Published 12:00 am Friday, May 20, 2016

Earlie Mae Cummings Carothers

BATESVILLE – Earlie Mae Cummings Carothers was born January 21, 1927 in Taylor. She lived a life full of loving and giving before departing this world on May 9, 2016 at the age of 89.  
Funeral services will be held Monday, May 23 at Dickins Funeral Home at 11 a.m. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until service time at Dickins Funeral Home.
She graduated from Taylor High School in the Class of ‘46, and married Oliver Smylie Carothers the following year.  His career took them to Albany, NY; Coudersport, PA; Transylvania, LA; and Lake Providence, LA, where she ran her own catering business. They retired to Baskin, LA, and, 10 years ago settled in Batesville, where she was a member of the First United Methodist Church.
Always active, industrious, and meticulous, Earlie Carothers loved to cook, play bridge, nurture her beautiful gardens, and take care of friends and family.  
As a cook, she was ahead of her time, insisting on using fresh ingredients and making everything from scratch. Although she amassed decades’ worth of Southern Living issues and could never resist buying a charity cookbook, she was always able to improve on a recipe, being creative, adding spices, and making it her own.  There was never a store-bought cookie in her house, and even her ice cream sandwiches were slices of hand-cut ice cream between graham crackers. Instead of slicing watermelon for her family, she kept a bowl of perfect melon balls in the refrigerator for them to help themselves. Her natural flair for presentation was a boon to her catering career: with no professional experience, she built her business from sheer talent, common sense, and hard work, becoming the most sought-after caterer of society weddings in Lake Providence, as well as events for local officials and visiting dignitaries.  
A caring and thoughtful soul, Mrs. Carothers would always extend herself for others, and was well loved in return.  When her girls were little, she’d serve dinner in courses to parties of their friends, all dressed up in their mothers’ formals, so they’d learn to be at home among the china and silver and crystal.  Her granddaughter acknowledges that if her posture is any good today, it’s because her grandmother worked so hard at it; even if she never did get tied to the back of the chair, the lesson was learned. All the neighborhood children knew when they played football in Mrs. Carothers’ yard – barefoot – there’d be no stickers, because she took care to dig them all up; when her grandchildren were small, she would pay them to collect the pine cones that had fallen in the yard. Though she would routinely stay up ‘til midnight getting the ironing done, she never let the young ones do the hard work. “You have your entire life to do these things, Baby,” she’d say, “You just be little.”      
She was still making fast friends late in life, having moved at age 79 to Batesville, where she and her husband were warmly welcomed to bridge clubs and other social circles; yet she kept up with life in Lake Providence as a faithful reader of the Banner-Democrat. According to her florist, she would send friends flowers “just because.”
She is preceded in death by her parents, William Earl and Carrie Mae Cooper Cummings, and her brother, James Harry Cummings, and is survived by her husband of nearly 69 years; her sister, Ruth Cummings Spagnola; two daughters, Cindy Carothers Roberts (Clay) and Fonda Carothers Nickle (Brent); grandchildren Oliver Cory Bahr (Samantha), Kristy Laine McDaniel, Cooper Layne Roberts, and Cason Reed Roberts; and countless friends.

Mayford Eileen (Purdy) Escue

BATESVILLE – Mayford Eileen (Purdy) Escue, 83, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, after a brief battle with cancer.
Born in Lambert on November 23, 1932, to Claude and Catherine Purdy, Eileen is now reunited with her parents and her husband, Gerald. She was predeceased by her parents, her brother, Charles, her daughter Patricia Jean (Calvin) Udo and her grandson, Clifford Udo.
She is survived by her sisters, Margie (Durwood) Bruce, Shelby Jean (Pete) Williams and Sissy Gentry and her brother Billy Wayne Purdy (Frankie), her daughters, Mayford Dianne Dare (Rulon) and Jimmie Marie Herrick (George); grandsons, Benjamin, (Katie), Alexander, (Tiffany) and Christopher, (Abby) Dare, and six great-grandchildren, grandson Dennis Udo, granddaughter, Jessica, (Eric) Clark and a host of nieces and nephews.
Eileen was an avid gardner and an excellent cook. For many years, she and her husband owned and operated the successful Family Restaurant on Highway 3 in Marks. Family and friends could always count on her unconditional love and support. She will be forever missed and fondly remembered.
Burial will be in the family plot in the Lambert Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the charity of your choice.

William Marvin Porter Jr.

William Marvin Porter Jr., 60, died Monday, May 16, 2016, at Rush Medical Center in Meridian.
Porter, born on June 18, 1955 in Memphis to the late Carolyne Smith Porter and William Marvin Porter Sr., was a retired surveyor with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Graveside services will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m. in Davis Chapel Cemetery near Sardis with Rev. Don Chancellor officiating. Ray Nowell Funeral Home has charge.

Joann Taylor Ford

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Ms. Joann Taylor Ford transitioned to be with her heavenly father on May 17, 2016 after years of fighting the battle against cancer.  Throughout her fight, she was surrounded by her loved ones.  Most importantly, Joann never spent a day alone.  She left this world knowing she was respected by many, and loved by many more.   
Services will be held Saturday, May 21 at 11 a.m. in the North Panola High School Auditorium in Sardis. Visitation will be held today from 12 p.m.  noon – 6 p.m. at Cooley’s Mortuary. Rev. Kelly Walls will officiate. Cooley’s Mortuary has charge of arrangements.
Joann was born on August 1,1958 in Como to Clarence and Lula Taylor along with her twin brother, Billy Joe. She confessed Christ at a young age at Cedar Grove M.B Church in Como where she served faithfully.  
She is a 1976 graduate of North Panola High School.  After graduating high school, Joann attended Rust Community College and later earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi.  After graduating from college, Joann moved to Florida and lived until the birth of her beautiful twins.  After the birth of her twins, she moved back to her beloved hometown of Como. Over the next few years, she married Cecil Ford who helped raise their children; Lisa Boothe, Mary George, and Lee Williams. During her return home, she secured a position as a science teacher with North Panola School District and was employed for 25 years. Teaching was her true passion, but cancer forced an early retirement.   
Joann was a hard-working individual who loved her job and who was passionate about exploring and giving her students a well-rounded education. She was an active and dedicated member of West Batesville Church under the direction of Pastor Kelly Walls, where she served as secretary. She will be remembered as an excellent mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, friend and a leading figure in the North Panola School District community.
Joann is preceded in death by her Father; Clarence Taylor, Sr and Brother; Martin Dale Taylor. She leaves to cherish her memories her Mother; Lula Mae Taylor; two children; Lee Sante’ Williams (Natasha Knox Williams) and Lisa Shanae’ Boothe (Anderson R. Boothe); Grandson; Bryson Lee Williams; beloved step-children; Mary George, Naomi Harris, Melanie Key; Tyrone Bishop,Theresa Driver, Anita Driver, Markaus Davis and a host of grandchildren; two sisters; Ruby Jean Taylor Dandridge and Gail Taylor Carter (Reginald Carter, Sr); four brothers; her twin Billy Joe Taylor; Paul Taylor (Joann Coleman Taylor); Herbert James Taylor(Debra Taylor); and Clarence Taylor, Jr. (Nickie Taylor); and four very special friends; Erma Taylor; Deborah Campbell Fondren; Marilyn Jackson; Lucy Johnson, Damita. She also leaves to celebrate her life a host of nieces, nephews and friends.