Betty Winn Rhymes (BMC 1949)

Betty Winn Rhymes was called to her Heavenly home on November 18, 2015 from her home in Monticello, MS. Born August 25, 1927 to Lewis E. and Audie Mae Winn of Laurel, MS, she was the second of four children in the family. A graduate of Blue Mountain College and a Euzelian, "Miss Betty" was a school teacher in Natchez, Hattiesburg and Monticello before she married her true love, John W. (Jack) Rhymes in September 1955. Mrs. Rhymes was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; two brothers, Lewis Winn, Jr. and Dawson Winn. She is survived by her twin brother, William D. (Bill) Winn of Lake Jackson, Texas; her daughter, Susan (Keith) Harvey of Monticello; her son, John Rhymes of Birmingham, Alabama and her son, David (Tami) Rhymes of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She was so proud of her grandchildren: Hannah, Jordan and Jason Rhymes of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Kevin and Jennifer Harvey of Monticello and Jonathan and Meredith Harvey of Columbia, South Carolina. Her great grandsons, William, Lane, Andrew and Benjamin were her delight. "Miss Betty" is also survived by a host of extended family, both those who were related by blood and those who were related by heart. "Miss Betty" enjoyed life and serving her Lord in her church and community. She was 88 years young at the time of her home-going, having spent 58 years with her true love, Jack. An active member of Monticello Baptist Church for many years, she was instrumental in helping start the Monticello Baptist Kindergarten. Alongside her husband, they operated Rhymes Electronics in Monticello, employing youth from the community who grew to be family. She loved watching her birds, getting her hair fixed by her best friend, Margaret, and having ice cream and cookies. As a 55 year cancer survivor, she appreciated life and its blessings. A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 11 AM at Monticello Baptist Church in Monticello, with visitation that same morning from 9-11. Memorials in her honor may be sent to Lawrence County Animal Rescue League, P.O. Box 732, Monticello, MS 39654 or to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering at Monticello Baptist Church, P.O. Box 814, Monticello, MS 39654.

Emily Sproles Akins (Attended BMC 1979)

Blue Mountain, Mississippi--- Mrs. Emily Claire Sproles Akins 54, passed away on November 6, 2015 at Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo, Mississippi. She was born on September 18, 1961 to John Eric, Sr. and Catherine Lum Sproles in Greenwood, MS. She graduated from high school in Graceville, FL and earned a Bachelor's Degree from Mississippi College in Clinton, MS. She worked most of her career at Saline County Library in Bryant, AR, then for B&B Concrete in Tupelo, MS. Emily was a member of Academy Baptist Church and a former member and youth leader of Indian Springs Baptist Church in Bryant, AR.

Emily is survived by: Her husband: Richard Akins of Blue Mountain, MS: One son: Chad Sproles (Brittany) of Conway, AR: Two step-sons: Mark Akins of Ripley, MS: Matt Akins of Guntown, MS: One sister: Iris Ann Matthews (Bobby) of Kosciusko, MS: Two Brothers: John Eric Sproles, Jr. (Teresa) of Little Rock, AR: Robert Edward Sproles (Becky) of Duluth, GA: One step-granddaughter: Karlee Akins of Ripley, MS:

She was preceded in death by: Her parents:

In Lieu Of Flowers The Family Request Memorials To:

Sanctuary Hospice House
5159 S. Main, St.
Tupelo, MS 38801

A second memorial service will be held in Bryant AR on Saturday November 14, 2015 at 11:00 AM at Indian Springs Baptist Church in Bryant, AR with Bro. Andy Hall officiating. Visitation will be from 10:00 AM Saturday until service time at 11:00 AM at the Church.

Mary Catherine (Rainer) Linehan (attended BMC 1950)

Mary Catherine (Rainer) Linehan, 87, of Fayetteville, passed away on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at her home.
She was born in Ripley, Mississippi to Henry T. Rainer and Gladys (Stroupe) Willbanks. She worked 63 years for the U.S. Air Force as a budget analyst starting in 1951 at Oklahoma at Admore Air Force Base, at 463rd Troop Carrier Wing Headquarters Squadron. She went on to Blytheville Air Force Base at 97th Bomb Wing Civil Engineer Squadron in 1956 and received her final assignment at Pope Air Force Base in 1978 at 43rd Civil Engineer Squadron. She retired in January, 2015.
Mary is preceded in death by her husband, Billy Joe Linehan.
She is survived by her daughter, Melaney Conklin of Blacksburg, SC; brother, Bobby C. Rainer of Ripley, MS; sister, Johnnie Goudy of Ripley, MS; grandchildren, Hillary Caton of Fayetteville, NC and Zachary Conklin of Blacksburg, SC; and several nieces and a nephew.
She was a beloved mother and grandmother, she cherished her family and her CE family. She will be missed, and will always be in our hearts.
Private services to be held at a later date and a visitation to be held at the home of Mary Linehan on Sunday from 2 to 5pm. In lieu of flowers, donations to be made to Hospice.
The address of the visitation will be at 284 Lemont Drive, Fayetteville, NC 28303

Lee Earl Skinner Hopper (BMC 1956)

TIPLERSVILLE – Lee Earl Skinner Hopper, 99, passed away Friday, October 30, 2015, at Golden Living Center in Ripley. She was born on April 16, 1916, to John Hardy and Florence Tapp Skinner in Walnut. She was a graduate of Tippah County Agriculture High School in Chalybeate where she enjoyed an outstanding basketball career and was the leading scorer of Tippah County in 1933. Her basketball skills earned her a scholarship to East Central Mississippi Junior College. After junior college she began a teaching career that encompassed 42 years at Peoples, Tiplersville, and Chalybeate. During this time she completed her Bachelor's degree at Blue Mountain College. She was an active member of the Tiplersville Church of Christ, attending from the 1930's until sustaining a fall in 2013 that prevented further attendance. Lee Earl enjoyed a full and active life gardening, growing flowers, baking, she was well known for her caramel cakes. Most of all, she enjoyed seeing and visiting with her former students; hearing about their success and accomplishments gave her happiness and joy throughout her life .Services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, November 1, 2015, in McBride Funeral Home Chapel with Minister Jerry Owen and Minister Garry Martin officiating. Burial will follow in Tiplersville Cemetery. Visitation will be today, October 31, 2015, from 5 until 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 1, 2015, from 7 a.m. until service time at the funeral home. Mrs. Hopper is survived by two sons, James Wilford ""Jimmy"" Hopper (Judith Hines) of Tiplersville; John Larry Hopper (Bonnie) of Olive Branch; two sisters, Lila Ruth Bickerstaff of Jackson; Clara Nell Nuismer (Norman) of Nashville, Tennessee; one grandson, John Greg Hopper of Memphis, Tennessee; one great-grandson, John Brock Ayers Hopper of Starkville; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins; and her caregiver, June Wilbanks of Walnut. She was preceded in death by her husband, Wilford H. ""Seth"" Hopper; her parents; one grandson, Jeff Hines Hopper; four brothers, Thurmond, Leland, Arnold ""Brock"" and Fred Skinner; one brother-in-law, Jack Milton Bickerstaff. Pallbearers will be Randle Miskelly, Donnie Green, Raymond Skinner, Ralph Skinner, Jack Bickerstaff and Jack Nuismer. Honorary pallbearers will be Joe Duncan, Elizabeth Allen, members of the Adult Sunday School Class of Tiplersville Church of Christ and all of her former students .Memorials may be made to Tiplersville Church of Christ, % 100 CR 317, Tiplersville, MS 38674.

Elizabeth Ann Mordecia (BMC 1972)

Miss Elizabeth Ann Mordecia, age 65, Hamilton, AL passed away Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at North Mississippi Medical Center, in Hamilton AL. She was born in Marion County, Al. on Thursday, February 24, 1949 to Marion and Cara Mordecai. Visitation will be on Thursday, February 12, 2015 12:00-2:00 p.m. at Marion County Funeral Home. Service will follow 2:00 p.m. at Marion County Funeral Home with Bro. Ted Burleson officiating. Burial will be in Vernon Alabama. She was preceded in death by her parents, Marion and Cara Mordecia. She leaves to cherish her memory, very special friends and caregivers, Corinne Bobo, Anna Collins, Sharon Sulephen; aunt, Lucy Jordan; cousins, Ivela Mordecai, Mitzi Ford, Michael Jordan; and a host of friends; her loving church family at Hamilton Church of Christ; and the co-workers at Hamilton Elementary School where she worked for thirty-nine years until she retired. Marion County Funeral Home assisted with the service.

Carrie Sue Berry (Attended BMC 1955)

Carrie Sue Berry passed away October 6, 2015 at home in Franklin, TN. Survived by her loving husband, Alan Berry; her children, Kendall W. Berry (Sheila), Paige Berry, Alana Berry, Sam Berry (Ginny) and Carrie Dale Ruark (Scott). In addition, she was beloved Mame to thirteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She is also survived by three sisters, Vera Work, Zada Payne, and Janet Allene Morehead. Preceded in death by her parents, Jim Allen Haynes and Zada Stallings Haynes, and siblings, Jim Allen Haynes, Jr., John Haynes, Patsy Taylor, Max Haynes and Hiram Haynes. Born in Blytheville, AR in 1934, resident of Tennessee since 1958, and Williamson county resident since 1977; member of First Baptist Church, 7th & Broadway, Nashville, TN since 1959. Although she attended Blue Mountain College only one year, she considered herself a "Blue Mountain girl". She was a dedicated, affectionate wife and mother, and was greatly loved by her family and many friends. A Memorial service at First Baptist Church, 108 7th Ave. N., Nashville, TN Monday, October 12, 2015 at 12 p.m. Visitation at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the benevolence fund of your choice or Second Harvest Food Bank, 331 Great Circle Road, Nashville, TN 37228. Condolences may be expressed online to the family at 

Lois Marie French Simmons (BMC 1953)

Lois Marie French Simmons, of Williamstown, WV, passed away Saturday October 3, 2015, in her home, surrounded by her family. She was born April 17, 1926, in East Corinth, Maine, the daughter of Byron Eugene and Alice Everett French. Lois loved the Lord and dedicated her life to serving God and helping others. Lois attended Corinth Academy and graduated from Coventry High School, Anthony, Rhode Island, in 1945. She graduated with a BA Degree from Blue Mountain College, Blue Mountain, Mississippi, in 1953. Lois married R. Daniel Simmons of Strasburg, Virginia on December 28, 1955, in East Corinth, Maine. Lois was a Bible teacher in the elementary schools of Highland County, Virginia and in Maine. She served as a beloved substitute teacher in the school systems of Somerset County, Maryland and Pleasants County, West Virginia. Lois attended Williamstown Baptist Church and Williamstown Presbyterian Church, where she was a member. She enjoyed attending the senior adult Bible studies and socializing with friends. Her hobbies included walking, baking and preparing Bible Study Lessons for various church groups. She is survived by her three children, Andrew Kirk Simmons, of Scottsdale, Arizona, Mary Esther Simmons Lauderman and her husband John Lauderman of Waverly, WV and Rebecca Alice Simmons DeBolt and her husband Kevin DeBolt of Williamstown, WV and four grandchildren, Christopher Lauderman, Claire Lauderman, Joshua DeBolt, Sarah DeBolt and a sister Marilyn French, of Bangor, Maine. She was preceded in death by her husband, Rev. R. Daniel Simmons. Services will be 11 am Tuesday October 6, 2015, at the First Presbyterian Church in Parkersburg, with Rev. Kenneth Kelbaugh and Rev. Elizabeth Campbell-Maleke officiating. Visitation will be an hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be 2 pm Wednesday October 7, 2015, at the St. Stephens Cemetery in Strasburg, VA. Memorial contributions can be made to Rev. & Mrs. R. Daniel Simmons Special Needs Fund through the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1762, Parkersburg WV 26102, the Senior Adult Ministry of First Baptist Church of Williamstown, P.O. Box 38, Williamstown, WV 26187 or Amedisys Hospice, 417 Grand Park Drive Suite 206, Parkersburg WV 26105.

Mary Frances Maxey (BMC 1961)

Mary Frances Maxey, 93, died Thursday, October 1, 2015. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, October 5, 2015 at Broadmeadow United Methodist Church with burial following at 3:30 p.m. at the Vista Memorial Cemetery in New Albany, MS. Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. Monday at the parlor at Broadmeadow United Methodist Church. Born on July 23, 1922 on a farm in Tishomingo County, Mary Frances Burns Maxey expanded her horizons throughout her life. When she lost her father early, her mother Mary Jaco Burns became a defining influence. Her mother was forbidden to obtain her dream of becoming a physician "because women could not do such a thing." All three children of Mary Jaco Burns achieved their doctorates. Mary Frances graduated from Wood Junior College and attended Florence State Teacher College. World War II intervened before she completed her degree. She married John, and officer in the Army Air Coprs. She stayed with her mother in Iuka while John carried out his wartime duties. Mary Frances and John made their life in New Albany and it was a good one. Fortified by their loved for each other, they set out to chase the American dream. She was the family's moral compass. Her inspiration came largely from the religious instruction of John Wesley. Her faith was tested when her husband died in 1962. Undeterred by the challenge of raising four children without their father, Mary Frances taught high school in New Albany while earning her B.A at Blue Mountain College. She received her M.A. from the University of Mississippi and then taught at Blue Mountain College. She was awarded her doctorate in social studies from the University of Mississippi. Governor William Winter appointed Dr. Maxey to the Mississippi Textbook Procurement Commission. She committed her services to the selection of public school textbooks that reflected integrity of the science and history available to Mississippi's students. She served with distinction. Dr. Maxey continued her career on the faculty of the University of Mississippi School of Education. Supervising practice teachers, she touched many budding educators with gifts of techniques of teaching and self-confidence. Dr. Maxey retired from Ole Miss and was recognized as Professor Emeritus. In retirement, she moved to Jackson to be closer to her children and became involved as a Sunday school teacher at Broadmeadow United Methodist Church with the same dedication in lesson preparation she had as a professor. Dr. Maxey's doctoral dissertation explored social studies techniques James Michenor applied in his many novels. From her studies, she was touched by Michenor's guidance: "For this is a journey that men and women make to find themselves. If they fail in this, it doesn't matter much else what they find", Mary Frances found herself. She is survived by her sister, Pat Callahan; her children, John (Melody) Maxey, Rosemary Maxey, Jerry (Linda) Maxey; her grandchildren, Elizabeth Randle Smith (Robert-Deceased), John (Cynthia) Maxey III, Buns (Matt Medeiros) Maxey, Jennifer (Jason) Heeter, and Brian Maxey. Her great grandchildren are John Lewis Maxey, IV, Charles Andrew Maxey, Hunter Smith, John Robert Smith and Rowan Heeter. She was predeceased by her brother, Frank Burns; her son, Roger Maxey and her granddaughters, Margaret Rose Randle and Olivia Maxey. Her last years at Wisteria Gardens were spent with her friend and caregiver, Rita Kaye Wells.

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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