Mary Florence Thrash (Former BMC Faculty)

Miss Mary Florence Thrash, 75, of LaGrange, passed away September 26, 2015. Miss Thrash was born November 7, 1939 to the late Joe Paschal Thrash, Sr. and Lena Maude Permenter Thrash of Troup County. After attending Greenville High School and graduating from LaGrange High School, Miss Thrash continued her education at the Georgia State College for Women, University of Iowa and University of Poitiers, Tours, France. Her degrees included a Master's Degree plus a Diploma in French. She continued in education as a Professor for three years at University of Iowa, Illinois Wesleyan University and Blue Mountain College, Blue Mountain, Mississippi. She worked at Belk, Ramada Inn (now Best Western) in LaGrange and retired as assistant manager of Roosevelt's Little White House State Historic Site with 30 years of service.
She is survived by two nephews, Joe P. Thrash, III (Julie), Michael James Thrash (Lena), all of LaGrange; sister-in-law, Hazel Horton, of Mountville; a great niece, Ashleigh Brooke Thrash; great nephew, Michael James Thrash, Jr.; cousins and close friends, Joann Pruitt and Bill Pruitt both of Big Springs; Kaye Pruitt White (Shane) of LaGrange; Suzanne and Gene Pike of Warm Springs; and her faithful canine companion, Oscar Thrash. She is predeceased by her brother, Joe P. Thrash, Jr.
Visitation for Mary Thrash will be Tuesday, September 29, 2015 from 6:00 till 8:00 at Higgins LaGrange Chapel. Services will be at Mountville United Methodist Church at 11:00 A.M. Wednesday, September 30, 2015 with Rev. Kerry Wright and Rev. Bob Humphries officiating. Flowers will be accepted or a donation may be made in Miss Thrash's memory to Friends of Roosevelt's Little White House, 401 Little White House Road, Warm Springs, GA 31830. All services provided by Higgins LaGrange Chapel. 706-884-7117.

Ernestine Mae Ellis (BMC 1951)

Ernestine Mae Ellis 90, beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, entered the Kingdom of God on September 2, 2013. Ernie was born August 2, 1923 in Sacramento, Kentucky. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ret. Chap., Col. John R. Ellis, Jr.; daughter, Rita Scully; son, Timothy Ellis. She is survived by her children, Deborah Notah, Cathi Jones, Mark Ellis and Rebecca Schulte; grandchildren and great- grandchildren, Valerie, Marc and Vance Kreider, Jeremy, Misty, and Jenna Schulte, Aaron, Trista and Bailey Ellis, Nicholas, Lexi and Sumner Notah, Britany and Daniel Endisch and Reanna Ellis. She was dearly loved and will be greatly missed. Services: Desert Gardens Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Sunday, September 15, 2013, 3:00 p.m. Arrangements by DESERT ROSE HEATHER CREMATION AND BURIAL.

(Please forgive the delay in this announcement.  We just found out, though she passed away in 2013.)

Carolyn Benn Patterson (BMC 1957)

Carolyn Benn Patterson of Benton went to be with the Lord on Thursday, September 10, 2015. She was born March 19, 1934 in Portia, Arkansas. She was a member of Highland Heights Baptist Church and a lifetime member of the Arkansas Retired Teachers' Association.
Carolyn taught in the Benton public schools for 36 years. She taught Sunday School at Highland Heights Baptist Church most of her adult life. She loved music, especially men's quartets and ladies' trios. She graduated from Clover Bend High School in Lawrence County and was valedictorian of her class. After working a year in Memphis, she attended Williams Baptist College and received the Faculty Award in her sophomore year. Carolyn received her BS degree from Blue Mountain College in Mississippi and her MSE from Henderson University.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jimmy Patterson; her parents, Kent and Mabel Benn; her brother, Kent Jr., and four sisters; Fay Mildred Walling, Corrinne Karapcik, Clara Pegues and Ruth Tipton and six sisters-in-law; Yolanda Benn, Barbara Mouser, Opal Campbell, Pauline Hardy, Loyce Reed and Ruth Swindle Wann.
She is survived by her son and daughter in law, Phillip and Kim Patterson of Siloam Springs; two grandsons, Brent Bright of Oxford, Mississippi and Zach Bright of Maumelle; three sisters, Mary Graddy of Walnut Ridge, Joyce Lees of Naples, Florida and Albertine Turley of Watsonville, California; a sister-in-law, Virginia Parker Cato of Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
The Memorial Service will be 3 p.m., Saturday, September 12, at Highland Heights Baptist Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Arkansas Food Bank, Highland Heights Baptist Church's Food Pantry or to your favorite charity .

Vernis Goudelock Collins (BMC 1939)

NEW ALBANY – Vernis Goudelock Collins, 98, died Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015, at her residence. She was born April 8, 1917, in Keownville community, Union County to Dr. John Clifton Goudelock and Lilly Shaw Goudelock. After graduation from Blue Mountain College in 1939, she began a long teaching career that lasted until her retirement in 1978. Teaching high school English took her to many schools – Thaxton, Pinedale, Bruce, Center, Macedonia and, finally, West Union. She is fondly remembered by her former students as a teacher who insisted that students do their best, but who always treated her pupils with kindness and respect, never showing favoritism to any individual. In 1947, she married William Collins. A lifelong Methodist, she was a member of Friendship United Methodist Church, where, she served as pianist for 30 years, as well as Sunday school teacher of the children's and adult ladies' classes. She enjoyed growing flowers and was a member of the New Albany Garden Club and the Highway 30 West Home Demonstration Club.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, at United Funeral Service in New Albany with the Rev. Dan Darling officiating. Burial will be at Glenfield Memorial Park Cemetery.
She is survived by two sons, William Colin Collins (June) and David Lee Collins; two grandchildren, Anna Claire Collins Hall (Shane) and William Clay Collins (Brittney); and two great-grandchildren, Graham Hall and Jovie Hall, who were the joy of her life.
She was preceded in death by her husband, William Collins; her parents, Dr. and Mrs. John Clifton Goudelock; her brother, Dr. Leander Goudelock and her sister, Doris Pannell.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today, Sept. 8, 2015, at United Funeral Home.
Pall bearers are Clifton Pannell, Robert Goudelock, Brian Willard, David Wallace, Jimmy Ferguson, Collins Barber, Walter Porter Jr. and Mickey Page.

Martha Long Miller (Attended BMC 1944)

BOONEVILLE – Martha Long Miller, 91, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, at home. She was born Dec. 3, 1923, to R.L. and Hattie Youngblood Long. She was a retired insurance agent after 50 years at R.L. Long Insurance Agency and a member of Booneville First Baptist Church. A celebration of life service will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, at McMillan Funeral Home with Dr. Lynn Jones officiating. Burial will be in Booneville Cemetery. She is survived by one daughter, Carolyn Miller of Booneville; one brother, George Long of Booneville; one sister-in-law, Joann Long of Booneville; one nephew, Ellis (Angie) Long of Booneville; and one niece, Tina Long of Corinth. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Doug Miller; and three brothers, Howard, Jack and Horace Long. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, at McMillan Funeral Home. Pallbearers will be John Wroten, Phil Purvis, Jim Pounds, Donald Harris, Bill Murphy, Jan Prichard and Charles Crabb.

Mary Louise Oakley Merrill (BMC 1949)

Mary Louise Oakley Merrill of Germantown, passed away peacefully, August 25, 2015 at the age of 86. She was born on November 12, 1928 in Hattiesburg, MS, the only child of Warrene Reid and Fred Oakley. Mary is survived by her husband of 65 years, John Francis Merrill; son, John Mark Merrill and his wife Ripple Holland Merrill; her grandchildren, Sarah Elizabeth Merrill, John Mark Merrill, Jr. and David Michael Merrill. She loved Jesus, was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She loved Blue Mountain College, both as a student and as a trustee. She also received her Master’s Degree from Memphis State. She will be greatly missed. The family will receive friends on Friday, August 28 from 11:30 am until service time at 1 pm all at Memorial Park Funeral Home, 5668 Poplar in Memphis. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in her memory to Blue Mountain College, P.O. Box 160, Blue Mountain, MS 38610.

Janelle ""Nell"" Buchanan Hood (Attended BMC 1954)

Janelle ""Nell"" Buchanan Hood, 80, passed away, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, at her home in Houston, MS. She was born November 11, 1934, in Houlka to Thomas Andrew Buchanan and Emma Wages Buchanan. She managed her husband's law practice for 45 years. She was a member of First Baptist Church in Houston. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, at First Baptist Church of Houston with Dr. Daniel Heeringa and the Rev. Al Gaspard officiating. Burial will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery in Houlka. Houston Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. Survivors include her husband of 58 years, James M. ""Jimmy"" Hood Jr. of Houston; daughter, Beth Hood Colbert of Brandon; sons, Jim Hood III and wife, Debbie, of Houston and Tom Hood and wife, Jennifer of Madison; grandchildren, Caroline Colbert Hunter and husband, Clark, Rebecca Hood, Matthew Hood IV, Annabelle Leigh Hood, Noah Hood and James Hood; great-granddaughter, Janelle Hunter. She was preceded in death by her parents; and three sisters, Pauline Buchanan Thomas, Blanche Buchanan Campbell and Venita Buchanan Alexander. Visitation will be at First Baptist Church Houston on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, from 9 to 11 a.m. with the service at 11 a.m. Memorials also may be made to Blue Mountain College, P.O. Box 160, Blue Mountain, MS 38610. Friends and family may leave a message at

Mary Elizabeth Smith Waggoner (BMC 1944)

Mary Elizabeth Smith Waggoner, 92, died peacefully on August 12, 2015, at University Medical Center in Jackson, MS. Mary Elizabeth was a source of unqualified love and care for others and an inspiration to those whose lives she touched. She displayed southern hospitality in its purest form with all guests experiencing her gracious warmth and entertaining conversation. She was the daughter of W.E. and Anna Smith of Carthage and was married for sixty-four years to Sam W. Waggoner. She was a graduate of Blue Mountain College, where she remained an active alumni her entire life. Mary Elizabeth was a wife, mother, beloved school teacher, Sunday school teacher and a textbook sales representative. She was active in Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society of Educators, the American Legion Auxiliary and numerous school and church based activities throughout her life. Before moving to Flowood in 2002, she and Sam W. resided in Newton, MS, for over fifty years. Mary Elizabeth remained closely connected to her friends in Newton, especially through previous civic, social and First Baptist Church relations. For the past thirty-five years, her love and affection have been poured out on her five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, while still carrying on as the family beacon of elegance, character and humor. Mary Elizabeth was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; her infant brother, Wayne Emmette; and her sister, Ima Peoples. She is survived by her sisters, Dot Holaday (BMC 1947) and Emily Moore; children, Joe Waggoner (Allison) and Mary Jane McDaniel (Kirk); grandchildren, Anna Henson (Zeb), Elizabeth Pegg (Clark), Sara Tisdale (Brad), Alex Ayres Waggoner and Olivia Waggoner; and great-grandchildren, Sara Beth, Leigh and Sam Henson, Katie, Bryson and Anna Corinne Pegg, and Millie Ruth Tisdale. The family is genuinely appreciative of the staff at The Orchard, especially for caretakers, Bobbye Thomas and Atlene Smith. Funeral services will be at First Baptist Church in Carthage on Saturday, August 15, 2015, at 11:00 a.m., preceded by visitation from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Interment will be at Harris Cemetery in Carthage. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Blue Mountain College, P.O. Box 160, Blue Mountain, MS, 38610.

Laurella Joy Owens (BMC 1948)

Laurella Joy Owens of Birmingham was born November 2, 1928, in Louisville, Kentucky. She died August 1, 2015. The daughter of Southern Baptist foreign missionaries, she spent the first twelve years of her life in Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Haifa, Palestine. When World War II threatened the countries of the Near East in 1941, her family was forced to return to the United States. She attended Chilton County High School in Clanton, Alabama, where her father was pastor of First Baptist Church. After earning a BA degree from Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain, Mississippi, and the Master of Religious Education degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, she was an editorial assistant at the Baptist Sunday School Board in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1957 she began almost twenty five years at the Baptist Woman's Missionary Union in Birmingham as an editor of publications, including "The Window" and "Royal Service." She was the author of the mission study book "Shalom," and with Virginia Pounds Brown co-authored "The World of the Southern Indians," "Southern Indian Myths and Legends," "Grand Old Days of Birmingham Golf 1898 to 1930," and "Toting the Lead Row: Ruby Pickens Tartt, Alabama Folklorist." She was a member of Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Birmingham. Though without children of her own, she became the "favorite aunt" who always expressed interest in the activities and lives of her nieces and nephews and their children. She was a faithful friend who delighted in reading, bird watching, and spoiling her dogs. Ms. Owens was preceded in death by her parents, Rev. and Mrs. Roswell E. Owens. She is survived by a sister, Rosalind O. McClanahan of Birmingham; a brother, Robert F. Owens (Alice) of Gulf Shores; and a sister, Doreen O. Hendrix (Tom) of Florence. Also surviving are nine nieces and nephews: David McClanahan (Leanne), Fort Smith AR; Rosalind Mouser (Kirby), Pine Bluff AR; Lizabeth Beazley (Roger), Lebanon TN; Stephen McClanahan, Decatur GA; Laura Thrasher, Anderson AL; Charles Owens (Amy), Robertsdale AL; Kelly Thrasher, Calera AL; William Owens (Pam), Cincinnati OH; Laura Wilborn (Daniel), Wellington FL; and thirteen great nieces and great nephews: Matthew McClanahan, Benjamin McClanahan, Lee Nutter, Alan McClanahan, David Nutter, Owen Mouser, Andrew Wilborn, Hannah Owens, Delaney Owens, Ashley Wilborn, Rebekah Owens, Graham Owens, Sarah Laurella Owens; and one first cousin, Myra Patricia Brandon of Alabaster. Lovie Williams was her steadfast friend and caregiver; Anita Holsombeck was her devoted nurse; Bridget Layfield, Danielle Denard, and Angie Gilmer were her caring sitters; and last, but not least, Laura Thrasher was her ministering angel. In accordance with her wishes, there will be a private family celebration of her life.


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