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From October 20, 2000

NELLIE MAE ALEXANDER

Services for Nellie Mae Alexander will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Mount Carmel M.B. Church. Burial will follow at Cherry Grove M.B. Church cemetery in Edwards.

Mrs. Alexander died Monday, Oct. 16, 2000, at Vicksburg Medical Center. She was 59.

Mrs. Alexander was preceded in death by her father, Joseph Thomas Sr.; and a brother, Joseph Thomas Jr.

She is survived by her husband, Benjamin Alexander Sr. of Vicksburg; three sons, Jimmy Alexander, Benjamin Alexander Jr. and Donald Alexander, all of Vicksburg; three daughters, Willie Stene Alexander, Verlene Alexander and Rosie Alexander, all of Vicksburg; her mother, Rosie Thomas of Hayti, Mo.; four sisters, Beatrice Turner of Vicksburg, Verlene Noel and Vatter Thomas, both of Memphis, and Tressie Lee Foster of Columbia, Mo.; two brothers, Roosevelt Thomas of Memphis and Willie Thomas of Hayti; 14 grandchildren, one great-grandchild; nieces, nephews and other relatives, including Mytell Alexander of Vicksburg.

Dillon-Chisley Funeral Home has charge of the arrangements.

ROBERT BEYERS

Robert “Bob” Beyers died Thursday, Oct. 19, 2000, at ParkView Regional Medical Center. He was 73.

Mr. Beyers was a native and lifelong resident of Vicksburg. He was the son of the late Robert and Reber Hagan Beyers. He was a graduate of Culkin Academy and served in the Navy during World War II. He worked for 32 years with the Koestler bakery and retired after 11 years with the Frito Lay Co. He was a member of Gibson Memorial United Methodist Church.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Sally Carroll Beyers, and an uncle, Walter Hagan.

He is survived by a wife, Marie Beyers of Eagle Lake; a son, Robert L. Beyers of Vicksburg; a daughter, Mary Lee Sheffield of Vicksburg; a brother, L.A. Beyers of Dallas; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Fisher-Riles Funeral Home with the Rev. Bobby Anderson officiating. Burial will follow at Green Acres Memorial Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 until 8 tonight at the funeral home.

Pallbearers will be Bo Allen, J.W. Carroll, Tommy Porter, Justin Beyers, John McElhenney, Bill Adams, Randy Lynch and Thomas Ward Jr.

Honorary pallbearers will be nephews Dennis Pace, Carol Hinson, Bobby Meadows, Walter Shotwell, Becky Shotwell, Dr. George E. Abraham II, Dr. Daniel Dare, Kenny Hinson and the Frito Lay salesmen.

Memorials may be made to the Hospice Ministry, 450 Towne Center, Ridgeland, MS, 39157.

QUEEN ESTHER CLARK

Services for Queen Esther “Miss Queenie” Clark will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bright Morning Star M.B. Church with the Rev. Henry Mayfield Sr. officiating. Burial will follow at Cedar Hill Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 5 until 6 Friday night at W.H. Jefferson Funeral Home.

Mrs. Clark died Friday, Oct. 13, 2000, at her home in Austin, Texas. She was 79.

Miss Clark was born in Onward. She was a member of Bright Morning Star M.B. Church, where she was on the Mother Board.

She was preceded in death by a daughter, Gloria Jean Wilson; her mother, Georgia McDaniel; her father, Fred Clark; and a sister, Eunice Palmer.

Survivors include three sons, Percy Bell, Eddie Ray Butler and Robert Clark, all of Vicksburg; four daughters, Ernestine Wilson, Barbara Butler-Acosta and Helen Clark, all of Austin, and Debra Kay Clark of Vicksburg; a brother, Fred Clark Jr. of Cary; and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

CLARENCE ANSEL CLAY

Clarence Ansel Clay died Thursday, Oct. 19, 2000, at Vicksburg Medical Center. He was 61.

Mr. Clay was a native of Monroe and had lived in Vicksburg for the past 25 years. He was the son of the late John Marcus and Ruby Dell Barnes Clay. He served in the Navy. He worked as a welder for 25 years and worked for Hiller Systems Inc. of Mobile, Ala., for the past three weeks. He was a member of the Baptist faith.

He is survived by his wife, Joan Wilson Clay of Vicksburg; a son, Sidney Neil Fletcher of Rockvale, Tenn.; four daughters, Michelle Renee Clay of Fresno, Calif., Carolyn Joyce Peebles, Barbara Diane Wright and Sharon Renee Fulgham, all of Vicksburg; four brothers, M.L. Clay of Bolivar, Tenn., Vester F. Clay of Houston, Texas, Harry Clay of Arkansas and Billy Clay of Galveston, Texas; 15 grandchildren, one great-grandchild, nieces, nephews and other relatives including Dick Shelton of Baton Rouge and Dewayne Nettles of Brookhaven.

Visitation will be from 6 until 8 p.m. Saturday at Fisher-Riles Funeral Home with prayer service at 7:45.

JAMES FEATHERSTON

BATON ROUGE (AP) James “Jim” Shoaf Featherston, 77, a retired journalism professor at Louisiana State and one of five reporters on a staff that won a Pulitzer Prize in Vicksburg in 1954, died Thursday.

Mr. Featherston taught at LSU for 24 years, retiring in 1994 at the age of 71 as a teacher of advanced reporting, editorial writing and journalism ethics.

He graduated in 1950 from Southern Methodist University and began his career in 1951 at the Vicksburg Post-Herald.

When a tornado hit downtown Vicksburg on Dec. 5, 1953, killing 38 people and collapsing the roof of the Saenger Theater, Mr. Featherston was among the members of the Post-Herald staff who defied the odds to produce the morning edition.

The coverage won the 1954 Pulitzer Prize for local deadline journalism. The newspaper, now The Vicksburg Post, was cited for outstanding coverage of the tornado under extraordinary difficulties.

“I’ve read that he was the night reporter … and actually was helping dig some victims out of the rubble, as well as contributing to the paper,” publisher Pat Cashman said.

“It was very much a team effort by everyone,” he said. Natural gas had been cut off, so the staff burned charcoal to melt lead for type.

“They went around and got every sack of charcoal they could find. They developed pictures with water out of the gutter.

“It really surprised people, I think, to have that paper delivered on time that morning,” Cashman said. “It was the only way to get the information out.

From 1954 until 1960, Featherston was a reporter and feature writer for the Jackson Daily News, covering the trial stemming from the lynching of black teen-ager Emmitt Till and the Little Rock, Ark., school crisis during the late 1950s.

He was city editor of the Denton Record-Chronicle from 1960 until 1962, and from 1962 until 1970 was at the Dallas Times-Herald, where he helped cover the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the trial of Jack Ruby. While there, he also earned a master’s from East Texas State.

Born in Memphis, Featherston attended public schools in Tennessee and Mississippi.

During World War II, Featherston flew 27 combat missions, most of them as a waist gunner on B-26 bombers, and most of them over Germany.

He is survived by his wife, a native of Pursley, Texas; a daughter, son-in-law, and grandson who live in the Carbondale, Ill., area; and a brother’s family in East Texas.