Marie Leland remembered for her heart of service

Published 2:10 pm Thursday, June 18, 2020

Beulah Marie Leland

Batesville and all of Panola County suffered the loss of a beacon of light who served all people with tenderness and care with the passing of Beulah Marie Leland, 78,  on June 10, 2020.

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She was the widow of the late C.W. Leland, and leaves 10 children and numerous grandchildren.

Leland was founder of the Panola County Food Pantry and worked tirelessly for many years meeting the daily demands of providing food boxes for hundreds of families a month.

She was active in aspects of church life and had an endearing love and care for young mothers, and their need for support and life instruction.

Born April 29, 1942, in Steel, MO., Leland was one of 11 children. She was reared in Lilbourn, MO., where she was an outstanding softball player, earning a college scholarship.

In 2019 she was named the Panola Partnership Community Champion for her lifelong commitment to community service and a better Panola County for all.

When times grew dark at our food pantry, she brought light. She will be missed, but we can honor her by continuing her mission to feed the hungry,” said Joe Azar, executive director of the Partnership.

“Marie Leland lived her life by a Mother Teresa quote:

Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, always start with the person nearest you,” Azar recalled.