Obituaries 10-31-08

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 31, 2008

Obituaries 10-31-08

Gwen “Tessie” Hardy

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

BATESVILLE- Gwen “Tessie” Hardy, 75, died Wednesday, October 29, 2008, at her residence.

Services are today at 1 p.m. at Wells Funeral Home. Rev. John Howell and Rev. Pat Ludlam will officiate. Wells Funeral Home has charge.

Hardy, born Nov. 30, 1932, in Memphis, to the late John Franklin and Ruth O’Rear Ledford, was a retired assistant teacher at Pope School and switch board operator for Tri-Lakes Medical Center.

Survivors include: one daughter, Dovie Anderson Watts of Batesville; three sons, James Hardy Jr., Chip Hardy and David Hardy, all of Batesville; three sisters, Helen Steiger and Phyllis Ray, both of Memphis and Emma Joe Pierce of Chattanooga, Tenn.; nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Rev. Reginald L. Herron

BATESVILLE– Rev. Reginald L. Herron, 72, died Monday, October 27, 2008, at his residence.

Services were Thursday at Rose Hill Baptist Church. Rev. Eugene Howell officiated. Burial was in Forrest Memorial Park. Wells Funeral Home had charge.

Herron, born April 4, 1936, in Jackson, Tenn., to the late Elwood Herron and Willie Jo Goodwin Herron, was a retired minister of Rose Hill Baptist Church.

Survivors include: his wife, Sybil Cagle Herron of Batesville; three daughters, Joyce Tippery and Laura Robison, both of Batesville and Kathy True of Water Valley; four sons, Mike Herron of Water Valley, Pat Herron, Bill Herron and Bob Herron, all of Batesville; one sister, Barbara Shappley of Humbolt, Tenn.; 14 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorials be sent to Rose Hill Baptist Church.

Elbert Earl Loyd

NEW ORLEANS– Elbert Loyd, 71, died Tuesday, October 28, 2008 at his residence.

 Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Wells Funeral Home Chapel  following  military honors,  where   Mr. Loyd will be buried at Forrest Memorial Park. Visitation is 8 a.m. until services at the funeral home. Wells Funeral Home has charge.

Loyd was born  June 8, 1937 in Dudley, Ga.  He had resided in New Orleans for over 40 years and Batesville since  2005. He was a retired carpenter and a veteran of the United States Army. He was the son of the late John Calvin and Georgia Niles McNeal Loyd, is survived by his wife, Betty Loyd of 35 years; his children: Edward Loyd and  Lyndie of Slidell, La., Sylvia Loyd and Mike of Harahan, La., Shelia Gorden and Joe, Clinton Gorden  and Rhonda all of Slidell, La., Clifton Gorden and Nan of Brunswick, Ga., Gail Coble and Robbie of Kentwood, La.,  Donna Randazzo and Carl of St. Bernard, La.,  15 grandchildren: Haylie, Elijah, Amanda, Justin, Ken,  Ashleigh, C.J., Taylor, April, Ray, Cary, Christina, Amanda, Hope, and Jenny; two great grandchildren, Kameron and Michael-David. Also he is survived by his, two sisters, Iris Alward of Washington, Mich. and Geri Kring and Rudy of of Bonney, Wash.; sister-in-law, Gladys Loyd of Plant City, Fla., Genelle Wilkerson of Batesville and many others relatives, including  John Allen Bell of Jonesboro, Ga..

He was preceded in death by  one son David Gorden, two  sisters: Mary Ellen and Ruby;  two brothers: J.C. and Louie Loyd.

Mary Lois Brown McLarty

OXFORD–Mary Lois Brown McLarty, 71, a retired shipping and receiving clerk for Emerson Electric, died Monday, October 27, 2008, at Baptist Memorial Hospital North Mississippi in Oxford.

 Services were Wednesday at Black Jack Presbyterian Church in Panola County. Reverend Gary Crowell officiated.  Burial was in Black Jack Cemetery.  Waller Funeral Home had charge.

She attended Black Jack Presbyterian Church in Batesville. She was born in Jonesboro, Ark. and was a graduate of Valley View High School, Class of 1955.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Wayne C. McLarty. 

Survivors include: four daughters, Janet Waldrep, of Seneca, S.C., Lisa Ragon, Christy Dowdle and Linda Tutor all of Batesville;  four sisters, Betty Medlock of Burnett, Texas, Louise Freeman of Bono, Ark., JoAnn Gassaway of Paragould, Ark., and Sharon Williams of Van Buren, Ark; one brother, Elmer Brown of Jonesboro, Ark.; nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

 Memorial Contributions or expressions of sympathy in Mrs. McLarty’s memory may be made to Black Jack Presbyterian Cemetery Fund, c/o Shelley Russell, 32652 Black Jack Road, Batesville, MS 38606.

Rev. Dana Ferguson Myers

Rev. Dana Ferguson Myers, 42, of Oak Park, formerly of Batesville, died of heart failure Monday in the University of Chicago Medical Center where she had been hospitalized due to complications from cancer treatment surgeries in 2003.

For the last few years she had been administrative head of the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago. Despite her duties as executive associate pastor at the 5,000-member church, she never wavered from her personal ministry of reaching out to the urban poor.

At Fourth Presbyterian she headed a staff of 100 as well as 10 clergy.  Through her efforts, the church bought property with the hope that it would one day be a community center. Today, it is an urban garden shared with members of the church and the Cabrini-Green community.

“She very much kept the church’s attention on service to the world, which is the reason for the church,” said Rev. John Buchanan, senior pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church.

“She really, at heart, was a pastor for mission, by which we mean how the church cares not only for the people who come here but cares for the wider community as part of our response to the gospel,” said Rev. Calum MacLeod, acting executive associate pastor.

“She understood complicated issues and she was a great communicator. She had a love for life that was just infectious. People loved her,” Buchanan said.

“Dana was drawn to the ministry throughout her childhood by way of strong female family role models who often shared their prayers and beliefs influenced by their Presbyterian Church heritage.  While in high school at West Panola she was very active in the life of the Batesville Presbyterian Church and Camp Hopewell.” said her sister, Liz Ferguson.

She was a graduate of West Panola Academy in Batesville; Hollins University in Roanoke, Va.; and Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey where she met her husband. She received a master of divinity degree in 1991, the same year they married and returned to the Southern region to begin their life together and in ministry.

She later became assistant pastor at Idlewild Presbyterian Church in Memphis, where she led non-profit programs and began a transitional housing program for the homeless.

In 1996 she and her husband moved to Oak Park, Illinois. She joined Fourth Presbyterian as associate pastor for mission in 1998 and in 2005 she was named executive associate pastor.

She was diagnosed with bile duct cancer in 2003, and was told she had less than a month to live.

“In two years I was told at least three separate times she didn’t have a chance, but she continued to fight and endure a valiant struggle” her husband said. “She was the kind of person who lit up a room, who obviously loved people and you were drawn to.  Dana’s infectious laugh created smiles of joy and happiness “

Besides her husband and sister, she is survived by fraternal twins, Daniel and Taylor Myers and her mother, Betsy Ferguson of Batesville. The Funeral Service will be Friday 1:30 p.m. at the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, 126 E. Chestnut Street.

Local visitation will be Sunday from 2 p.m. at Dickins Funeral Home followed by interment at 4 p.m. at Batesville Magnolia Cemetery where her father, Dan L. Ferguson, Jr. was laid to rest May, 2007.

Memorials may be sent to Batesville Presbyterian Church, Batesville Magnolia Cemetery, Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago or Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church in Oak Park.

Spencer Towles

BATESVILLE– Spencer “Mr. T.” Towles, 86, died Wednesday, October 29, 2008, at his residence.

Services are Saturday at 2 p.m. at Wells Funeral Home. Visitation will be 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. today at Wells Funeral Home. Burial will be in Magnolia Cemetery. Wells Funeral Home has charge.

Towles, born May 19, 1922, to the late Lester and Jimanne Moore Towles, was employed with the South Panola School District in the maintenance department at Pope School and was employed at Texas Gas Company. He was also a veteran in the United States Marine Corps. He was a cattleman and was a coach baseball for 15 years and umpire for many years.

Survivors include: his wife, Lima Bass “Jean” Towles of Batesville; one son, Spencer “Joe” Towles Jr. of Batesville; one daughter, Barbara Sheperd of Tucson, Ariz.; eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Mary Florence Sheley Staten

OAKLAND– Mary Florence Sheley Staten, 76, died Saturday, October 25, 2008.

Services are today at 2 p.m. at Newsom Funeral Home. Burial was in Magnolia Gardens in Charleston. Newsom Funeral Home had charge.

Staten, born to the late Clyde and Flora Sheley, was a homemaker.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles W. Staten and one son, Charles E. Staten.

Survivors include: three daughters, Mary Dean Lewellen of Sardis, Judy Smith of Oakland and Kathy Byars of Oakland; one sister, Deanie Crites of Houston, Texas; four brothers, Gene Sheley of Hernando, Harold Dean Sheley of Southaven, Louis Sheley of Holly Springs and Riley Sheley of Memphis; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Jack Hubert Wilson

OAKLAND– Jack Hubert Wilson, 70, died Saturday, October 25, 2008, at his residence.

He had private family services. Wells Funeral Home had charge.

Wilson, born March 1, 1938, to the late Hartwell Coleman and the late Nancy Spangler Wilson in Ruffin, N.C., was a carpenter and and retired from the United States Navy.

Survivors include: his wife, Elizabeth Smith Wilson of Oakland; one daughter, Cindy Wilson of Oak Harbour, Wash.; two sons, Kenneth Wilson of Oakland and Keith Wilson of Olympia, Wash.; one sister, Sylvia Wilson Floyd of El Cajon, Calif.; one brother, Brad Wilson of Clovis, N.M.; two step-daughters, Angie Iseli of Memphis and Julia Iseli Gulley of Lubbock, Texas; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchilren.