Mississippi in 1959.

Dr. Stringer was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, Rotary Club, and a life member of the Mississippi Dental Association. His interests included flying and he combined that with altruism in his later years through his work in Honduras. Dr. Stringer’s group, the "Wings of Angels,” provided air ambulance service in remote areas for those needing assistance.

Dr. David McFarland, Class of 1953, died October 30th, 2016, surrounded by his family.

Dr. McFarland was born July 12, 1930 in DeKalb County, Mississippi to the late Wesley Eugene and Maggie Jane McFarland.

He was a graduate of Millsaps College, and went on to receive his Ph.D. in Economics. Dr. McFarland served as a Lieutenant in the US Navy, and a Professor at Princeton University prior to joining the Economics faculty at the University of North Carolina in 1964 where he served for 40 years.

Dr. McFarland had a passion for squeezing the most out of life and had more ongoing projects than he could ever finish. He sought challenges of all kinds. Whether it be the Times Crossword Puzzle, building an addition to his house, or navigating a complicated harbor channel. He delighted in sharing his knowledge and joy with others. His family, friends, colleagues and thousands of students would attest that he was always swift to love and took haste to be kind.

Dr. Albert Earl Elmore, Class of 1962, died November 3rd, 2016.

Dr. Elmore will be remembered as a professor, lawyer and author of a book that shed fresh light on Abraham Lincoln's most famous address. Dr. Elmore taught English and Drama at Athens State University from 1987 to 2013, writing plays on topics from songwriter Stephen Foster to the court-martial of Civil War-era Col. Basil Turchin.

Dr. Elmore, who grew up in Forest, Miss., received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Millsaps College in 1962, received his Ph. D. in 1968 and law degree 1979. His published works include his 2009 book, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address: Echoes of the Bible and Book of Common Prayer. The book was dedicated to civil rights leader Medgar Evers, whom Elmore knew as a young man in Mississippi during a turbulent era. Author John B. Boles called the Dr. Elmore’s Lincoln book "essential reading" for anyone interested in "the most elegant public address in American history."

Hubert Lacy Causey, Class of 1960, died November 11th, 2016 at his home.

Known as “Lacy” to his friends, he was born on December 11th, 1937 in McComb, MS. He grew up in Magnolia and Liberty, MS where he graduated from high school. While attending Millsaps College, Lacy considered going into the ministry. He and two friends travelled to England, visiting the childhood home of Charles and John Wesley, and witnessing to people along the way.

After graduation Lacy chose a different path, enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. After serving for twenty years and completing two tours in Vietnam, Lt. Col. Causey retired from the military with many awards and medals, including the Bronze Star.

Lacy loved to play golf and was an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox. He was very active in his church, Sun City United Methodist Church in Sun City, CA, where he served in many leadership capacities.  Lacy also dearly loved his wife of 55 years, Nancy, and expressed the highest love and appreciation for Nancy’s role in raising their four sons during his military service. As a veteran, a leader, and a family man, Lacy will truly be missed.


Dr. Don E. Strickland, former Millsaps Vice President for Business Affairs, died November 14th, 2016.

Dr. Strickland was born in Dothan, Alabama but moved to Tallahassee, FL at a young age. There he received his elementary and high school education, and finally went on to receive his bachelor's degree in accounting as well as Master's and Ph.D degrees in higher education. 

Dr. Strickland began his career in college administration at his alma mater, where he was head of the auditing department. He then accepted the position of Vice President for Business Affairs at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He finished his professional career at a local college in Brevard, North Carolina, again as Vice President of Business Affairs. 

He married his childhood sweetheart, Betty Gibson Brown and they enjoyed 64 years of matrimony. He was an active Presbyterian serving both as deacon and then elder for many years in Tallahassee, Florida and Jackson, Mississippi. His baritone voice blessed the ears of many as he sang in the church choirs, Christmas masses and SPBSQSA (Society for the Preservation of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America). 

Dr. Strickland was followed in death by his beloved wife, Betty, one month after he passed.

James Gaillard Walker, Class of 1981, died November 22nd, 2016.

James was a native of Panama City, Florida. He grew up in South Jackson, graduating in 1977 from Forest Hill High School. He graduated from Millsaps College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and later obtained his Master’s degree in Combined Sciences. James went on to teach Engineering and Robotics at Madison Career & Technical Center. He attended Alta Woods Presbyterian Church and later, Highland Presbyterian Church.

Corinne Doty Greer, Class of 1946, died November 25th, 2016.

Corinne was born on August 6, 1924, in Lexington, Mississippi, to the late Dr. Arthur Murphy Doty and Nellie Clyde Belk Doty. She grew up in Lexington, Mississippi, and attended Millsaps College in Jackson, where she was a voice major. Throughout her life, Corinne enjoyed spending time with family at Cedar Hurst, the antebellum Belk family home in Holly Springs, Mississippi.

She married John Greer on March 21, 1944. Shortly thereafter, Corinne and John moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where John was stationed prior to serving as a Naval Officer with the 7th Fleet in the South Pacific during World War II. After John returned from the War in January, 1946, he and Corinne moved to Columbia, South Carolina. Later they moved to Birmingham, Alabama, where they resided until their respective deaths. Church life, music, dancing and entertaining were the pillars of Corinne's personal life.

In 1977, at the age of 52, Corinne entered the real estate business and became a highly successful agent in Mountain Brook, AL. She sold the first million dollar house in Birmingham, Alabama, and was later honored for her achievements with the 25 Year Vulcan Award. Corinne was very active in numerous clubs and organizations, was a volunteer at the VA Hospital and was active in the PTA at all levels. She loved being around people and entertaining her lifelong friends.

Lana Carol Weeks, Class of 1967, died December 1st, 2016.

Lana was born in Jackson, MS to Charles and Ruby Weeks. Graduate of Murrah High School and Millsaps College, Lana went on to complete her Master's Degree in Social Work. After completing her degree, Lana worked for many years in Child Protective Services for the State of Louisiana. She was a gifted pianist and vocalist, and a long-time member of Symphony Chorus of New Orleans. Lana was also a member of Gentilly United Methodist Church and St. Mark's United Methodist Church in New Orleans.

The Reverend Stephen Cranford, Class of 1964, died December 3rd, 2016.

Reverend Cranford had a long history of service to the interfaith community both locally and globally as a minister with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and former head of Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry.

Gary Peluso-Verdend, president of Phillips Theological Seminary, where Reverend Cranford was emeritus trustee, said he was a “person with integrity, honesty, decency, who was trusted to broker deals between conflicting factions, whose loyalty transcended one group or another, who kept a mission in focus.” TMM Board President Keith McArtor said Cranford was “a fine gentleman of faith who combined the clear head and warm heart. … Quiet but courageous, Steve’s presence in interfaith work will be deeply missed."

Reverend Cranford served the National and World Council of Churches, and was active in civil rights work for much of his life.


Julia Goodman Puryear, Class of 1947, died December 5th, 2016.

Julia was born on August 7, 1926, to William and Marguerite Goodman in Jackson, Mississippi. She graduated from Central High School and then Millsaps College. As a student at Millsaps, she met the love of her life, Lamar Puryear, Jr. of Raymond.

Julia and Lamar married on March 13, 1947, and settled in Hazlehurst in 1952, where he practiced medicine. Julia had the privilege of being a stay-at-home mother, and together they reared three wonderful children. Their home was a happy one, and it was often filled with family and friends. For most of Julia’s life, she prepared lunch for her family every Sunday afternoon without fail. There her children and grandchildren would talk, laugh, watch movies and play cards for hours on end.

Julia was a devoted member of the Hazlehurst United Methodist Church since 1952, where she taught Sunday School for a number of years and served on the Church Council and various other committees, including Outreach and Pastor Parish. The two most important things in her life were her church and her family.

Julia is survived by her three children, Carol Ford (Frank), Linda Rainer (Mike), and Lamar Puryear (Shelia), and eight grandchildren and two step-grandchildren, Jason Ford (Miranda), Emily Hayes (Derek), Shelby Ford, Allen Wood (Keri), Julie Wood, Erin Cogswell (Joshua), Leah Puryear, Lamar Puryear IV, Chase Rainer (Casey) and Chelsea Ruez (Brandon). She is also survived by her brother, William Flournoy Goodman of Jackson; five nieces; and her nephew Will Goodman III, esteemed member of the Millsaps Board of Trustees

Thomas Oren Metcalf, Class of 1994, died December 6th, 2016.

A native of Canton, Tom was a 1975 graduate of Canton Academy. He attended The University of Southern Mississippi and graduated from Millsaps College in 1994. He was the owner of Industrial Steam Cleaners in Jackson and Southeast Powerwash in Madison, and loved target shooting and his cabin in the delta.


Jeanine Adcock Scott, Class of 1959, passed away December 8th, 2016 in Houston.

Jeanine was born November 8, 1937 in Shreveport, Louisiana to Harold and Edith Adcock. She was Harold and Edith's only child and grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1959 from Millsaps College, and received her Master's degree in Education in 1971.

Jeanine married Parker Harris Scott on March 3, 1972. She had a special love for animals and supported the ASPCA. She also loved gardening, reading, sewing and traveling.

Doris G. Heath, Class of 1951, died December 10th, 2016.

Elizabeth Barfield “Betty” Walters, Class of 1956, died December 19th, 2016.

Betty was born Aug. 4, 1934 to Neal and Alma (Waters) Barfield in Atlanta, Georgia. She married Summer L. Walters on May 30, 1957 in Jackson, Mississippi. Betty graduated from Central High School and then Millsaps College, and finally went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Social Work.

Betty served as a social worker in the mental and medical health field for many years, as well as working for International Adoption Services. She was a member of Grace United Methodist Church.

Glenna G. James, Class of 1953, died December 21st, 2016.

Joe E. Majure, Class of 1950, died December 21st, 2016.


Glenda Wadsworth, Class of 1958, died December 31st, 2016.

A native of Jackson, MS, Glenda graduated from Jackson's Central High School and Millsaps College. After Millsaps she studied in France on a Fulbright scholarship. In her late 30's she moved to Oxford to attend law school, and upon graduation worked in the legal field until her retirement in 2005. In retirement she returned to an interest in writing which began when she was a student at Millsaps and did feature writing for several local publications, primarily the Northside Sun Magazine.

She cherished her sons, William and Andrew, and her grandchildren Joshua and Anna. She was proud of their accomplishments and was always quick to remind them, "It is those good Wadsworth genes." She was especially thankful for her sister and frequent companion, Vivian Newkirk of Madison, "who saw me through thin and scary times."

The Reverend Dr. Daniel Deupree McKee, II, Class of 1967, died January 4, 2017 at home surrounded by his family.

Dan was born on May 16, 1945, in Vicksburg, the son of the late William Wells McKee and Helen Priestly McKee. A 1963 graduate of Clarksdale High School, he continued his education at Millsaps College, attending on a tennis scholarship. In 1967, Dan graduated from Millsaps with his Bachelor of Arts. Then in 1971, he earned his Master of Divinity went on to earn his Doctor of Ministry in 1990.

Reverend McKee was ordained to the priesthood May 27, 1972 at the Chapel of the Holy Family at Camp Bratton Green. His first church was St. Thomas Episcopal Church and All Saints Episcopal Church in Inverness. Here he met the love of his life, his wife of 43 years, Diane.

In his spare time, Reverend McKee enjoyed Special Sessions at Camp Bratton Green and Camp Mitchell (where he served as director for many years), as well as fishing and hunting.

Lois A. Saunders, Class of 1948, died January 7th, 2016.

John Mitchell “Johnny” Bower, MBA Class of 1992, died January 11th, 2017.

Known as Johnny to his friends, he was born on May 7, 1961. Johnny graduated from St. Andrews High School in 1979; while on a soccer scholarship, he received his undergraduate degree from Belhaven University and achieved his Master’s in Business Administration from Millsaps College. In his youth, he was a competitive swimmer, motorcycle enthusiast and a pioneer of soccer in Mississippi. He married Bondee Hall, the love of his life, and had two sons, Brant and Hunter. Johnny was an enthusiastic, attentive and loving Father who enjoyed traveling across the country to watch and coach his boys in soccer. His most treasured times in life were spent at Bower Farms in Vaughan, Mississippi surrounded by his grandchildren, family, and friends.

Johnny is survived by his parents; Mandaville “Snookie” Bower and Dr. John D. Bower.

Mr. George E. Burchfield, Class of 1948, died January 11th, 2017.


Dr. Thurston Euzema Wilkes, II, Class of 1969, died January 13th, 2017.

Dr. Thurston Euzema Wilkes, II was born in Cleveland, Miss., on October 19, 1941 to Lucille and Thurston Wilkes Sr., and raised in Picayune. Thurston graduated from Picayune High School in 1959, went on to graduate with his M.S. from Millsaps College, then completed medical school.

Thurston practiced urology in Oxford for over 35 years and was a compassionate physician. During his career, he served as chief of staff and chief of surgery at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford. He was instrumental in starting the annual Christmas tradition at the hospital of doctors donating to the local pantry and toy drive for children in need.


Louise Moorer Martin, Class of 1940, died January 14th, 2017.

Louise was born February 22, 1918 in New York City. She was the child of Jennie Mae Carter of Ipava, Illinois and Karl Sherwood Moorer, of Henderson Tennessee. The family moved to Jackson, Mississippi shortly after her birth. 

She spent most of her childhood in her home on North Jefferson Street, now on the National Register of Historic Homes. An only child, she attended Jackson public schools. As an outstanding student, she was granted permission to enroll in Millsaps College while still completing her senior year of high school. In 1941, she married Lawrence Bradley Martin (Foots). After Foot's discharge from the army, the family moved in 1947 to Henderson Circle in Jackson where they resided for the next 57 years and where they raised their three children.

Louise was a well-known Southern artist who began taking art lessons at the age of 10. Over the years she worked in a variety of art media including oil, batik, paper-mache, ceramics, jewelry, and fabric design, but her passion came to be watercolor. She exhibited widely and received numerous prizes in national and regional juried shows. At various times she taught children's art at St. Andrews Episcopal Day School and through the YMCA and taught as an art professor at Mississippi College. She served as President of the Mississippi Art Association and the Art Study Club. Through her church affiliation at St. James Episcopal Church she designed and created altar cloths, clergy vestments, eye-catching banners, as well as a striking mosaic created for the side chapel.

Louise outlived her beloved husband of 65 years, Lawrence, who died in 2006. She joined her new family at St. Catherine's Campbell Cove in the summer of 2008. The family wishes to thank all of her dedicated caregivers in both Campbell Cove and Sienna. Because of their devotion she was comfortable and at peace in her final years and able to live a longer life than might otherwise have been possible.


Mr. Lewis Guy Odom, Jr., Class of 1944, died January 16th, 2017.

Lewis Odom was born in Mobile on April 20, 1926. Upon graduation from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve and was selected for the V-12 Navy College Training program during World War II. While in that program, he attended Millsaps College. After being discharged in 1952, Major Odom returned to Gadsden, Alabama, to practice law, where he was a member of the 225th Radio Relay Squadron, Alabama Air National Guard. Lewis married Janelle Silvey of Rainbow City, Alabama, in 1955. Later that year, he accepted the position of general counsel of the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee, and moved to Washington, D.C. He retired from federal service in 1981 and returned to practice law in Mobile, until he retired in 1994. Mr. Odom was active in church affairs all his adult life, as a lifelong and active member of Trinity Episcopal Church. He was a founding member and trustee emeritus of the Farrah Law Society of the Alabama Law School and loved the Crimson Tide.

Lewis loved nature and being near the water in Destin, Florida, and at Lake Martin, Alabama. He especially loved watching the cardinals from his kitchen window. Most of all he loved his family: he said that his grandchildren and great grandchildren were the special joys in his life.

The Reverend Benjamin F. Lee, Class of 1952, died January 24th, 2017.

Reverend Lee dedicated his life to serving the church and the people of North Mississippi. And although he has passed away, his memory will live on through the family and friends that loved him, as well as the parishioners he prayed with every Sunday for more than 60 years.

Born in Greenwood, Mississippi in 1930 to Benjamin F. Lee, Sr. and Rebecca Bryan Lee, Reverend Lee graduated high school in 1948. He then attended Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, where his achievements on the football field and the tennis court saw him inducted into the Millsaps College Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. After graduating from Millsaps in 1952, he graduated from Divinity School and was then ordained as an elder in the Methodist Church in 1955. That year he also met and married his wife, Ruth White of Pheba, Mississippi. The couple had two children, Melanie Hunsberger of Beaumont, Texas and Benjamin Lee III of Troy, Tennessee. 

Even after retirement, Reverend Lee remained active on the staff of the Tupelo District, serving as interim pastor for Nettleton Presbyterian Church, Thaxton United Methodist and Pontotoc First United Methodist. He was also instrumental in launching The Orchard of Tupelo. 

Reverend Lee is survived by his wife, Ruth; daughter, Melanie (Mark); son, Ben (Kim); brother Albert (Louise) of Fort Myers, Florida; his sister, Joan Powell (William) of Brenham, Texas; granddaughters Sierra Lee, Ashleigh Greenhaw, Kelley Hunsberger and Blythe Huguley, as well as several great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Services will be held at First United Methodist Church in Tupelo on Friday, January 27 at 10 a.m., with a visitation on Thursday, January 26 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Gathering Room.


Mrs. Jean Grambling Noel, Class of 1943, died January 24th, 2017.

Jean was born April 1, 1922 in Jackson, MS to Mr. and Mrs. J.J. Grambling and was a lifelong resident of the Belhaven community where she raised her family. She was a loving spouse, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, caregiver and friend to many.

An active member of Riverside Church for over fifty years, she played the piano and served on numerous committees. She was a founding member of a group known as the Mop Ladies, who used their talents to make various items which were sold to raise money for the youth group and church projects. She was an active member of several clubs in the Jackson area, including the Wise Owl Club, High Noon, Cosmos Luncheon Club and Maids and Matrons. She was also a member of the Ralph Humphries DAR.


Mildred B. Gorman, Class of 1954, died January 27th, 2017.

Mrs. Mildred Ballard Gorman was born in Ethel, Mississippi on May 13, 1932, to the late Charles Earl Ballard and Elaine Ryle Ballard.

Known as Mimi to her family, she was raised in Fayette, Mississippi. She graduated from Jefferson County High School and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from University of Southern Mississippi. She also graduated from the School of Medical Technology at The Mercy Hospital in Vicksburg, Mississippi where she met her husband.

Her professional career included working as a Medical Technologist at Magee General in Magee. After the family moved to Jackson in 1966, she worked for Dr. G. Boyd Shaw and Dr. T.E. Wilson, III and, later at St. Dominic Hospital Laboratory in Chemistry. She loved her work and made precious lifetime friends everywhere she worked.

During her college years she was Miss Hospitality for Jefferson County and a Dixie Darling. She developed a love for the culture and antebellum Homes of Natchez, Mississippi. One of her cherished memories was serving as a hostess for several homes during the Pilgrimage. 


Mrs. Dorothy Jones “Dot” Taylor, Class of 1945, died January 29th, 2017.

Dot was born in 1927 in Jackson, MS to the late Walter Jones and Mattie Clifton. She grew up in many Mississippi towns, including Jackson, Hazlehurst, and Raleigh. A lifelong curious and avid student, she graduated at 18 from Millsaps College. At the end of World War II she married her college sweetheart, Zach Taylor, Jr., with whom she created a beautiful partnership of 60 years until his death in 2006.

Dot thrived on family activities, community involvement, education, and church activities. An active member of the Junior League, she was on the steering committee for the Mississippi Arts Festival, volunteered over 30 years with the United Way and was on its board, was local president and a national board member of Goodwill Industries Volunteer Services, was the Director of the Millsaps Arts and Lecture Series, and was the president of the PTA at Power Elementary, Bailey Junior High, and Murrah High School.

She loved to travel, especially on family vacations to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Wrightsville Beach, N.C. With Zach's family, she travelled across much of the U.S. and also to Russia, Poland, Italy, Canada, and Mexico. Dot had a unique talent for bringing people together to work on activities and events that enriched their lives and the Jackson community. She worked with thousands of people and hundreds of groups, and her presence is deeply missed by those whose lives she has touched. Her pastor, Chuck Poole, said of her life, "Dot Taylor was one of those rare souls in this world in whom the human spirit and the Holy Spirit are so seamlessly integrated that we can no longer tell where one ends and the other begins."


Mrs. Mary Olive Eudy Woods, Class of 1949, died January 31st, 2017.

Mary Olive Woods was born on November 1, 1928 to James Everett Eudy and Olive Mae Willingham. Mrs. Woods was a graduate of Millsaps College in 1949, and married her beloved John F. Woods, Jr, the following December. She was a member of First United Methodist Church in Greenwood for over 60 years and had been active in many functions of the church.


The Reverend Charles W. Nicholson, Class of 1958, died February 1st, 2017.

Reverend Nicholson was born on October 3, 1936 in Philadelphia, MS. He graduated from Milsaps College in 1958 and went on to receive his Master of Divinity degree. In 1957 he married his soulmate Dimple Garner Nicholson from Mize, MS.

Reverend Nicholson served many congregations, most recently Central UMC in Meridian, St. Paul UMC in Ocean Springs, First UMC in Columbia, and Eastlawn UMC in Pascagoula. He also served as a District Superintendent and represented the Mississippi Conference at General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Upon retirement, Rev. Nicholson and his wife lived in Lake Junaluska, NC where he served as Chaplain to the Lake Junaluska Assembly. He was loved by his parishioners for being a compassionate and caring pastor, and he will be greatly missed by all.


Mrs. Mattie Mae Harrison Lyle, longtime staff member of Millsaps College, died February 6th, 2017, at her home in Pearl.

She was born April 10, 1932 in Mendenhall, daughter of the late William Shelby Harrison and Mary Emily Harrison. "Ms. Mattie," as she was affectionately know, retired from Valley Food Services/Millsaps College in 2002 after more than 26 years of faithful service. She was a longtime member of Eastside Baptist Church in Pearl.


Mr. Bernard “Hess” Booth Hall, Sr., Class of 1953, died February 7th, 2017.

Bernard Hess Booth Hall, Sr. was born in the front bedroom of his Grandmother's house on March 9th, 1930 in Drew, Mississippi. He was delivered by his Grandfather, Dr. Hess Booth, whose name he was given. He professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ at a young age and was baptized in the Methodist Church in April of 1937.

Hess graduated from Drew High School in 1948, and attended Millsaps College. He met the love of his life, Alice Lang Fisher, on June 28th, 1953 and they married on December 28th of that same year. They were happily married for 63 years.

Hess was in the U.S. Navy and served on the aircraft carrier USS Valley Forge, a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, a 32nd Degree Mason, a Shriner, a recipient of the DeMolay Legion of Honor and a friend of Bill W.'s for over forty years. He will be greatly missed.


Major Christopher Roan Evans, Class of 1999, died February 14th, 2017.

Christopher Roan Evans was born April 3, 1977 in New Iberia, LA. Roan was the loving husband of Lindsy Morgan Evans and proud father of Megan, Neely and Jack.

Roan was educated at Millsaps College, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science in May of 1999. He then received his Juris Doctorate in May of 2002. In May of 2008, Roan attended the U.S. Army Judge Advocate Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, VA.

Roan was a commissioned officer with the Louisiana National Guard. He deployed to Iraq in 2010 as a Judge Advocate. He also acted as advising Judge Advocate to the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crash in Florida in 2015. With outstanding service and character, Roan received The Army Commendation Medal, The Order of the Combat Spurs and The Louisiana Cross of Merit.

Roan was an active member and participant in the local Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) serving as a committee member for the annual walk. JDRF became an organization close to Roan’s heart following the diagnosis of his children with Type 1 diabetes. He also participated with the Lafayette Volunteer Lawyers Pro Bono program and was a board member of South Louisiana Community College. He was also an active member of the St Pius X Catholic Church.


James Ronald “Ronnie” Johnson, Class of 2003, died February 14th, 2017.

Ronnie was born in Tupelo, MS and lived in Brandon, MS since 1999 where he was a member of Pinelake Church. He graduated from high school in Shannon, MS and later graduated in 2003 from Millsaps College in Jackson. While at Millsaps, he was on the tennis team, was a student athletic trainer for the football team, and was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. In 2009, Ronnie co-founded the Lithic Company. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, wake boarding, and just being outdoors.

Ronnie is survived by his wife, Mandy Johnson, who he married in 2005; a son, Noah Johnson; mother, Debbie Owens Johnson; father, Phillip Wayne Johnson (Sarah); grandmother, Rose Owens; sister, Melanie Johnson and his mother in law and father in law, Ray and Linda Michael. Ronnie is preceded in death by his grandparents, James Owens and Kirby and Lorene Johnson.


Charles Allen Planch, Class of 1955, died February 15th, 2017.

Charles was born August 30, 1935, the only child of Lillian Horne Planch and Theodore Roosevelt Planch. Charles was raised by his mother, after his father died from injuries sustained in World War II. After high school, Charles attended Millsaps College, graduating in 1955 with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Administration. He was a proud Millsaps Major and a Mississippi State Bulldogs fan.

More than he loved Millsaps, he loved and adored his wife of 60 years, Fay. Together Charles and Fay raised two loving children (Barry and Laurie), and were blessed with five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Charles’ family was his world. He was so proud of them, constantly bragging to anyone who would listen. He spent a great deal of time coaching, watching and cheering on his family in the various sports of the seasons. He rarely missed a game or event, and never had anything but an encouraging word for those who played those games.

Charles was a long time member of Central Presbyterian Church, where he served as a member of the session and as a Deacon. In his later years, he was also an active member of Briarwood Presbyterian Church.


William McBride “Billy” Yandell, Jr., Class of 1948, died February 15th, 2017.

Billy Yandell, Jr. was born November 2, 1925 in Greenwood, MS, the son of the late Margaret Sturdivant Yandell of Glendora, MS, and William McBride Yandell, Sr. of Greenwood, MS. He graduated from high school and went on to complete the Navy V-12 program at Millsaps College and Columbia Midshipmen's School in New York City.

Billy was preceded in death by his younger brother, Ben, and his beloved wife of 58 years, Betty Sue Clifton Yandell. He leaves three wonderful children, William McBride Yandell, III (Jennifer), Yerger Clifton Yandell (Nancy) and Susan Yandell McKee.

Billy was a member of St. John's Episcopal Church, as well as the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Sumner, MS. He was also a member of the Memphis Hunt and Polo Club, The Memphis Country Club, and was a past member of the Rotary Club of Sumner, MS and the Rotary Club of Memphis. He was Vice-President of the Delta Council, which promotes cotton and was also an organizing director of the First National Bank of Clarksdale, MS where he served on the Board of Directors from 1964-1997.

Billy was a World War II veteran and served on the U.S.S. Missouri as a commissioned Ensign where he witnessed the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender in September 1945 in Tokyo Bay. He began farming in 1948 and lived in Vance, MS most of his life until his retirement in 1995 when he moved to Memphis.

Billy loved tennis and was an avid sportsman with duck hunting being his passion. He was a life member of both Ducks Unlimited and Delta Waterfowl.


Gracanne Elizabeth Trippe Nevins, wife of Faculty Emeritus Bob Nevins, died February 16th, 2017.

A resident of Jackson, MS since 1967, Gracanne was born in Kansas City, MO June 18, 1929 to Blanche (Battershill) and Alvin Chamberlaine Trippe. She graduated from college in 1953 with majors in Spanish and music. Gracanne began her career doing live TV commercials and was a TV show program host in the early years of television broadcasting in Columbia, MO.

Gracanne married Robert Benjamin Nevins in 1957 and together they had four children. Gracanne and Bob spent 6 years in Starkville, MS at Mississippi State University where she was involved in a variety of operatic and musical performances at MSU, including performing the lead role of Adele in a production of Die Fledermaus by the Department of Music. After moving to Jackson in 1967, she completed Advanced Studies in Music and Music Theory from Millsaps College and taught music to scores of preschool and elementary children in the Jackson area for over 20 years. Gracanne was a member of the highly acclaimed Musica Sacra Singers, a choral group that specialized in 14th-16th century works. She was a member of St. James Episcopal Church choir and frequent lead soloist for many years. She was also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Jackson Caledonian Society. She enjoyed travel, patronizing the arts, her supper club, playing bridge and spending time with her grandchildren.

Gracanne was preceded in death by her brother, Kenneth Alvin Battershill Trippe. She is survived by her husband of 59 years and her children Robert (Sharon) Nevins and their children Catherine, Bobby, Brian and Melanie; Grace (Charles) Krauss, and their daughters Carolyn and Emily; Christopher (Candace) Nevins and his children Alexander, Dalton, Trippe and Elizabeth; and Jennifer (Wayne) Henson and their sons Benjamin and Daniel.


Robert Carroll Smith, Class of 1957, died February 22nd, 2017.

Robert was born in Greenville, MS on February 14, 1935, and moved to Jackson in 1939. He earned his BS in Mathematics from Millsaps College in 1957. During his time at Millsaps, he was an avid member of the Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity.

Bearing a highly technical mind, he designed over 100 houses before entering the burgeoning field of Information Technology in 1963 where he supported Mainframes and Electronic Data Systems for multiple institutions including several local banks and ultimately retired from Blue Cross Blue Shield as their Security Manager of Systems Information.

His immense love of music began in high school where he was actively involved in the Varsity band, which led him to be elected to serve as the Band Captain his Senior Year. He developed a secondary career as a Jazz musician playing in The Over-the-Hill Jazz band performing from New Orleans to Connecticut. Robert played clarinet, saxophone, and some piano.

Throughout his life Robert enjoyed many hobbies, becoming a self-taught craftsman in multiple trades. These hobbies included enjoying the outdoors through fishing, hunting, camping, golfing, coaching youth sports, and especially woodworking.


Phillip M. Maples, Class of 1977, died February 25th, 2017.

Phillip died February 25th, in his home after a brief but hard-fought struggle with cancer.

Survivors include his wife, Peg, daughter Emily and son, Dylan; father, Dudley Maples; brother, Mike Maples; sister, Deborah Maples; and nine nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother, Helen Bond Maples.

After graduating from Millsaps College, Phillip went to work for his father at Maples Gas Company. Through the years, when not at the office, he enjoyed golf and flying.

Phillip was known for his wit and sarcasm, his love of flying and cats. Famous for wearing humorous T-shirts and Converses, his family invites any who desire to join them in wearing either or both as we celebrate his life.

The family would like to especially thank Dr. Bobby Clark, Dr. Matt Cassell, Dr. John Blackwell, the staff at Anderson's Interventional Radiology Department and Meridian Oncology Clinic for their care during his last six months.


Marylyn McNeill Lee, Class of 1957, died February 25th, 2017.

Marylyn McNeill Lee was born September 15, 1936 in Magee, Mississippi. She graduated from high school in 1953 and went on to graduate from Millsaps College in 1957 with a degree in Sociology.

Marylyn worked for Bell South for 37 years, retiring in 1994. She was an active member of the Telephone Pioneers of America on both the local and state level. She was a founding member of the Copiah County Art Association and the Copiah County Historical and Genealogical Society. She was also an active member of the Crystal Springs United Methodist Church.

Marylyn, fondly referred to as "Mimi" by her family, was a devoted wife and mother who loved spending time with her family. She loved animals of all kinds, drawing and was an avid reader. A prolific talker, Marylyn never met a moment of silence she couldn't fill, given the opportunity. Marylyn relied on her strong faith and Christian beliefs for guidance in her life. She was a three-time survivor of cancer.

She was preceded in death by parents, Neil and Mary Ethel "Katie" Howell McNeill, and brothers Claude Talmadge McNeill and Howell Neil McNeill. She is survived by the love of her life and husband of fifty years, Don Lee, and her children, Michael Lee and Amy Lee (Brandon) Manley, many nieces and nephews, as well as great and great-great nieces & nephews, whom she adored.


Billie Jean Dear Whitfield, Class of 1945, died March 1st, 2017.

A native of Star, MS, Billie Jean Dear Whitfield resided in Florence where she was a member of First Baptist Church. After graduating from Millsaps College she taught school in Magee and Tupelo before marrying Dr. John S. Whitfield in 1952. Billie Jean loved her family, walks in the country, and her pets. She was an avid reader, and went to the library weekly.

Billie Jean is survived by her son, Barry Whitfield; daughter, Donna Whitfield; grandchildren, Sean Tadlock and Kati Whitfield; and great grandchild, Landreigh.

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to her caregivers, Joanna, Sandy, Katie, Angel, and Dana for their love and care.


Sylvia Sanford McDavid, Class of 1954, died March 4th, 2017.

Sylvia Sanford McDavid was born in Philadelphia, MS, the daughter of W. H. and Bernice Sanford, who predeceased her in death, as did her sister, Neeley Sanford. She graduated from Philadelphia High School within three years and from Millsaps College within three years, where she a was a member of the debate team and Kappa Delta sorority. She graduated from law school within two years. During the first year she was one of only three female law students. During the second year she was the only female student.

Soon after graduation from law school in 1956, she married law school classmate, John Land McDavid. They moved to New Orleans where John was employed. When their first child arrived, Mrs. McDavid became a full-time wife, mother and homemaker.

Sylvia and her family moved to Jackson in 1959 where they have lived until the present day. She and John also enjoyed traveling: over the years they traveled to all fifty U.S. States, to all ten Canadian provinces, 32 European countries and additional countries in Central American, South America and Africa. Sylvia especially enjoyed cruises. When Sylvia became 60 years old she began a water aerobics class which evolved into an informal luncheon club the group called the "Aqua Bubbles." The wonderful friendships she made at water aerobics with the Aqua Bubbles meant a great deal to her. Sylvia was a member of the First Baptist Church of Jackson.


Dr. Rondal E. Bell, former Millsaps faculty, died March 5th, 2017, in his home.

Dr. Bell was a son of Cecil Edward Bell and Lola Nadine Cumpton Bell of Kennett. He was born near Kennett on December 29, 1933. An exceptional athlete and scholar, he graduated from high school in 1951 and received many scholarship offers.

While studying and playing varsity football and baseball in college, he met his beloved future wife, Phyllis Anne Rose, a daughter of Thomas Ivan Rose and Anna Hannah Edwards Rose. He and Phyllis married July 23, 1954 at First Presbyterian Church in Liberty, Mo. He graduated with an A.B. in Biology in 1955, then served in the U.S. Army for two years. Sent to Baumholder, Germany, he served as a radio operator assigned to the 29th Tank Battalion, 2nd Armored Division.

In 1957, he and Phyllis moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico where he resumed his studies. In 1960 he received his Master of Science in Biology, with a focus on physiology and microbiology. While earning that degree, he and Phyllis had their first child, a son named Blake Allen Bell.

In 1960, the family moved to Jackson, Miss. where Ron became a Professor of Biology at Millsaps College. Soon, he and Phyllis had their second child, a daughter named Tracy Lynne Bell. In 1968, while working on his thesis and continuing to publish his research, he became Chairman of the Biology Department. In 1971 he completed his doctoral thesis, “Immunological and Biochemical Aspect of Hormonally Induced Polyarteritis Nodosa,” received his Ph.D. in Biology, and earned tenure as a Professor of Biology and Chairman of the Biology Department at Millsaps.

In 1978, Dr. Bell left Millsaps to become Dean of the College and a Professor of Biology at Central Methodist College (now Central Methodist University) in Fayette, Mo. where he maintained a limited teaching load. During his 14 year tenure at Central, he also had post-graduate studies during summers at Carnegie-Mellon University. He left Central to become Dean of the Faculty at Phillips University in Enid, Okla. As he edged toward retirement, in late 1993 he and his wife moved to Edmond, Okla. and he joined the Omniplex Science Museum (now the Science Museum Oklahoma) in Oklahoma City where he served as Program Coordinator until he retired.

In addition to his Masters and Doctoral theses, Dr. Bell authored and co-authored nearly a dozen published academic papers. He also received multiple National Science Foundation fellowship awards and grants to further his research.


Willis C. Woody, Jr., Class of 1965, died March 6th, 2017.

Willis C. Woody, Jr. was born on February 3rd, 1939 in Honolulu, Hawaii to Mary McConnell Woody and Willis C. Woody Sr., who preceded him in death.

Willis received his undergraduate degree in Economics from Millsaps College and his graduate degree from USC. Woody, a navigator of C-130's, served as an officer in the United States Air Force. His career spanned 24 years, including 2 tours of Vietnam where he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. He will be remembered for his love of people, sailing, golfing, and fishing. He was a loyal member of Trinity United Methodist Church and Fort Walton Yacht Club.


The Reverend D. Keith Tonkel, Class of 1958, died March 7th, 2017.

Keith Tonkel, who preached and lived a message of reconciliation, died at age 81 of complications from throat cancer. For 63 years, 48 of them at Wells Memorial United Methodist Church, Keith Tonkel talked and lived an active ministry of reconciliation--with God and among humans. His message and dedicated service led countless alienated persons back to a belief in God and reaffirmed the faith of the faithful. He touched lives across the world.

He worked tirelessly advancing the belief that God's grace would overcome the differences--social, cultural and racial--that divided people and separated them from their loving Creator.

In a year of racial turmoil, 1963, he was part of a small group of Methodist ministers who took a bold public stand against segregation and racism. He preached and taught reconciliation then, just as he would preach reconciliation of other differences through the decades that followed. "Loving, Caring, Sharing" were words he frequently used and they became the motto of the little church on Jackson's Bailey Avenue that would serve as his home-base for 48 years.

Born in New Orleans on January 15, 1936, he was reared in the Crescent City and in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. He graduated from Millsaps College in Jackson, and underwent cancer surgery the next day. He was told by doctors that he had maybe six months to live. He credited the prayers of thousands with his successful recovery from that cancer.

He graduated from theology school and was ordained as an elder in the Methodist Church in 1962, assigned to Guinn Memorial Methodist Church in Gulfport, where he served for seven years.During his years at Guinn, Keith Served as a single foster parent for children under the jurisdiction of the Harrison County Youth Court, and in 1968, he acquired a partner in that effort and his larger ministry by marrying Patsy Joyce Myrick, who died on June 9, 2011.

In 1969, he was assigned to the pastorate at Wells Memorial United Methodist Church on Bailey Avenue in Jackson. To supplement his token salary at Wells, he signed on to do a radio show on WSLI in Jackson, a move that broadened the reach of his ministry.

As his congregations grew, he was able to accept invitations to conduct revivals, seminars and camp meetings across and beyond the state of Mississippi. At one point in his ministry he was leading as many as 30 revivals a year--always sharing the message of reconciliation through God's grace.

The church became active in mission work outside the country, focusing on the village of Tlalamac, Mexico where teams led by Keith made more than 1O annual trips.

He performed weddings and funerals, turning aside offers of honoraria, saying it was his "gift of love." One of the recipients of that wedding gift was so moved he offered to organize a fundraising event for the church. That event is WellsFest, a day-long family music and fun festival, which has raised more than $1 million for local non-profit service organizations in its 33-year history. His voice became weakened when cancer appeared again, so his ministry expanded to the internet. He began a daily blog that appears on the Wells website, in two places on Facebook and more recently on his personal website.

Keith also wrote four books: Finally the Dawn, an account of an evangelical trip to England during his Millsaps years; HeartStuff, a volume of "stoetry"--story and poetry; GodStuff, a sequel; and Red Door, Green Door, a children's book.


Dr. Gilliam Swink “Doc” Hicks, Jr., Class of 1972, died March 13th, 2017.

Doc Hicks was born in Natchez, Mississippi, and attended Natchez Public Schools. He was a cum laude graduate of Millsaps College and later went on to complete his medical degree. Doc served at the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi, from 1978 - 1993,offering his medical and leadership skills as director of the Diabetic Clinic, director of the Medical Consult Service, and chief of the Section of General Internal Medicine.

Doc became a fulltime faculty member with the Department of Medicine at the University Of Mississippi School of Medicine in 1994, and spent the latter years of his career teaching, encouraging, and inspiring the next generation of physicians. Doc was named Clinical Faculty Member of the Year in 2000, voted Teacher of the Year by the internal medicine residents in 2001, and voted an Allstar Teacher by the internal medicine residents in 2007.

In addition to teaching, Doc served as medical director of the Department of Medicine Ambulatory Clinic and an attending physician in the Ambulatory Care Clinic at University of Mississippi Medical Center. He retired in 2015 and was bestowed the title of Professor Emeritus. Doc and his wife of 32 years, Susan Upton Hicks, shared a life of love, laughter, and adventure. Doc and Susan traveled to Belgium, Canada, England, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, Spain, and Turkey, as well as throughout the United States.

The Hicks' home in Madison reflected their love of art and culture, but was more notable for the warmth found within its doors. Together, Doc and Susan built a circle of close friends who looked forward to lively gatherings at the Hicks' home featuring delicious meals and Doc's signature margaritas or mint juleps. Doc and Susan introduced their friends to one another, building a close-knit community of people who otherwise might never have met.Doc was a passionate supporter of conservation efforts. He was a member of the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy, and met his wife through a Sierra Club connection. (Doc's family feels certain he would like to remind readers that global warming is happening and is not an alternative fact.)

When he was not traveling with Susan, Doc enjoyed semi-annual hiking trips to the Smoky Mountains, Glacier National Park, points along the Appalachian Trail, and the wilderness areas of California. Doc returned from these adventures with a renewed commitment to protecting the wilderness he found so soothing and inspiring.


Hal G. Fiser, father of Millsaps Professor Harvey L. Fiser, died March 20th, 2017.

Hal Fiser was born in Briensburg, Kentucky, in 1928. After earning a bachelor's degree in biology and a master's degree from the University of Mississippi, Hal moved to Clarksdale in 1950 to teach high school science and to coach basketball.

He then served as a sergeant in the United States Army before returning to Clarksdale with his bride, Harvey Ross Young. Hal soon became interested in the real estate and then insurance businesses, earning one of the earliest and longest held insurance licenses in the state. He opened the Hal Fiser Agency in Clarksdale, serving the town's real estate and insurance needs for over sixty years. While contributing to the development of Clarksdale through his business interests, Hal was also active in numerous civic and community organizations.

Hal and Harvey were founding members of St. Paul's United Methodist Church where they served as lay leaders and as Sunday School teachers. Hal was on the Clarksdale Chamber of Commerce, serving for a time as its president and honored as Clarksdale's Citizen of the Year in 2010. He also served on the Industrial Foundation Board of Directors, on the Library Board, as a founder and chairman of Citizens for Clarksdale, and as past president of the Clarksdale Board of Realtors.

In addition to his business and civic interests, Hal enjoyed contributing to Clarksdale's social life. He was a founding member of the Higher Mathematics and Art Appreciation Club, the local poker group. Hal and Harvey could occasionally be spotted dancing to the music of Super Chikan celebrating the rich culture of the Mississippi Delta. Hal is also known by many in the community for his Christmas Eve gift deliveries and visits.

Hal enjoyed hunting and fishing, especially sharing time with his family on the Mississippi River at Burkes Hunting Club. He and Harvey were voracious travelers, always planning their next adventure.





Millsaps shares in the loss of our loved ones and friends. If you are aware of the death an  alumnus/a, parent, or friend, please send the information to

Patricia M. Cole, passed away on January 22, 2015.  

Patricia M. Cole died peacefully at North Cypress Medical Center in Cypress, Texas on January 22, 2015.  Pat was born in Baldwyn, Mississippi and never lost the love for her small town roots.  She was a Baldwyn High School Class of 1952 graduate.  Among her many accomplishments were being crowned Miss Baldwyn in the 1950’s, being litterbug champ at Millsaps College and more recently a Texas Master Gardner.  Pat has been on staff at Cypress Assistance Ministries for the last 14 years where she dedicated countless hours in the toy room and many other areas of the ministry.  Her greatest love, however, was her family and grandchildren and caring for them.  We will always remember to take a sweater wherever we go.

A memorial service was held on Monday, January 26, 2015 in Houston, Texas.

She is survived by her four children, Mark Rees, David Rees, Matt Rees, Kelly Cole Thomas and their spouses, twelve grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Tom Cole; her parents, Rawden and Merle McGuire; and sister, Joyce Barnett. 

Peggy Louis Speed, Class of 1954, passed away on February 25, 2015.

She was born July 28, 1933, the daughter of Roy and Marjorie Hughes. She graduated from Brookhaven High school in 1950 and went on to study at Milsaps College in Jackson, MS. After raising "the boys", she continued her education earning a Masters in Speech Pathology under Dr. Dubbard at the University of Southern Mississippi. She met her sweetheart, the late Charles Rembert Speed, on a blind date. The couple was married the following year on October 28, 1952 at First Methodist Church in Brookhaven, MS. Married for 47 years, Charles and Peggy raised their 5 children in Hattiesburg, MS. 

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by 2 sons, Ronald Burt Speed and Clifton Eugene Speed.

She is survived by her sister, Marjorie Ann Hughes Case (Larry) of Flowood, MS; her son, Charles Steven Speed of Hattiesburg, MS; her son, Roy Michael Speed (Robin) of Talbott, TN; her daughter, Suzanne Louise Speed Lindsey (David) of Canton, MS; her grandchildren, Kenny Speed of Purvis, MS, and his sons Eric and Brennan of Fort Walton Beach, FL, Chad Speed of Hattiesburg, MS, Josh Speed (Sharley) and his son, Lawson, of Birmingham, AL, Justin Speed and his sons, Corbin and Jackson, of Jefferson City, TN, Chris Speed of Nashville, TN, Weatherlee Lamb of Knoxville, TN and Jordan, Ryan, Anastasia, Michael and Aaron Lindsey of Canton, MS; her nieces Sonya Speed Miller (Rick) of Birmingham, AL, Jennifer Case Navarez (Steven) of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Stephanie Case Brown (John) of Flowood, MS; her best friend of 40 years, Patsy Davis; her Godson, Toby Davis. Peggy served as a speech pathologist for the Hattiesburg School System. She was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, dedicating herself to ministry through her everyday life. She was a founding member of ShareCare, in addition to the countless hours spent serving the community through ministries such as the Women's Abuse Center and the Bread Basket Food Ministry.

Peggy will be remembered for her compassion and incredible love for anyone she came into contact with. She consistently met complete strangers that she would pray for, witness to, and encourage. She exemplified God's grace and acceptance to all those she came in contact with; many of whom will forever be changed by her witness. In leiu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to Westminster Presbyterian Church Rebuilding Fund. The family would also like to take this opportunity to thank Barbara Taylor, Mary Lang, Sarah Moody, Doris Wilks, Pat Davis, and Forest General Hospice for your loving care.



Julia Lewis, Class of 1954, passed away on February 6, 2015.

Julia Aust Lewis, beloved wife of T. W. Lewis, III, died on February 6, 2015. She was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi on July 13, 1932 the daughter of Richmond Pierce and Bonnie Gully Aust. She attended the public schools of Clarksdale and was a 1950 graduate of Clarksdale High. At Millsaps College she was a Chi Omega, Chair of the Women's Council, 1952 Homecoming Queen, and active in the Methodist Student Movement. It was at Millsaps that she met and married T. W. She received her B.A. degree from Southern Methodist University while her husband was a student at Perkins School of Theology, and she taught in the public schools of Dallas, Texas 1954-56. She and her husband lived in Macon, Mississippi from 1956 to 1959 where they served four churches of the Macon Methodist Circuit. In 1959 when they moved to Jackson she taught second grade at Barr Elementary School. Her son, Thomas Richmond, was born in June of 1960 and her daughter, Catherine Mary in June of 1964. The family moved to Madison, New Jersey for three years while her husband completed his graduate degree. She received her Masters' Degree in Library Science from the University of Mississippi in 1977 while serving in the Belhaven College Library. From 1984 until her retirement in 1995 she was a member of the Millsaps Faculty as Special Services Librarian.

She was an active supporter of the public schools, a member of Galloway United Methodist Church and its Christian Fellowship Class. For many years she served on the Church's Altar Guild; she cooked and delivered for the Church's Meals on Wheels program and also participated in the Church's visitation ministry to the homebound. In the early years of Operation Shoestring, Julia drove patients on clinic night. She tutored children in her home and at Brown Elementary. She was a supporter of both the Community Foundation and the Women's Foundation of Jackson. While not comfortable speaking to power, in 1967 she nevertheless confronted the Editor of the Clarion-Ledger for refusing to condemn the burning of Black churches in Mississippi and the bombing of homes in Jackson.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Kenneth Aust, Raymond Aust, and Royce Aust. She is survived by her husband of sixty-three years; her son, Tom (Roberta), daughter, Catherine (Tom Wiygul), and four grandchildren, Thomas Wiygul, Emma Wiygul, Rachel Wiygul, and Samuel Lewis.

Her Service of Death and Resurrection will be at Galloway United Methodist Church Monday, February 9 at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will be in Reception A & B from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The family requests that gifts in her memory be directed to Galloway Memorial United Methodist Churchor to Millsaps College

James Durrett, Class of 1959, passed away on February 5, 2015.

James Harlan Durrett, 77, went to be with the Lord on Thurs. Feb. 5, 2015 at his home in Brandon, MS. Visitation will be held on Sat. Feb. 7, 2015 from 5pm-7pm at Ott & Lee Funeral Home in Brandon, MS. A memorial service will be held at 3pm on Sun. Feb. 8, 2015 at the Crossgates United Methodist Church in Brandon, MS with visitation one hour before the service.

Mr. Durrett was born on Nov. 3, 1937 in Whitfield, MS and has been a resident of Brandon for the past 8 years after moving from South Jackson where he was a longtime resident. He was a member of the Crossgates United Methodist Church where he helped start the Hearts & Hands Ministry.

Mr. Durrett was a very hard working man starting his career in the paint business being employed with Pee Gee Paint Company (Devoe Paint) for 41 years. He enjoyed baseball in his younger age and he played on the Forest Hill High School and Millsaps College baseball teams. In 1955 he hit the winning homerun to win the State Championship in the American Legion League.

Mr. Durrett is survived by his wife of 57 years, Sue Durrett; his sons, Van Durrett (Pam) and Bruce Durrett (Tracy); 5 grandchildren, Billy Durrett, Lindsay Durrett, Becky Durrett, Adam Durrett and Zachary Durrett. He is also survived by several other family members and friends. Mr. Durrett was preceded in death by his parents, W. D & Myrtle Durrett and his 2 brothers, Royce & Douglas Durrett.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Mississippi Animal Rescue League at 5221 Greenway Dr. Exd, Jackson, MS 39204, Crossgates United Methodist Church at 23 Crossgates Dr. Brandon, MS 39042 or the American Heart Association
, Miss Affiliate at P.O. Box 16808 Jackson, MS 39236.

William Crout, Class of 1949, passed away on February 11.2015.

William Raymond Crout, Scholar and Founder/Curator of the Paul Tillich Lectures at Harvard University, died peacefully on February 11, 2015 at the deRham House in Cambridge, Massachusetts, after suffering from a recently diagnosed cancer. He was 85. Mr. Crout was born in Mize, Mississippi on April 6, 1929, and raised in nearby Raleigh. His father, Horace Francis Crout, was a businessman and farmer, and his mother, Cavie Jewell Clark, was an accomplished pianist. A lover of locomotives, as a small child, he would listen for the trains whistle and hurry to the stationhouse to meet it, thereby mastering one of lifes greatest skills: to listen carefully and be on time for that which one loves. He graduated from Raleigh High School as the Valedictorian of his 1945 class, going on to obtain a Bachelors Degree with Highest Honors from Millsaps College in the subjects of Philosophy and Music. He subsequently attended Boston University School of Theology and later the Chaloff School of Music in Boston. While a college student he represented the state of Mississippi in the Associated Concert Bureau of New Yorks National Piano Finals, performing at Carnegie Hall.

He also appeared as a Soloist in Symphony Hall, Boston. From 1951-1955, he served in the Navy in Fighter Squadron 22 as a Chaplains Assistant and Personnelman, traveling the world aboard an aircraft carrier. Mr. Crout then returned to the United States to enroll in the graduate program at Harvard Divinity School, beginning a life-long association with the University. He became a devoted pupil, editorial assistant and translator to the celebrated German theologian and Harvard University Professor, Paul Tillich, whose religious philosophy became a great directive force in Mr. Crouts life, and whose teachings he would undertake to keep alive and relevant in the present world. He continued his study of Tillichs work after the theologians death in 1965, conducting research, writing and editing scholarly work and remaining active in the community of thinkers concerned with the theologians philosophy, including the North American Paul Tillich Society (NAPTS).

In addition to his scholarly work regarding Tillich, he also taught in the Humanities and Philosophy departments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning the Everett Moore Baker Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1970. In 1990, under the sponsorship of the University Marshals office, Mr. Crout founded the Tillich Lecture series at Harvard University. At the time, many considered Harvard to be a purely intellectual, secular institution; Mr. Crout fostered the scholarship and work of the great German theologian in response to that perception. The continuing series has included many prominent, internationally renowned thinkers from diverse disciplines, including pastor Eberhard Bethge, literary critic George Steiner, biologist E.O. Wilson, author Karen Armstrong, Islamic philosopher Seyyed Hossein Nasr, psychoanalyst Ann Belford Ulanov, and, most recently, author James Carroll. Bill Crout was a devoted keeper of the flame. Almost alone, he created and directed and found funds for a lecture series at Harvard to keep alive the ideas of the important theologian Paul Tillich, said retired University Marshal Rick Hunt.

It was a remarkable achievement he gave to the university he loved. Mr. Crout was known for his expansive knowledge of details of the life and thought of Tillich, and delivered a memorable address in 2006 to the Annual Banquet of the Society on the topic of Tillichs Harvard years, said Charles Fox, President of the NAPTS. For me Bill Crout was a dear friend and academic colleague for almost 55 years. His death is a profound loss to the World of Tillich scholarship. Over six decades, Mr. Crout would fill a diverse number of roles at Harvard and at the Universitys Memorial Church, from directing the Church School to serving as Assistant to the Minister, to teaching appointments in General Education and in the Medical School. For many years, under the auspices of the University Marshals office, Mr. Crout was responsible for the care and special needs of the honorary degree candidates at Harvards annual commencement exercises. Mr. Crout had a long-standing passion for and knowledge of Asian art. He was interested in Asian philosophy and the notion of chi in Chinese and Japanese painting and ceramics. He was an avid collector and was often drawn to damaged pieces; he was able to see beauty and the spirit of perfection in compromised artwork if the essential elements existed.

In this way he was both demanding and forgiving, a reflection of the person he was. In addition to his knowledge of theology, philosophy, classical music and Asian art, for twenty-two years, Mr. Crout convened and led the Cambridge Writers Group, a circle of writers and poets that met monthly to discuss, review and edit their work. Meetings commenced with coffee, pastries and colorful criticism of political and cultural affairs. He relished the opportunity to utilize his editorial skills and wide knowledge for the benefit of the members, who appreciated his ability to give detailed, honest critiques while honoring the vulnerability of the artist during the creative process. He nurtured the talents of these writers with love and intellect, encouraging all through his ability to perceive a manuscripts broad intent while simultaneously detecting errors in grammar, punctuation, and character development. The groups work resulted in numerous published short stories, novels, poems, articles and essays. In the last decade of his life, Mr. Crout was a faithful member of Harvards Lowell House Senior Common Room. He befriended many undergraduate and graduate students who regarded him as a mentor, adviser, friend and guide and were deeply touched by their conversations with him.

He was known to have the ability to make every individual feel special, and, particularly for those religiously inclined, to provide spiritual fellowship and counsel. Mr. Crout was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Frances Deer, and niece, Jackie Reynolds. He is survived by his brother, Robert, nephews Mike Crout and Kirby Deer, nieces Mary Schooley, Laura Zuber and Marie Schilling, and a wide and diverse group of friends, colleagues, and mentees who will miss forever his cultured grace, keen intelligence, and caring regard in their lives. Interment will be in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. A memorial service at Harvard Universitys Memorial Church will be held in Mr. Crouts honor this Spring. Mr. Crout was a devoted member of the parish of Christs Church Episcopal, Cambridge.

Donald Brooks, Class of 1986, passed away on February 6, 2015. 

 Donald Brooks, Jr. was born on October 9, 1962, in Glasgow AFB, Montana and passed away on February 6, 2015 in Edinburg, TX.

His father, Donald Brooks, Sr., preceded him in death.
Donald is survived by his wife of 25 years, Patricia Ann Brooks (Davis) and his two faithful dog companions, Deandre & Mercedes. He is also survived by his mother, Mildred Patricia Brooks of Garland, TX; sisters, Georgianna Brooks-Newton Smith (Vernon Smith) of Garland, TX, Roseanna McCarroll (Dennis) of Galveston, TX and brothers, William C. Brooks (Queens, NY) and Leon Q. Brooks (Cranston, RI), along with a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives.

He was employed for over 20 years by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, where he was the Superintendent of the Evins Regional Juvenile Center in Edinburg. Donald was also a lifetime member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and was baptized in the Church of Christ at an early age.

Funeral service for Donald Brooks, Jr. will be at Rose Neath Funeral Home in Bossier City, LA at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 14, 2015.Interment will follow at Rose-Neath Cemetery

Preston Gough, class of 1951, passed away on February 11, 2015.

Preston H. Gough, Sr., 87, Madison, Mississippi, went to be with Lord on February 11, 2015. Preston was born in Vicksburg, MS on February 19, 1927 to Zelda and Preston R. Gough. He attended Vicksburg Public Schools and served in WWII. Upon his discharge, he enrolled and graduated from Millsaps College.

Preston married Melba Jean Jones from Walnut Grove, MS in 1947 and together they had 3 children, Preston H. Gough, Jr. (Barbara) Flora, MS, Thomas Alan Gough, Madison, MS and Gaye Gough Smith (John), Madison, MS. He worked his entire career for the Farm Bureau Insurance Companies serving twice in the Florida operation and twice in the Mississippi operation. He retired in 1990 as Executive Vice President and State Manager for Mississippi.

He was a charter and life-long member of Broadmoor Baptist Church and served in many capacities over the years. Preston was a very active member of the Mississippi Woodworker's Association and the North Jackson Kiwanis Club. He also served as President of the Mississippi Heart Association.

Preston is survived by his 3 children, 7 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, 2 brothers and was predeceased by his parents, 2 sisters and 1 brother.
Funeral Services were held at Parkway Funeral Home in Ridgeland, MS on Saturday, February 14 at 2:00 PM. Visitation for Preston H. Gough, Sr. was  held at Parkway Funeral Home on Friday, February 13 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM and also at 1:00 PM on Saturday. Memorial donations may be made to the Mississippi Alzheimer's Association .


Elbert Haley, Class of 1973, passed away February 3, 2015.

Elbert E. "Pete" Haley, Jr. born February 14, 1952 (and yes, for the last time, it was on Valentine's Day) drifted off this mortal coil on January 29, 2015. His spirit was released from his worn out shell of a body and is now exploring the universe and engaging in pursuits previously denied to him.

Visitation is on Monday, February 2, 2015 from 5 until 8 pm and again on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 from 10 am until the 11 am Service in the Chapel at Ott & Lee Funeral Home in Brandon.

Pete was born in Natchez, Mississippi to the late Elbert Earl and Sarah Tillmon Haley. He was a graduate of Natchez Adams High School. He was a graduate of Millsaps College and the University of Mississippi where he was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He also graduated from Mississippi College School of Law, formerly the Jackson School of Law. He was a member of the Rankin County Bar Association and the Mississippi Bar Association. He was a writer and member of Poets Anonymous. He served in the U. S. Navy. His Law Office has been in Brandon since 2001.

He is survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Sharon M. Haley; a son, Steven B. Haley; and a grandson, William Bradford Haley.

He catalogs his health history and dubious education by stating that he (1) had health and (2) had a dubious education.

Funeral arrangements will take place at the family's convenience and notification, if needed, will be disseminated. Everyone who remembers him is asked to celebrate his life in their own.

Jesse Matthews, Class of 1947, passed away on January 24, 2015.

Jesse P. Matthews, Jr., passed away Saturday, January 24, 2015, at home, surrounded by his loving family. 
He was born in Birmingham, Alabama, to Jesse P. Matthews and Imogene Cathey Matthews on January 16, 1926. He grew up in Jackson and graduated from Central High School. After graduating high school, he joined the 
Army Air Corps. As he was being deployed to the South Pacific, as a tail gunner in a B-29, the war ended, and he returned to Jackson and enrolled at Millsaps College. Jesse later transferred to the University of Mississippi, where he graduated in 1949. 

He and Gwendolyn Cole eloped and were married on July 10, 1948. After graduating from Ole Miss, Jesse passed the CPA exam the first time he took it and started his long, successful 45-year career as a CPA. He retired as a partner of Matthews, Hearon, Cutrer & Lindsay in 1994. He was a member of the AICPA and MSCPA and served on various state and national committees. He was very active in the MSCPA and served as president of the association in 1980. Jesse and Gwen enjoyed membership at Colonial Country Club for over 30 years. He was a member of Christ United Methodist Church.

Jesse and Gwen were partners in a wondrous, child-filled, 67-year marriage. They liked nothing better than hosting all their friends, children and grandchildren for elaborate, delicious meals in their home. Many cherished memories were made around their dining room table, featuring fine, prime rib Christmas Eve meals or on any given Saturday where they just wanted to try out a new recipe. They enjoyed traveling together and especially loved visiting New Orleans. 

Jesse was the patriarch of a large, loving family. He was the consummate gentleman and the kindest and most loving man. He cast a long shadow, and his wit, kindness and wisdom will be sorely missed by all that had the pleasure to know and love him. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Barbara Liles, and his beloved son, Ken Matthews.

Jesse is survived by his loving wife, Gwen, and their children: Donna Cummings and son-in-law, Bob, Print Matthews and daughter-in-law, Sherrie, Brett Matthews and daughter-in-law, Terri, Keith Matthews and daughter-in-law, Judy, Alan Matthews and daughter-in-law, Nancy, and Ken's widow, Whit Matthews. 

He is also survived by 12 grandchildren: Print Matthews and wife, Heather, Kelley Matthews, Rebecca Manina and husband, Scott, Ginny Coppock, Molly Franscogna and husband, Lou, Blythe Wallace and husband, Cayce, Zach Matthews and wife, Emily, Janie Matthews, Kellett Gurley and husband, Jeremiah, Catron Matthews, Cantrelle Matthews and Cole Matthews. He is also survived by 16 great grandchildren, plus one on the way, one great, great granddaughter, a beloved nephew, Aofter Liles and his wife Van, and several other nieces and nephews. 

Visitation was held Tuesday, January 27, at 11:30, with service to follow, at Sebrell Funeral Home, 425 Northpark Drive, Ridgeland, Mississippi. A private family interment was held at Lakewood Memorial Park Cemetery. 

Dewey Hickman, Class of 1947, passed away January 13, 2015. 

Dewey Cobb Hickman — 88, died Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015, at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at First Presbyterian Church in Oxford.

Burial will follow in Oxford Memorial Cemetery. Visitation was held from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Fellowship Hall at the church and for one hour prior to the service on Wednesday. Waller Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. 


 Dr. Peter Whitehead, Class of 1983, passed away January 13, 2015.

Peter Yates Whitehead, M.D., 53, loving husband and father passed peacefully at his home on Tuesday, January 13, 2015, after a courageous one year battle with cancer.

Peter was born June 8, 1961, in Tupelo, Mississippi to Jaudon “J.C.” Whitehead, Jr. and Mary Yates Whitehead. With his parent’s strong influence and Peter’s unfaltering ambition, he developed an inspiring and dedicated work ethic, driving him to achieve excellence in all that he did. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America, receiving the rank of Eagle Scout and the God and Country Award through Troop 12 and First United Methodist Church in Tupelo. He graduated from Tupelo High School in 1979, where he was a member of the Golden Wave Tennis Team, and continued his education at Millsaps College in Jackson, MS. Peter served as president of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity where he made many lifelong friends.

Upon graduation, he continued his studies and he received his M.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. He served his residency at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. He began his pediatric medical career with Physicians to Children in Roanoke, VA, before moving to Memphis in 2004 and joining Memphis Children’s Clinic. Peter had a servant’s heart and his compassion for others took him on mission trips to India with Grandin Court Baptist Church in Roanoke and to Haiti through Project Starfish Haiti, a non-profit medical mission organization. Peter’s most cherished moments were spent with his wife and family. He loved watching and supporting his children in all their academic and athletic endeavors. Peter also enjoyed outdoor activities, including gardening, sailing and scuba diving.

His desire and love for the outdoors led him to spend much time working and enjoying his family tree farm. His ability to love and care for every living creature, combined with his aptitude for healing, is something to be admired and never forgotten.Peter is survived by his wife of 23 years, Heather Doolin Whitehead of Eads, TN, his three children, Caleb Yates , Avery Brooks and Abigail “Abbi” Grace, his brother Don Whitehead (Suzanne), his sister Susan Whitehead Boston (John), his nieces and nephews Justin Whitehead (Jun), Amanda Afdahl (Mike), Brandon Whitehead, Ansley Beatty (Steven), Briana Whitehead, Mary Frances Boston, John Boston, Lizzie Boston, Connor Doolin, Ryan Doolin, Tim Doolin, Jr. and Megan Doolin. His parents, Mary and J.C. Whitehead preceded him in death.

A service celebrating his life was held in Memphis on January 20, 2015 in the South Hall of Hope Presbyterian Church, 8500 Walnut Grove Road, Memphis, TN with Dr. Kevin Meadows officiating. 
An additional service celebrating his life was in Tupelo, MS on January 21, 2015 at First United Methodist Church with Dr. Kevin Meadows officiating. Visitation was from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. in the Gathering Room at the church with the service to follow. Private graveside services was followed at Dry Creek Farm in Tremont, MS. 

Expressions of sympathy may be left at


James Watts Sr.

James Campbell Watts Sr. or Jim as everyone knew him was born in Columbia, MS on January 16, 1956. His early days were spent hunting, fishing and roaming the south Mississippi woods with his brother Al and father John. Jim went on to attend and graduate from Millsaps College. Following graduation, Jim went to work at the company his grandfather started, Mississippi School Supply/Office Supply Company. He worked there until 1997 when Jim decided to start his company, Office Products Plus. Jim treated employees and customers like family and both remained loyal to him over the course of many years. Company Christmas parties were always started by Jim delivering a thanks for all of the hard work and a prayer to bless the food and the families represented. Jim passed on his tireless work ethic and sense of honest dealing to all of his children who will take the torch from Jim and run with it.

Jim married the love of his life, Sue in 1979. Sue and Jim are the perfect picture of love, happiness and dedication for 35 years. They raised a daughter, Kimberly and three boys James, Will and Zac together along with several golden retrievers. They laughed, cried and prayed together over the years as the children grew. Jim set a Godly example for his family rising early each day to pray and read scripture. He loved his wife and his children saw the love in action every day. There was never a question that for Jim, faith and family came first. 

Jim had many hobbies, but the common factor in every hobby was the ability to share it with Sue and the kids. The same woods Jim grew up hunting in Columbia he later shared with his family. If the weather was warm, you could count on Jim being behind the wheel of the boat slinging family and friends alike across the water on tubes or giving instructions as to the correct way to build a pyramid of skiers. He loved to laugh and spend time with others.

A wonderful trait of Jim's life is the way he gave of himself professionally and privately. Sue and Jim taught and mentored Sunday school students for 10 years at Colonial Heights Baptist Church. Jim continued to give back as he coached countless baseball teams and even had pleasure of serving as baseball commissioner for the league. At the same time he served on the Neighborhood Christian Center board in various capacities for many years. Jim also was the guiding force behind all three boys attaining the rank of Eagle Scout spending countless frozen nights camping all over the region. He served and gave of himself in so many ways that most are not aware of. 

Jim is survived by his loving wife Sue; his children Kimberly and Drew Cleland, James and Krystin Watts, Will and Alexa Watts and Zac Watts; his grandchildren Andrew, Molly and Charlie; his brother, Al and wife, Kay and nephew, Jonathon. 

A graveside service was held for family and friends at 9:00 a.m. Monday December 15,2014 at Parkway Memorial Cemetery on Highland Colony Parkway followed by a memorial service at First Presbyterian Church of Jackson at 10:30 a.m. Visitation will follow the service from 11:30 to 1. The pallbearers for the service will be Jimmy Hood, Cal Wells, Larry Houchins, Bobby Raines, Greg Wood, Hall Bailey, John Neil, Stephen Kruger, Jonathan Watts, Carey Johnston, Kelly Dabbs and David Elkin. Honorary pallbearers are all those Jim has taught and mentored over the years who are scattered around the world.


Harmon Tillman, Jr., Class of 1951, passed away on January 1, 2015.

The Reverend Harmon Eric Tillman, Jr., 86, a United Methodist minister for forty years, died January 1, 2015, at his home in Winona after a lengthy illness. He was born on December 20, 1928, in Houston, Mississippi. 

Visitation will be held on Sunday, January 4, from 1:30 - 2:30 P.M. followed by the service at 3:00 P.M. at Moore Memorial United Methodist Church in Winona, MS. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Winona, MS. 

He was a graduate of Winona High School, Millsaps College and received his Master's Degree from 
Vanderbilt University. At Vanderbilt University, he was the coach of the Vanderbilt Debate Team and an instructor in the Speech Department. He coached the winner of the national college oratorical contest for three consecutive years. 

Returning to Mississippi, he became an instructor in the Speech Department at Millsaps College and coach of the Millsaps Debate Team, which won a number of championships during his tenure. 

In 1956 he was given the opportunity to organize a new Methodist congregation and was proud to be the first minister at Briarwood United Methodist Church in Jackson, MS. Other United Methodist churches he served were Star; Poplar Springs, Meridian; Court Street, Hattiesburg; Forest First; Leavell Woods, Jackson; Dantzler Memorial, Moss Point; Gulfport First; Yazoo City First; and Broadmeadow, Jackson. He received the Denman Award for two years and was presented a life membership pen by the Woman's Society of Christian Service for his support. In 2004 he was named to the Dickson Order. 

In addition to his ministry in the local churches, he was very involved in the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church, serving as Chairman of the Board of Missions, Chairman of the Coordinating Committee, Board Member for the Mississippi Methodist Children's Home, Committee on Finance and Administration, Chairman of Minister's Continuing Education, Board of Trustees for Camp Wesley Pines, and Board of Trustees for Wood Jr. College. For sixteen years he was head teller in charge of electing delegates to the jurisdictional and general conferences. He was the organizer and teacher for the Mississippi Conference School for Lay Speakers for many years.

As a sports enthusiast, he was an accomplished golfer, a Little League baseball coach and enjoyed hunting prior to a tragic hunting accident at the age of fifty-one. In spite of the serious resulting disability, he continued active full-time ministry for twelve more years. He was a member of the 
Rotary Club in several communities. 

He and his wife returned to their hometown of Winona, Mississippi, to spend their retirement years, and there became a part of Moore Memorial United Methodist Church. He served as Chairman of Friends of Immanuel, an interdenominational group whose purpose was to preserve the beautiful historic Immanuel Church in Winona where he and his wife had married in 1954.

The Reverend Tillman was preceded in death by his parents, Harmon E. Tillman, Sr. and Bessie Mae Alexander Tillman; his brother, Harold "Tilly" Tillman; and his sister, Kathryn Tillman Evans. He is survived by his wife of sixty years, Nona Barry Kinchloe Tillman; a daughter, Barry Tillman of Nashville, TN; a son, Eric Tillman of Hamilton, Ontario, his wife, Francine; and two grandchildren, Alexandra Tillman and Jackson Tillman. 

Patricia Bevill, Class of 1951, passed away on December 31, 2014.


Patricia Nell Ross Bevill, born at home in Crystal Springs, MS on December 18, 1928 continued her journey December 31, 2014 peacefully at home. Nell gave selflessly with quiet strength to all those she touched as a mother,sister, grandmother, great grandmother, wife, aunt and friend. As a teacher, until she retired at 75, she delivered her own style of learning with the smile of a southern lady and the gentle discipline that as her children we all knew at home. A breast cancersurvivor, she always put her faith in God and lived every day full of love, joy and laughter. Her large and ever growing family was her greatest joy and she spent her many years on this earth dedicated to teaching us to be the people she saw within us. She taught us to love, to laugh, to forgive and most importantly she taught us the power and importance of family. 

She was preceded in death by her son, Harmon Talby Bevill, Jr. and husband, Harmon Talby Bevill, Sr. 
Survivors include her four children, Betsy Bevill Schonberger, Sally Bevill, Susan Bevill Moore, and Jimmy Bevill along with her 12 grandchildren, six great grandchildren and her constant companion Jenny her 18 year old tabby. 

Visitation will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, January 3, 2015 with service following at noon at Broadmeadow United Methodist Church. Burial was held at Crystal Springs Cemetery immediately following the service. 

Dorothy Welch, Class of 1958, passed away on December 27, 2014.


Dorothy N. Welch of Madison, MS, passed away on December 27, 2014, from a sudden illness.

She was born at Heathman, MS, on February 18, 1937, daughter of the late, A. G. and Aline Nash. She received her early education in the public schools at Indianola,Webb and Ruleville, MS.Her professional education was at Millsaps College in Jackson, MS. 

As a medical technologist, her working career was spent primarily in Jackson at the Veterans Hospital.Her specialty was nuclear medicine. Dot was preceded in death by her husband, Dale, a retired U.S. Marine, in 2009, and by her brother, Harold, who died of polio in 1952. She is survived by her brothers, Tom and his wife, LaNelle, of Roswell, GA and Elford of Charlotte, NC and their families; David Nash, Donna Safier,Jim Nash,Bill Nash,and their five children. 

Dot was an active member of Mensa and had many Mensa friends. She enjoyed keeping in contact with her friends via the internet. These strong friendships involved visits abroad and return visits in the United States.
Dot was a loyal and loving caregiver for both her father who died in 1991, and her mother, who was a resident of assisted living and nursing care facilities until her death at age 107 in 2008. 

A private funeral service and burial was held at a later date. Memorials may be sent to the 
Mississippi Animal Rescue League, 5221 Greenway Drive Ext., Jackson,MS 39204.

Ray Montgomery, Class of 1958, passed away on December 14, 2014.

Ray Hilman Montgomery, 79, passed away Sunday afternoon, December 14, 2014 after a brief illness. Services will be held at 11am on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at First Baptist Church, Canton, Mississippi. Visitation will be from 5:00 - 8:00pm Tuesday, December 16 at Breeland Funeral Home. Burial and graveside service will be at 2:00pm, December 17, 2014 in Cato Cemetery, Johns, Mississippi. 

Judge Ray Montgomery was born in Forest Grove, Mississippi on January 18, 1935 to Alvin Douglas Montgomery Sr. and Otice Ozella Bilbro Montgomery. At the age of 15, Ray contracted polio and was a longtime volunteer and supporter of the March of Dimes and served on the national board of Easter Seals for eight years.

He finished high school in Canton, Mississippi, attended Hinds Jr College, pursed a college degree at Millsaps and furthered his education by earning a law degree from Jackson School of Law. He was a member of the Mississippi Bar, a Mason, Wahabi Shriner, and lifelong member of Canton First Baptist Church. 

A true public servant, Ray was elected Tax Assessor of Madison County and served 8 years in that position. He was a practicing attorney in Canton, elected to Mississippi State Senate serving 2 terms, and elected and served as County Judge. He was elected and served as Chancery Judge until his retirement. In retirement, he was appointed by the Supreme Court of Mississippi as a special Chancellor and continued to hear special cases until recently. 

Ray Montgomery was preceded in death by his parents, and his sister, Mary Elizabeth O'Briant. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Dorothy Gill Montgomery; brother, Alvin Douglas Montgomery Jr; and many nieces, nephews and friends. A Special thank you to longtime friends Alvin and Pat Ottis.

James Howard Jenkins, Jr., Class of 1949, passed away on December 9, 2014. 

Howard was born in Complete, MS on May 23, 1926. He was the only child of Helen Harbour and James Howard Jenkins, Sr. He graduated from Central High School in 1944.

After graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and served in WWII and the Korean Conflict. When returning from the service, he started Millsaps College on the GI Bill. At this time, he began attending Capitol Street Methodist Church, which is where he met his wife, Marianne Chunn. They married in 1949. In 1954, he began his career with State Farm Insurance, which lasted 35 years. He retired in 1989. 

He was preceded in death by his parents and his daughter, Kristen Jill Jenkins. Howard is survived by his wife of 65 years, Marianne Chunn Jenkins; daughters, Jan Jenkins Michaels (Keith), Jennifer Jenkins Segrest (David), and Judi Jenkins Segrest (Scott). He is also survived by grandchildren, Steven Michaels (Koral), Nathan Michaels (Leigh Ann), Rebecca Michaels Nimmo (Adam), Chad Segrest (Mary Katherine), Andy Segrest (Anna), Gretchen Segrest Shull (Jonathan), Rachael Segrest Cox (Fletcher), Hailey Segrest O'Brien (Tim), Spencer Segrest (Leigh); and 13 great grandchildren. He is also survived by Marianne's siblings, Patricia McCormick (Jim), Don Chunn (Frances) and Bob Chunn (Jeannie).
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Jill Jenkins Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o French Camp Academy, 1 Fine Place, French Camp, MS 39745.
Funeral services was held Wednesday, December 17th at 2:00 pm at Parkway Hills United Methodist Church in Madison, with a visitation held prior from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.


 Dr. Walter Thomas Rueff, Class of 1964 died on November 19, 2014

Dr. Walter Thomas "Tommy" Rueff, 71, of Jackson, passed away on Wednesday, November 19, 2014, surrounded by his family, and supported by numerous friends and colleagues at Baptist Hospital - a place where he himself worked for many years.

A Memorial Services will be held Friday Nov. 21, 2014 at 11:00am at St Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral. Visitation will be from 10:00am till 11:00am at the church.
Born in McComb, Mississippi in 1943, Tommy was the son of Charles Rueff, a conductor for Illinois Central Railroad, and Allie Rueff, a nurse. He graduated from Millsaps College where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order. He attended medical school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center where he trained under James D. Hardy, specializing in general, thoracic, and cardiovascular surgery. After medical school, Tommy founded Central Surgical Associates with Dr. Karl Stauss, where he practiced surgery for more than 25 years.

During his medical internship, Tommy met his wife, Ann, who was working as a nurse at UMC. They married in 1982 and had two sons, T. and Andrew. Tommy loved collecting antiques, fountain pens, books, and pocket knives. He traveled extensively, but was most at home driving his tractor at his farm in Terry, Mississippi.
Tommy was predeceased by his brother, Charles Rueff Jr. Tommy is survived by his wife, Ann, as well as his two sons, Walter Thomas "T." Rueff Jr. and Michael Andrew Rueff, and his two daughters in law, Frannie Wesberry Rueff and Elise Smyth-Gilbert. He also leaves behind his beloved black lab "Buddy," and countless friends, colleagues, patients, and others whom he loved and who loved him dearly.

Charles Rueff. Class of 1961, passed away on November 14, 2014.  


Charles Michael Rueff, Jr. died November 14, 2014, at Northeast Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. Visitation was Sunday afternoon from 4:00-6:00, and a memorial service was at 10:00 Monday morning at Memorial Funeral Home, Columbus. A second service will be held Wednesday in McComb, MS at Hartman Funeral Home. Visitation will begin at 10:00 AM, followed by a memorial service with Dr. Joe McKeever officiating. Burial will follow in Hollywood Cemetery. Dr. Rueff was born July 19, 1938 in McComb, MS to the late Charles Michael Rueff, Sr. and Allie Bellue Rueff.

 He graduated from Millsaps College, did post-graduate studies at USM and at MSU, where he earned a PhD degree in 1974. He taught high school for 3 years in Belzoni, MS, occasional summer courses at Southwest MS Community College in Summit, MS, and courses in education and psychology at MUW from 1967-1993, serving ovarious committees, conducting workshops, and serving as interim head of the Dept. of Education at one point during his tenure. Prior to marriage in 1968, he enjoyed coaching and umpiring little league baseball, especially when his team, the ?Doctors?, advanced to South Boston, VA to win the Little League World Series.

His favorite pastimes included ham radio, reading, and camping, but most of all spending time with family. Following retirement from MUW, Charles worked with his wife in their local business, One of a Kind Screenprinting/Graphic Design. In recent years he suffered three light strokes, and most recently, pneumonia with complications. Charles was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church, first in McComb, then in Columbus. A very devoted and loving husband and father, he will be greatly missed; yet, we celebrate in the knowledge that he lived by faith in Jesus Christ and is now in the presence of his Lord and Savior. Charles was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Dianne Holliday Rueff; son, Charles Michael III (Mike, and wife, Cathy) of Columbus; daughters, Corinne Beauregard of Columbus and Carmen Anglin (husband, John) of Bossier City, LA; grandson, Michael Beauregard; granddaughter, Betty Anglin; and one brother, Walter Thomas Rueff and his wife, Ann of Jackson, MS. 


Catherine May, Class of 1938, passed away on November 8, 2014. 


Services for Catherine Davis May will be held in Hixson Brothers Chapel, Alexandria, Louisiana, Monday, November 10, 2014, at 3:00 o'clock with Dr. Lee Weems officiating. Visitation will be at 2:00 o'clock, prior to the services. Interment will be at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, in Rose Hill Cemetery, Brookhaven, Mississippi, under the direction of Hixson Brothers.

Mrs. May, age 97, was a native of Brookhaven, Mississippi, and a long-time resident of Alexandria. She died in her home Saturday, November 8, 2014. She was preceded in death by her husband, Freeman Erby May, her parents, Susie Middleton Davis and Robert Lowry Davis, and her two brothers, Bob Davis, Jr., and Tom Davis. She is survived by a cousin, Miriam Moyer of Brookhaven, Mississippi.

Mrs. May was an honor graduate of Milsap College, Jackson, Mississippi. She taught school in Vicksburg and Brookhaven, Mississippi, in Memphis, Tennessee, and at Copiah Lincoln Junior College in Mississippi.

Following Pearl Harbor, she planned to join her brothers in military service, but both brothers objected. Instead she joined the American Red Cross and received training at the American University in Washington D.C to work with recreation for wounded hospitalized soldiers. After the war she was transferred to Barksdale Air Force Base where she met and married her Red Cross director, Freeman E. May.

Mrs. May was an active member of Emmanuel Baptist Church where she taught Sunday School, worked with the music program, and was a member of the church choir. She was also involved in community music activities and for years was a performing member of the Matinee Musical Club and a popular guest soloist in church choirs.

George Armstrong, Class of 1957, passed away on October 20, 2014.

Dr. George Wells "Fella" Armstrong, III, 79, of Coffeeville, passed away Monday, October 20, 2014 at his residence. Dr. Armstrong was born October 10, 1935 to the late George Wells and Georgia Criss Armstrong. He was a graduate of Coffeeville High School and received his undergraduate degree from Millsaps College. He earned a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Mississippi then earned the Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He practiced medicine in Denver, CO for over 25 years before moving back to Coffeeville in 1993 to open Dr. Fella's Medical Clinic. Dr. Armstrong was a member of the Coffeeville United Methodist Church, a Mason and US Air Force Reserves Veteran. 

A Memorial Service was held on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 2:00 PM at the Coffeeville United Methodist Church with Rev. Stacy Douglas officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church. 

Survivors include his wife, Pat Maloney Armstrong; a daughter, Shawn Louise Armstrong; and a son, George Wells Armstrong, IV, all of Coffeeville; and two brothers, Joe Bates Armstrong of La Mesa, NM and Ralph Armstrong of Grenada. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Ann Armstrong Sides.


Evelyn Maddox, Class of 1948, passed away on October 5, 2014. 

Evelyn Godbold Maddox, 88, died peacefully at the Forest at Duke on Sunday, October 5, 2014 after a period of declining health.

Evelyn was born in McComb, Mississippi on December 1, 1925. She attended school in McComb where she met her husband of over 60 years and love of her life, George L. Maddox, Jr . Evelyn studied music at Millsaps College and became an accomplished pianist and organist. She enjoyed music throughout her life and passed that love on to her children.
Evelyn and George spent several years in Jackson, Mississippi where George served on the faculty at Millsaps College. Ultimately George joined the faculty of Duke University in Durham where they made their home from 1960.
Evelyn was a devoted mother and enjoyed sharing the successes of her two children, Patricia Maddox of Oviedo, Florida and David Maddox of New York City and of David's wife, Marta Tellado.
Throughout Evelyn's life in the Durham/Duke community, she was a tireless volunteer. She worked and held leadership positions in the George Watts PTA, the Duke Medical Auxiliary and Pink Smock at Duke University Hospital, and the Duke Medical Faculty Wives/Nearly New Shoppe.
A celebration of Evelyn's life was held on Saturday, October 25, 2014
3> at 11am in the auditorium at the Forest at Duke. A reception will follow.

Jessie Puckett, Calss of 1949, passed away on Spetember 27, 2014. 


Jessie Daniel Puckett, Jr., age 88, died Friday, September 27, 2014 in Brandon, MS. Services will be at 10 am Tuesday, September 30, 2014 from the Chapel of Ott & Lee Funeral Home with Rev. Grant McElveen Officiating. Burial will follow in the Puckett Cemetery, Puckett, MS. Visitation will be from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm Monday, September 29, 2014 at Ott & Lee Funeral Home on Hwy 80 in Brandon, MS and one hour prior to the Service on Tuesday.

Mr. Puckett was born November 29, 1925, in Puckett, MS , the son of Jessie Daniel Puckett and Linnie Mae Purvis Puckett. He graduated from Central High School in1943. In November of 1943, he was called to active duty, serving in the Navy. After 3 years of active duty, Mr. Puckett was honorably discharged as a Quartermaster Second Class.

After serving in the Navy, Mr. Puckett returned to Jackson, Mississippi to attend Millsaps College where, in 1949, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree. He worked for two years at the Mississippi Game and Fish Commission which he left when he was accepted into Law School at the University of Mississippi. He graduated in 1953 with a Bachelor of Law Degree. After graduation, Mr. Puckett was employed with Humble Oil and Refining Company, which later became known as Exxon. He worked for Exxon for 25 years and retired in 1978. After retiring from Exxon, he worked for Forest Oil Company for several more years and retired from there in 1992. After leaving the work force, he bought the old home place and moved back home to Puckett and lived there until he moved to Emeritus of Heritage House in 2009, where he lived until his death. He was the youngest and the last of seven siblings.

Survivors include several nieces and nephews.

The family would especially like to thank the staff of Emeritus of Heritage House for their constant care and concern; his doctor, Dr. Holland Addison; Gentiva Hospice; and Puckett Baptist Church.


Ann Rhymes, Class of 1944, passed away on September 17, 2014. 

Ann Asenith Rhymes Navarro went to be with the Lord on September 17, 2014.
Ann was born in Macon, MS on December 24, 1920 to Shellie and C.D. Rhymes. She graduated Monticello, MS High School in 1939 and attended Whitworth Girls School in Brookhaven, MS and Millsap's College in Jackson, MS.

She married Louis J. Navarro in 1943 and they had one child, Thomas M. Navarro. Proceding her in death were her parents, Shellie Stewart Rhymes and Cassius Douglas Rhymes, II; her husband, Louis Joseph Navarro; siblings, Katherine Rhymes Speed Ettl, Cassius Douglas Rhymes III, Lucille Rhymes Everitt, William Stewart Rhymes, Sara Rhymes Flannes and John Warren Rhymes. She is survived by her sister Lynda Rhymes Clay (Tommy) of Monticello, MS; her son Thomas Michael Navarro (Mary) of Tuscaloosa, AL and her four grandchildren, T. Michael Navarro, Jr., Christopher Myles Navarro, Katherine Marie Navarro, Stephen Matthew Navarro all of Tuscaloosa, AL. and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Visitation was at St. Richards Catholic Church (1242 Lynnwood Dr.) in Jackson, MS at 9:30 on Friday, September 19, 2014 followed by Mass at 10:30. Reverend Mike O'Brien celebrant. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the St. Richards Building Fund or to a 
charity of your choice .


Lee H. Reiff, former Religion Department Chair, died September 6, 2014.

Surrounded by his family, Lee H. Reiff, son of T.E. and Ione Austin Reiff, died peacefully at home Sept. 6, 2014, in Bristol, Virginia. Born July 6, 1929, in Newton, Kansas, he graduated from Newton High School and received a Pepsi-Cola National Scholarship for his college education. He attended the University of Kansas for a year and then transferred to Southern Methodist University, where he excelled in forensics, including competition in debate tournaments on a national level. He participated in the Methodist Church’s Youth Caravan movement in the summer of 1949, which involved training at Lake Junaluska, and assignment of teams to various annual conferences. His team spent several weeks in the North Mississippi Conference. He had no idea he would return to live in Mississippi 11 years later and to Lake Junaluska to live 44 years later. While at SMU, he met Gerry Long. They became good friends, then grew in love and married in 1950. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from SMU in 1951 and remained on that campus for his seminary education at Perkins School of Theology.

In 1954, Lee, Gerry, and their infant son, Joseph Tillman, moved to Bakerville, Connecticut, where he served as pastor of the Methodist Church while he pursued Ph.D. studies in New Testament at Yale University. Just after his first Sunday at Bakerville, the church building burned to the ground, so he led a successful three-year campaign to raise funds for a new building. In 1957, he received the Dempster Graduate Fellowship, awarded by the Methodist Church’s Board of Higher Education. In 1960, the Reiff family, now including a second son James Nathan, moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where Lee began teaching in the religion department at Millsaps College. He finished his Ph.D. degree in 1963, and aside from one year at McMurry College in Abilene, Texas, Dr. Reiff spent the rest of his career at Millsaps and chaired the department from 1965 until his retirement in 1992. He received the College’s Distinguished Professor Award in 1989.

Lee was ordained an elder in the Central Kansas Conference of the Methodist Church in 1956 and transferred his conference membership to Mississippi in 1966. He understood his callings to the ordained ministry and college teaching as integrally related, and in 1994 the Mississippi Conference gave him the Francis Asbury Award for his contributions to United Methodist higher education. Many of his students over the years have served as ordained ministers in the United Methodist Church and other denominations, and four have been elected Bishops in the United Methodist Church.

Lee considered it an honor to call T. W. Lewis III both colleague and friend; Millsaps students in the 1960s dubbed them “the Righteous Brothers.” Their work together for 30 years is commemorated at Millsaps by the Reiff-Lewis Endowment Fund, which provides for leadership training and response groups to supplement the annual Summers Lecture (bringing nationally-known theologians and social activists to campus for the continuing education of clergy and laypersons). In addition, each year the college presents the Lewis and Reiff Awards to seniors who have demonstrated a commitment to the life of the mind and the life of the spirit by their contributions to college, church, and community.

During years of intense social upheaval, Lee worked tirelessly along with Gerry and many friends of all races toward the goal of creating a new Mississippi. From 1967 to 1971, he served on the board of directors of Child Development Group of Mississippi (Head Start), and from 1968 to 1971 he was on the board of directors of the Mississippi Council on Human Relations. He represented Mississippi at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago as a member of the interracial Loyalist delegation. From 1971 to 1977 he belonged to Jacksonians for Public Education and served as its president for two years. From 1969 to 1980 he served on the board of directors for Communications Improvement Inc., a nonprofit group that held the interim license for WLBT-TV in Jackson as the result of a landmark court case. CII successfully transformed the city’s top-rated commercial television enterprise into a station that served the entire community. Deeply concerned about equality for all persons, Lee served for eight years on the Mississippi Conference Commission on the Status and Role of Women.

Before he retired from Millsaps, Dr. Reiff chose to return to the other career option he had considered seriously in college and began studies at Mississippi College School of Law. He finished his J.D. degree in 1993, and that same year he and Gerry moved to Lake Junaluska, where he intended to take the bar exam and practice law. However, that was not to be, because he was also diagnosed with colon cancer that summer. He survived two surgeries related to that illness, and also survived two subsequent cancer diagnoses. In 20 years at Lake Junaluska, he was an active member at Waynesville First United Methodist Church and regularly served as one of the teachers for the Faith Class. In May 2013, he and Gerry moved to Bristol, Virginia.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Glenn Austin Reiff, and his sister-in-law, Amy Little Reiff. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Gerry; his son, Joe, and daughter-in-law, Betty Clark Reiff, of Abingdon, Virginia; his son, Jim, and daughter-in-law, Diana Molina Reiff, of San Antonio, Texas; grandchildren, Rachel Reiff Ellis and her husband, Luke Ellis, Sarah Kathleen Reiff, Joseph Clark Reiff and his wife, Jenni Seale Reiff; great-grandchildren Noah, Rosie, and Max Ellis; brother-in-law, Joseph T. Long Jr.; nephew Glenn A. Reiff, and nieces Martha J. Reiff, Kelley Long Gillespie, and Elizabeth Long Davis. Lee welcomed James Allen Tiblier and Kristen Nicole Tiblier to the family when their mother, Diana, married his son, Jim.

A memorial service was held at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12, at First United Methodist Church in Waynesville with the Rev. Sandy Giles officiating. The family will receive friends immediately following the service. Burial will be at a later date in Houston, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Reiff-Lewis Endowment Fund through the Institutional Advancement Office at Millsaps College, 1701 N. State St., Jackson, MS 39210.

The family wishes to express deep gratitude to the Asheville Memory Care clinic, the staff at Grand Court, Bristol, caregiver Sue Smith, and the staff of Caris Hospice, Bristol.

Those wishing to express sympathy online may do so by visiting and signing the online guest register.


Peter Kuka, Class of 1963, passed away on August 27, 2014. 

Peter James Kuka II of Rainbow Springs (Dunnellon) passed away on August 27, 2014 at the age of 71 years from a sudden illness.  He is survived by his wife, Suzie, daughter Shawn Williams, and granddaughter, Morgan Williams, both of Chapel Hill, NC, an aunt, Joan Kuka Gillespie of Missoula, MT, and many cousins.  His father, Leonard J. Kuka, and mother, Phyllis Marian Kuka, preceeded him in death. 

Peter was born in El Paso, TX and moved to Miami, FL in 1955.  He attended Miami Palmetto High School, Millsaps College, and Florida Atlantic University. 
He was employed by Bendix Avionics (later Allied Signal) in purchasing where he worked with engineers to develop the first aircraft avoidance radar still used on airplanes today.  He retired in 1997 as Supervisor of Purchasing. 

Moving to Rainbow Springs in 1998, he was employed at the Rainbow Springs Country Club Pro Shop for 12 years.  He also served on the Vestry of Holy Faith Episcopal Church, Dunnellon, which he attended for many years. 

A funeral service was held at Holy Faith Episcopal Church in Blue Cove on Saturday, September 27th at 11am with a reception following in Faith Hall.

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