Doyle Bennett (Former BMC Staff)

Clifton Doyle Bennett, 86, passed away Monday, February 23, 2015, at his home. He was born on December 21, 1928, to Mullins and Lillian Westmoreland Bennett in Benton County. He was retired from Oil-Dri Corporation with almost 30 years of service and from Blue Mountain College, where he was the grounds keeper. He enjoyed gardening and sharing with family and friends. He was an active member of Unity Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon for over 50 years. Services will be Thursday, February 26, 2015, at 3 p.m. at Unity Baptist Church with Bro. Ronnie Barefield and Bro. Paolo Laudadio officiating. Burial will follow in Unity Cemetery. McBride Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Visitation will be today, February 25, 2015, beginning at 5 p.m. and continuing until service time at the church .Mr. Bennett is survived by two daughters, Brenda Grant (Mack) and Betty Cook (Kenny), both of Ripley; one son, Eddie Bennett (Pam) of Florence, Ala.; one daughter-in-law, Doris Bennett of Ripley; two brothers, Thomas Bennett (Doris) of Columbus, Ga., J.R. Bennett (Frances) of Ashland; two stepsisters, Hazel Samuela of Millington, Tenn., and Leatrice Damerick of Arkansas; seven grandchildren, Amy Cook, Bethany Fletcher, Josh Bennett, Natalie Bennett, Brian Grant (Penny), Kimberly Wilbanks (Steven), Brandon Roberts; seven great-grandchildren, Hunter and Tristen Grant, Ella Katherine and Caroline Bennett, Graham and Bekka Fletcher, and Madison Wilbanks. He was preceded in death by his wife, Edith Jane Beavers Bennett; his parents; one son, Jerry Doyle Bennett; five brothers; one sister; and two stepbrothers. Pallbearers will be Waymon Meeks, Tom Conner, Pat Myers, Bobby Paseur, Bro. Kody Moore, Kevin Barefield, Mickey Moore, and Danny Johnson. Honorary pallbearers will be grandchildren, great-grandchildren, his Sunday School Class, and Larry Meeks. Memorials may be made to Doyle Bennett Memorial Scholarship Fund, Blue Mountain College, P.O. Box 160, Blue Mountain, MS 38610.

Ruth Hutto (Attended BMC in 1950 and she was a Modenian)

Ruth was born on November 24, 1930 and passed away on Tuesday, February 3, 2015. Ruth was a resident of Bay Springs, Mississippi at the time of her passing. She was preceded in death by her husband William.
A funeral service was held at 11:00 am on Friday, February 6, 2015, at Colonial Chapel Funeral Home of Bay Springs located at 22 E. 4th Ave, Bay Springs, MS. The family will received friends from 9:00 am until 11:00 am at Colonial Chapel Funeral Home of Bay Springs. Interment was in Bay Springs City Cemetery in Bay Springs, MS.

Hellon Barlow Wykle (BMC 1947)

Hellon Barlow Wykle died on January 31, 2015, after a brief and unexpected illness. She was an educator teaching diverse business courses from accounting to computer science. She completed her undergraduate work at Blue Mountain College and received her masters from University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) in Oxford, Mississippi. Over her career she taught at junior high schools and high schools in Arlington County, VA; local college in Atlanta, GA; Louisville High School, MS; Holmes Junior College, MS; University of Arkansas and Mississippi University for Women (MSCW). It was at MSCW that she met and married another teacher, James Wykle. They had two daughters, Pamela and Jamise, who live in McLean, VA. After her retirement, she was able to spend time with family and friends. She had a lifelong passion for flowers and gardening, especially African Violets. She was a Samurai Sudoku aficionado; an avid reader; a keen observer of political and social issues; a college/pro basketball and football fan. A private memorial will be convened to celebrate her life.

Eugenia Boyett Stewart (BMC 1945)

Mrs. Eugenia Boyett Stewart passed away on Feb. 5, 2015, in Memphis, Tennessee. Visitation will be from 1-2 p.m. Saturday at Morrison Funeral Home in Tuscumbia. The funeral service will follow at 2 p.m. in the funeral home chapel with the Rev. James Warren officiating. Interment will be at Oakwood Cemetery, Sheffield. A longtime resident of Sheffield, Alabama, Ms. Stewart was born on Dec. 30, 1922, in Memphis and grew up in Sallis, Mississippi. Ms. Stewart graduated from Sallis High School in Sallis, Mississippi. She later attended Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain, Mississippi in 1945. She later completed her M.S. degree in education at the University of North Alabama. Ms. Stewart was a retired school teacher having served 21years in the public schools in Colbert County, Alabama. She was a long time member of First Baptist Church of Sheffield, Alabama. She was an avid reader and bird watcher. Mrs. Stewart was preceded in death by her husband J. Osie Stewart, and daughter, Carol Stevenson. She is survived by son, David Stewart and wife, Denise; grandchildren, Jonathan Stewart, Cullen Stewart, Stacey Jackson, and Carla Lane; great-grandchildren, Amanda Lane, Nathan White, Carlee Hayse Stewart, Addie Stewart, Stella Stewart, and Sammie Stewart; and Tim Stevenson, whom she looked upon as a son. In lieu of flowers memorials, may be made to Blue Mountain College, 201 West Main St., Blue Mountain, MS, 38610.

Donna Conlee Mooney (BMC 1968)

ECRU – Donna Conlee Mooney died Sunday, February 8, 2015, at New Albany Hospital. She was born to the late Johnnie Mae Simmons Conlee and Slay Hugh Conlee of Ecru. She graduated from Ecru High School where she was salutatorian, editor of the school paper, and head cheerleader. She attended Itawamba Junior College where she was president of the Baptist Student Union, president of Monroe Hall, president of Young Women's Auxiliary, secretary of the Student Education Association, on the Dean's List, and selected to the Hall of Fame. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English at Blue Mountain College and received a Masters of Library Science from Ole Miss. In her 36 year career with Pontotoc County school system, she organized several fundraisers to provide lockers and air conditioning for the new North Pontotoc Attendance Center and sponsored the Beta Club for 23 years. As president of North Pontotoc PTO she helped raise funds for covered walkways, furnished the library with 10 computers, workstations, carts, and a CD player through book fairs and beauty revues. She was the first president of the Pontotoc County Professional Educators. She organized the 20-year reunion of North Pontotoc School, actively participated in the effort to keep Bible classes in schools when the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the school system, and helped secure Bill Murray and Dr. James Kenneth for countywide fundraisers, to pay the lawyers, and had worked with the Bible committee since 1971, where she served as secretary, treasurer, vice president and president. Donna was also active in civic affairs, helping with fundraising to purchase more Christmas lights for Ecru, coordinating 11 Christmas parades and helping with senior citizens days and Veterans Day programs. As president of the Pilot Club of Ecru, she coordinated the 1984 reunion of all classes of Ecru High School, compiling a booklet of composite pictures of all graduating classes along with the history of the school since its beginning in the 1920s.Donna loved her church, Ecru Baptist, where she taught the ladies Sunday school class for 36 years, sang in the choir, and most recently coordinated Operation Christmas Child, where boxes that contained the word of God, toys, school supplies and clothes that were sent to children in over 70 countries and helped spread the word of God to millions around the world. She was president of the Pontotoc Ridge Dulcimer Club and enjoyed playing in churches and nursing homes. A celebration of life will be held on Tuesday, February 10, 2015, at 2 p.m. at Ecru Baptist Church with the Rev. Glenn Reeder, the Rev. Tom Summrall, the Rev. Barry Littlefield and the Rev. Greg Lassett officiating. Burial will follow in the Ecru Cemetery. Browning Funeral Home in Pontotoc is in charge of the arrangements. She is survived by her husband, Rex Mooney, whom she has been married to for 46 and one half years; several nieces and nephews; and many special friends. Pallbearers will be the active Deacons of Ecru Baptist Church. Visitation will be today at 5 p.m. at Ecru Baptist Church. Memorials may be sent to the Donna Mooney Scholarship Fund for Ministerial Students, c/o Renasant Bank, 309 Hwy 15, Pontotoc, MS 38863.

Virginia May Clark (Attended BMC 1937)

Boulder lost a great friend when Virginia May Clark passed away peacefully in her home on January 20th, 2015. Her family remembers her as "gracious, loving, remarkable and beautiful in every way possible." Born May 11, 1917 in Johnston City, Illinois, she moved with family to the Front Range in 1931. She graduated from Frederick High School and then attended Blue Mountain College in Mississippi. In 1938, Virginia married Melvin Eugene Clark, her high school sweetheart, in Colorado and they began a new life together in New Jersey and New York states. She lived with her growing family in Maryland, California, Michigan, Kansas and Alabama, before retiring with Mel in Boulder in 1991. Mel passed away May 17, 2013, just months shy of their 75th wedding anniversary. Virginia enjoyed playing bridge and golf, traveled extensively with Mel, and remained active with her church and P.E.O. Her greatest passion, though, was family. She was raised in a loving home by a caring family and relatives, eventually becoming the matriarch of her own extended family. Virginia was preceded in death by her parents, Harry Robert Hiller and Della Clayton Hiller, as well as her beloved husband, Mel. She is survived by siblings Robert Hiller of Camarillo, CA and Len Hiller of Phoenix, AZ; children John Robert Clark of Boulder, CO, Walter Clayton Clark of Lafayette, CO, Dale Eugene Clark of Richmond, VA, and Merry Sue Clark of Boulder, CO. Additionally, Virginia was a loving grandmother to six grandchildren, as well as six wonderful great-grandchildren. She was a woman of many interests, but family forever remained first and foremost. Virginia's family is very grateful to the wonderful caregivers who have provided such loving attention to both Mel and Virginia over the years. A memorial service and celebration of Virginia's life will be held at Cairn Christian Church, 1700 Stonehenge Drive, Lafayette, CO on February 13th at 2:00 P.M., officiated by Reverend Dr. Charisa Hunter-Crump. A private family burial service will take place at Green Mountain Cemetery in Boulder, CO. Donations may be made in Virginia's name to the P.E.O. Foundation (Virginia May Clark Scholarship Fund) 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312 or to Cairn Christian Church, 1700 Stonehenge Drive, Lafayette, CO 80026. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers on behalf of Virginia.

Eddie Jean Holmes (BMC 1961)

Eddie Jean Holmes, 75, of Pensacola, FL passed away, Thursday, December 25, 2014. She was born on June 13, 1939 in Tupelo, MS, the third of three girls of Edward C. Holmes and Louise (Jane) Steadman. She graduated from Tupelo High School and Blue Mountain College for Women in Blue Mountain, MS. She received her B.S. degree in Elementary Education. Her summers were spent in Girl Scout Camps as a camp counselor. She met many staff members who became life-long friends. After graduation from Blue Mountain College, she began her teaching career in Detroit, MI. She also taught in Memphis, TN, Atlanta, GA and New Mexico. She worked as a professional Girl Scout executive. Once she moved to Pensacola and she worked for 29 years for the Escambia County School District teaching 5th grade at Olive Elementary (now Lincoln Park) and West Pensacola. She also taught GED classes. Eddie Jean's students did well under her strict discipline and fair ways. She had a caring personality and communicated well with parents. She also played her guitar on Friday for good behavior and the students participated in the singing. She used her guitar as a teaching tool. While teaching full time, she completed her Masters in Administration and Supervision from Troy State University, Troy, AL. Eddie Jean volunteered and shared her musical talent every Monday morning at United Ministries. She was a soloist at First Presbyterian Church of Pensacola, singing for funerals, memorials, weddings and singing weekly as a tenor in the adult choir. She wrote songs for special friends for special occasions. Saint Jude Hospital was very special to her. She was a long time donor to their cause. She also was a tither in her church. Eddie Jean is preceded in death by her parents; Edward C. Holmes and Jane Holmes McDonald and by her sister, Emma Holmes Ware. Survivors include her sister, Delores Holmes Burton of MI; two nephews, Ed (Julie) Burton and Mike (Laurie) Burton; niece, Carla (Tom) March; great niece, Rachel; great nephew, Luke; many cousins in West Point, MS, the home of her late mother; a favorite cousins, Ed Love II (Sylvia) and Ed Love III; and special family friend, Mary Jean Miller. A memorial service will be held at 1st Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 4:00pm with Dr. Randon Jackson officiating. Visitation will be immediately after the service in the church parlor. Eddie Jean's ashes will be placed in the columbarium at the church at a later time (Niche No. C-22). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Eddie Jean's name to First Presbyterian Church - Music fund. She will be missed by every person she touched.

Jenny Staggs (BMC 1969)

Virginia Pennebaker Staggs, 87, died Friday, December 19, 2014, at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. She was born on July 25, 1927, in Memphis to the late John Edwin and Ruby Barkley Pennebaker.
She graduated from New Albany High School, attended MSCW and holds degrees from Blue Mountain College and Ole Miss.
She was a retired elementary school teacher. She really enjoyed when people would say to her, "You taught me in first grade."
Jenny was a devoted wife, a great cook and enjoyed family gatherings as well as entertaining friends, especially her bridge foursome. She talked fondly about trips up the river, mountain camping, hiking and RV-ing. She was a member of First United Methodist Church of New Albany and the Marjorie Houston Sunday School Class.
Visitation was Monday, December 22, 2014, from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. at Wesley Hall of First United Methodist Church with funeral services following at 2:00 p.m. in the church with Rev. Barry Male and Rev. John Staggs officiating. Burial will be at New Albany City Cemetery. United Funeral Service is in charge of the arrangements.
She is survived by her husband of 67 years, Wallace Howard Staggs; a son, Rev. Dr. John Howard Staggs (Lou Ann); a daughter, Susan Penny Ray (Roger); a granddaughter, Christy Lou Hill (James); three grandsons, John Nathan Staggs, Edwin Drew Carter (Beth) and Jon Travis Carter; and great-grandchildren, Matt and Mallory Hill.
Pallbearers will be Nathan Staggs, Travis Carter, Drew Carter, James Hill, John David Pennebaker and Dr. Tommy Barkley.

Jewell Breazeale Brown (attended BMC 1945)

SALTILLO – Jewell Breazeale Brown passed away December 1, 2014, at her daughter's home in Saltillo. She was born March 28, 1924, to Charlie and Lula Burchfield Breazeale in Ethel. After graduating from Ethel High School, Jewell attended Blue Mountain College. She then moved to Jackson and met William Thomas Brown Jr., formerly of Sherman, upon his return from World War II. They married on August 25, 1946, and made their home in Jackson.
Jewell was a devoted wife and mother who enjoyed traveling with her husband after his retirement, especially in the New England area. She was a genealogy enthusiast, took great pleasure in fishing with a cane pole, and was a passionate Ole Miss Sports fan. As a longtime member of First Baptist Church of Jackson, she was active in the WMU and served in the preschool ministry.
Survivors include her daughter, Paula Brown Carter of Saltillo; sons, William Thomas Brown III (Sally) of Jackson and Robert Osborne Brown (Jan) of Metairie, Louisiana; eight grandchildren, who lovingly called her Jewella, Presley Carter Walters (Kris) of Hattiesburg, Holly Carter McCoy (Neal) of Saltillo, Ray Carter (Stacey) of Madison, Bonnie Brown of New York City, Shellie Brown of Jackson, Claire, Bobby and Catherine Brown of Metairie, Louisiana; eight great-grandchildren, Wes, Ann Elise, and Bankston Hays Walters, Mac, South and Carter Cate McCoy and Mary Claire and Thomas William Carter; and her only surviving sibling, Clara Childress of Roswell, Georgia. She is also survived by a host of beloved nieces and nephews.
Jewell was preceded in death by her husband in 1985; her parents; four brothers, Everette, Ed, Grady and Robert Breazeale; and four sisters, Lillian Love Byrd, Zula McCormick, Beatrice Bailey and Ludie Wardlaw.
The family will gather with friends on Thursday, December 4, 2014, from 9:30 to 10 a.m. in the stateroom at W.E. Pegues, Tupelo. A graveside service will follow at 11 a.m. at Sherman Cemetery with Bro. Jerry Parker, her nephew-in-law, officiating. W.E. Pegues, Tupelo is entrusted with the arrangements.
Pallbearers will be her grandsons, Ray Carter and Bobby Brown; her grandsons-in-law, Kris Walters and Neal McCoy; and nephews, John McCormick, Gerald McCormick, Steve Breazeale, Buz Wardlaw, and Brad Childress. Honorary pallbearers will be Bobby Love, Thomas Milton Breazeale, Mickey Breazeale and John Benton Love.
Memorials may be made in her honor to French Camp Academy or a charity of one's choice

Martha Ann Wilson (BMC 1951)

Martha Ann Wilson, 85, of Owensboro passed away on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at her home. She was born on April 8, 1929 in Henderson, KY to the late Willis & Linda Butler. She was a graduate of Blue Mountain College in Mississippi. Martha lived her life in service to others as a homemaker and was a very active member of First Baptist Church, where she was a former W. M. U. Director, was involved with many mission activities and was a member of the Beacon Sunday School class. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by three sisters and two brothers. Survivors include her husband of 61 years, Martin G. Wilson; two sons, Robert L. Wilson and Samuel C. (Nancy) Wilson; one daughter, Mary Martha (Dan) Reynolds; six grandchildren, Kyle Reynolds, Kari Beth (Bart) Adams, Bennett, Olivia, Susan, and Sarah Wilson, and several nieces and nephews. Graveside services will be 11:30a.m. on Saturday, July 19, 2014 at Rosehill Cemetery with Dr. Paul Strahan officiating. Visitation will be from 4:00p.m. until 8:00p.m. on Friday and from 10:00a.m. until 11:00a.m. on Saturday at James H. Davis Funeral Home & Crematory. The family requests that expressions of sympathy take the form of donations to First on Missions at First Baptist Church, PO Box 904, Owensboro, KY 42302 or Hospice of Western Kentucky, 3419 Wathens Crossing, Owensboro, KY 42301.

Miriam Preston Collins (BMC 1951) Eunomian

Miriam Preston Collins, 85, died at home on Wednesday, December 31, 2014. Born on November 13, 1929, in Memphis, Tennessee to Nancy Roebuck Preston and Dr. William Hall Preston, Miriam grew up in Nashville, graduating from Hillsboro High School in 1947. She attended Blue Mountain College, graduating with a Bachelor's degree in History and Speech and received her Master's degree in English and Education from Vanderbilt University in 1952. Miriam's father, Dr. Preston, was instrumental in establishing Baptist student ministry on college campuses and from an early age, Miriam often joined her father in his work with college students, travelling both nationally and internationally. Thus began Miriam's lifelong love and passion for ministry to college students. After graduating from Vanderbilt, Miriam accepted a job as Baptist Student Union director at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Upon her move to Houston in 1952, she joined South Main Baptist Church where she met Perryman Collins, then a student at Baylor College of Medicine. They married in the summer of 1955, and moved to Maryland where Perryman would complete his surgical training at Johns Hopkins and the National Institutes of Health. In 1963, Perryman and Miriam returned to Houston with their four children. Perryman established his surgical practice, and Miriam served as his office administrator and support. Their family rejoined South Main Baptist Church where Miriam taught Sunday school for 50 years. This included decades of teaching college students, singles and more recently her senior adult class, Koinonia. In addition, Miriam taught international students for over 20 years in SMILE, South Main's English language program. In 1983, she was elected a deacon at South Main and chosen as an Honored Deacon in 2013. Miriam and Perryman were married for 58 years, until his death in August 2013.Miriam shared Perryman's love of the Davis Mountains and Paisano Baptist Encampment, which lies halfway between Alpine and Marfa, Texas, near the base of Paisano Peak. She was first introduced to the area when Perryman took her there on their honeymoon in 1955. Miriam quickly became part of Perryman's Paisano family, and Paisano remained an active part of Miriam and her family's lives for almost every summer thereafter. She served on the Board of Directors of Paisano for over 20 years. Paisano is a place where all the things that really mattered to Miriam and Perryman are taught and engrained year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation – love of God, family and friends; cultivating old and new friendships; Bible study, hymn singing and preaching; cowboy cooking, especially extended breakfasts with family and friends; and cool nights, big skies and mountain air. Miriam and Perryman made their last trip to Paisano in 2012, some 57 years after their honeymoon there. Miriam's faith was her core, and strongly influenced everything that she did. She wanted everyone to know the love of Jesus that she had experienced, and she shared her faith openly. Any overnight visitors to their home would receive a wonderful home-cooked breakfast, but only after Miriam had opened her dog-eared and underlined Bible and read a few verses of scripture and explained why those scriptures (whichever ones they were) were the most important scriptures to her. Miriam’s passions included a love for God and the Bible, a deep love and loyalty to her family, and a strong calling to be a friend to many and a stranger to none. Perhaps no one has ever had more "best" friends, because to know Miriam was to be considered her dear friend. Miriam was preceded in death by her parents and her husband of 58 years, Perryman. She is survived by her children and grandchildren who she loved so deeply: Beth Collins Wray of Houston, Texas; Perryman Collins, Jr., M.D., of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and wife Paula, and children, Daniel and Emily Collins and Blake Meyer; Bill Collins of Natchitoches, Louisiana, and wife Phyllis, and children, Cole and Cordell Collins; and Lainie Collins Cline of Houston, Texas, and husband Wade, and children Kenneth, Andrew and Abby Cline; her brother William Preston of Booneville, Mississippi, and wife Jane; her brother John Preston of Farmington, New Mexico, and wife Sara; her brother-in-law, Stephen Collins of Colleyville, Texas, and wife Jane; her sister-in-law, Ruth Collins Wilkerson of Lubbock, Texas, and husband John; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. The family wishes to thank Mercy Pesculado and Dorothy Wong, Miriam's caretakers, as well as her many friends and fellow residents of The Forum, and its staff. Friends were cordially invited to a visitation with the family from four o'clock until six o'clock in the evening, Sunday, the 4th of January, in the Jasek Chapel of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston. The memorial service was conducted at eleven o'clock in the morning on Monday, the 5th of January, at South Main Baptist Church, 4100 Main Street in Houston, where Dr. Steve Wells, Pastor, officiated. Immediately following, all were invited to greet the family during a reception held in the fellowship hall. Prior to the service, the family gathered for a private interment at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts, if desired, be made to either Paisano Baptist Encampment, c/o Buddy Baldridge, Vice President, Finance, 6725 Highway 380, Snyder, Texas 79549, South Main Baptist Church, Attn: Brad Jernberg, 4100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77002, or Blue Mountain College, Office of Institutional Advancement, P.O. Box 160, Blue Mountain, Mississippi 38610.


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