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Zoi Vinson, 2020



Cherished daughter, sister, niece, and granddaughter. Born Jan. 30, 2020, died peacefully in the arms of her mother and surrounded by family on Feb. 9, 2020, at 12:45 a.m. at Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital.

Zoi was a beautiful baby girl who gave us a lifetime of love and touched so many lives during her short time on earth, but she will always remain her mama’s precious little girl. She enjoyed snuggling with her mama, sister and grandparents. She mostly loved holding her mama’s finger. She experienced hugs and kisses from her family and being told “I love you” an uncountable amount of times.

She is survived by her mother Morgan Renee Vinson, her twin sister Khloe Rayne Vinson, maternal grandmother Angie Bufkin and Richard Bufkin, and paternal grandfather Larry Vinson and Amie Vinson, and paternal great-grandmother Betty Jo Vinson.

She is preceded in death by her maternal great-grandparents Randy and Patricia Boler, paternal great-grandfather James F. Vinson, her uncle Christopher Charles Vinson, and her aunt Victoria Edna Rae Vinson.

Service will be Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, at Glenwood Funeral Home. Visitation at 9 a.m. – noon for family and friends. Noon Chapel Services and burial will be at Beard Family Cemetery.

God gives special babies to special people.

Revelation 21:4: He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

We will always love and miss you, sweet angel.



Alona Mae Hines Smith, 1932 – 2020



Alona Mae Hines Smith, 87, of Blanton, Miss., passed away Saturday, Feb. 22 at Sharkey Issaquena Community Hospital with her family by her side.

She was born to the late Curtis and Edith Hines on Nov. 6, 1932, in Pike County, Illinois. She was married to Darrell Smith of Winchester, Illinois on Jan. 21, 1957. They relocated to the Mississippi Delta in 1959 where they raised three children. Together they farmed for 60 years. She was a member of the First Baptist Church, the Rolling Fork Garden Club for many years and worked tirelessly for the Farm Bureau Women’s Committee for more than 25 years.

She is survived by her husband, Darrell J. Smith of Blanton; her daughters, Lola Edwinna (Winnie) Avery ( Russell) of Pearl and Cindy Mae Cole (Joe) of Redwood, and one son, John Curtis Smith (Angie) of Hollandale; five grandchildren Melissa Avery Sines (Thomas ) of Denton, Texas, Christina Avery Morehead (Brian) of Pearl, Natasha Smith of Oxford, Dixie Gaul (Tim) of Biloxi and John Robert Smith (Kaely) of Yazoo City. She leaves behind seven great-grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews.

She was immensely proud of her family and leaves many beautiful memories.

Funeral services will be held at Rolling Fork First Baptist Church on Wednesday, Feb. 26 with visitation at 10 a.m. and funeral services following at 11 a.m. The service will be officiated by Bro. Britt Williamson, Bro. Robert Gilliland and Bro. Ron Harrison. Burial will follow at Mound Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be John Robert Smith, Brian Morehead, David Campbell, Ray Watson, Roger Gilliland and Ron Morgan. Honorary pallbearers will be Jimmy Walker, Russell Avery, Burt Darden, Jeff McClendon, Frank Corban, Thad Virden and Dennon Melton.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the First Baptist Church in her memory.

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Dr. Betty Sue Drake, 1924 – 2020



Dr. Betty Sue Drake, 95, was born Nov. 16, 1924, and died Feb. 23, 2020, in Hattiesburg, Miss. She was the only child of Russell and Queenie Sue Drake. She was born and raised in Haleyville, Ala.

At a time when it was rare for women to attend college, Betty graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree and a master’s in secondary education from Auburn University. She earned a master’s degree in library science from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University and a doctorate in library science from North Texas State University.

In many ways, Dr. Drake was a trailblazer, a woman before her time. She was determined to serve her country during World War II and was extraordinarily proud to be one of few women to serve as a United States Marine. Dr. Drake was a prime example of the “Greatest Generation.”

Dr. Drake was the periodicals librarian at the University of Southern Mississippi until her retirement and then went on to serve as the curator of the Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby. She also wrote a column regarding genealogy for the Hattiesburg American newspaper entitled, “Meet Your Ancestors.” She had a passion for genealogy and helped numerous families trace their ancestry.

She is survived by her three sons, Mark (Robyn Lea) Posey and Eric Posey of Vicksburg, and Seth (Pat) Posey of Hattiesburg. She is also survived by her granddaughters, Lauren Posey (Mark) Different of Vicksburg and Alice Legg of Hattiesburg; and two great-grandchildren, Caroline Different and John Different of Vicksburg as well as a cousin, Melissa Wilson Smith of Huntsville, Ala.

Betty Sue Drake will long be remembered for her sharp intelligence, quick wit and adventurous spirit. She was an avid, voracious reader her entire life. She was a wealth of information; possessed vast knowledge and was well equipped to intelligently discuss most any topic, geographical location or political situation on a moment’s notice. Never losing her inquisitiveness, she continued to read just about anything she could get her hands on, even when doing so required the aid of a magnifying glass and lots of light. She was a determined, focused person who lived her life to the fullest and always in her own way.

Visitation will be Monday, March 2, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. and until the hour of service at 10:30 a.m. at Moore Funeral Home, 805 Hardy St., Hattiesburg, Miss. The service will be officiated by Rev. Kevin Bradley. Burial will be held at 2:30 p.m. at Biloxi National Cemetery, 400 Veterans Avenue, Biloxi, Miss., where Dr. Drake will be laid to rest with military honors.

Members of the Marine Corp League will serve as pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Warrior Bonfire Program, a 501c3 organization committed to providing opportunities that improve the lives of Purple Heart recipients:

Semper Fi, Dr. Betty Sue Drake. Semper Fi.

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John Rayford (Johnny) Killebrew, 1947 – 2020



John Rayford (Johnny) Killebrew passed away at his home on Feb. 20, 2020. He was 73.

A native of Durant, Miss., he served in the National Guard for several years and worked in the railroad industry for 41 years. He began his career in 1965 with the Illinois Central Railroad and retired in 2006 from the Kansas City Southern Railway Company. He was a member of Crossway Church. Johnny was an Ole Miss Rebel fan and enjoyed attending games with his son-in-law, grandson and friends.

Johnny was preceded in death by his parents, Ben W. Killebrew, Jr. and Eva Hamilton Killebrew, and brother-in-law, Kenneth Wayne Helms.

Johnny is survived by his wife, Betty Moore Killebrew, a daughter, Traci Killebrew Hoofman and her husband Scott Hoofman and one grandson, Cameron Scott Hoofman.  He is also survived by two brothers, Mike Killebrew (Melody) of Vicksburg and Jackie Killebrew (Doralyn), of Durant, Miss., and three sisters: Linda Helms of Chattahoochee, Fla., twin sister Jean Hudson (Charlie) of Kosciusko, Miss., and Gaye Broyles (Mike) of Madison, Miss.

Johnny was a wonderful family man and was a loving husband to his wife of 53 years.  His daughter was his pride and joy, and he spent many happy hours with his treasured grandson. His son-in-law was like a son to him. He was sincerely loved by his family, in-laws and friends, and he loved all of them. Each one has cherished memories of time spent with him. Johnny will be truly missed.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in the chapel of Glenwood Funeral Home with Rev. T. J. Tennison officiating. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to the hour of the service. Interment will follow in Greenlawn Gardens Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Scott Hoofman, Cameron Hoofman and nephews: Wade Broyles, Chad Darby, David Hudson, Brandon Killebrew and Shane Wigley.

Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. James Valentine, Wayne Patrick, Don Hollowell, Johnny Sanders, Jimmy Gray, Dudley Maynord, Doug White, Alfred Rawls, Jerry Eakin and the men of the Adult 4 Sunday School Class of Crossway Church.

The family would like to express appreciation to Dr. Paul W. Pierce, III and Dr. Steven Zachow and their staffs for the compassionate care given to Johnny over the past several years; and recently Dr. Elizabeth Herrington and her staff and Encompass Hospice.


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