Published 12:25 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mary Louise Drake

BATESVILLE–Mrs. Mary Louise Smith Drake, 92, passed away Saturday, March 18, 2017 at DeSoto Healthcare and Rehab in Southaven.
Mrs. Drake was born September 7, 1924 in Courtland to the late Christine Fisher Smith and David H. Smith. She was a devoted member of First Baptist Church in Batesville where she taught Sunday School and led in the Explorer’s Bible Study for many years.
She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and sister who felt her life’s focus was to take care of family, second only to serving the Lord.
She loved history and studying God’s word, and would often be found reading her Bible. Described by her children as a “wonderful prayer warrior,” she prayed for everyone she knew, and she will be deeply missed by her family and many friends
She is survived by her loving family which includes her daughters, Suzanne Covington (Jimmy) of Sardis, and Mellie Watts (Lin) of Conyers, Ga.; her sons, Danny A. Drake (Sylvia) of Hattiesburg, and Roy F. Drake (Linda) of Bartlett, Tenn.; her sister, Martha Rowsey; nine grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Alton C. Drake and her parents.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, March 21 at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Batesville. Interment will follow in Batesville Magnolia Cemetery.
Visitation will be held in the church Tuesday from 10 a.m. until service time at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, 104 Panola Ave., Batesville, MS 38606.
Dickins Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Bobby Lee Russell

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BATESVILLE–Bobby Lee Russell, age 80, passed away at his home Sunday morning, March 19, 2017.
Funeral services will be 2 p.m.. Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at the First Baptist Church in Sardis, MS with interment to follow in Forrest Memorial Park in Batesville.
The family will receive friends one hour prior to the funeral service Tuesday at the church.
Bobby was born September 5, 1936 in Panola County, to the late Bilbo and Clara Rikard Russell.
He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Sardis.
Bobby wore many different hats during his working career. He was a livestock inspector for the Mississippi Board of Animal Health, while also being a cattleman and commercial fisherman.
When there was time left in the day after work, Bobby was an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He enjoyed the game of baseball and took great pride in being an Ole Miss fan.
Bobby’s greatest joy was spending time with his two grandsons, Thomas and Jordan.
Bobby’s loving memory and legacy will live on through his wife of 55 years, Margaret Williams Russell of Batesville; daughter, Jennifer Russell Wilkie, and son-in-law, Mike, of Batesville; four sisters, Joyce Russell Billingsley of Olive Branch, Birdie Russell Polsgrove (Terry) of Rossville, Tenn., Brenda Russell Slayden (Wynne) of Madison, Teresa Russell of Sardis; two brothers, Donald Russell (Dorothy) of Sardis, Billy Russell (Duffy) of Sardis; two grandsons, Thomas Edwin Wilkie and Jordan Lee Wilkie.
Other than Bobby’s parents, he was preceded in death by one brother, James Russell.

Mamie Stafford

MARKS–Mamie Stafford, 88, a homemaker, died March 16, 2017 at Merit Health, Clarksdale.
Funeral services were Monday at Meredith-Nowell Funeral Home in Clarksdale with burial in the Crowder Cemetery.
Survivors include: five daughters, Rita Feather, Carol (Thomas) Foster, Alison (Adam) Campbell, all of Lambert, and Cathy (Richard) Pinkston of Batesville and Virginia (Mike) Wiggs of Moon Lake; four sons, William (Sylvia) Stafford of Inverness, Glenn (Donna) Stafford of Calhoun City, Ronnie Stafford of Marks, and Lonnie (Wanda) Stafford of Clarksdale; two brothers, Lloyd and J.L. Qualls; 17 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild.
    She was preceded in death by her husband, William Stafford;  parents, Lee and Flora Martin Qualls, and her granddaughter, Melissa Pinkston.
A special thank you to the Southern Care Hospice Group of Oxford and Todd, Mrs. Linda, Mrs. Jackie, Mrs. Mattie, Mrs. Janie, Bro. Dave and so many others who came to take care of our mom and the great ministry they gave her.  You are all so appreciated.