From April 25, 2001

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 25, 2001


UTICA Billy Ray Lee died Monday, April 23, 2001, at his home in Utica. He was 67.

A native of Lake Providence, Mr. Lee moved to Mississippi in 1943. He graduated from high school in Lexington in 1951 with football honors. He was a veteran of the Army, having served during the Korean Conflict. He had worked at Pet Dairy Products and was in the automotive business in Jackson and the Vicksburg and Utica areas since 1958. He retired from Plaza Automotive Service in 1998 as the owner and operator. He was a member of Campbell Swamp Hunting Camp, Paxton Masonic Lodge and Utica Baptist Church.

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He was preceded in death by his parents, B.J. and Lillian Chambers Lee.

He is survived by his wife, Johnnie Faust Lee of Utica; three daughters, Dianne L. Nichols of North Carolina, Deborah L. Stokes of Vicksburg and Dorothy L. Cothran of Utica; three sons, Danny Lee, Donny Lee and Doyle Lee, all of Vicksburg; a sister, Claire Ann Moore of Baton Rouge; two brothers, George Lee of Plaquemine, La., and Jerry Lee of Vicksburg; 14 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Fisher-Riles Funeral Home with the Rev. John Ed Snell officiating.

Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until the service at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to Utica Baptist Church, 220 E. Main St., Utica, MS 39175, or to Hospice Ministries, 3530 Manor Drive, Suite 3, Vicksburg, MS 39180.


Services for Laverne Nelson were Monday at Fisher-Riles Funeral Home with Bishop Cary Talbot officiating. Burial was at Cedar Hill Cemetery.

Mr. Nelson died Friday, April 20, 2001, at his home in the Possum Hollow community. He was 73.

He was born in Sterling, Colo., and had lived in Vicksburg since 1980. He was a veteran of the Army and had served as a photographer.

He was senior photographer for Stanford Research in Colorado and, after moving to Vicksburg, he had worked for Mississippi Hardware Co. He had served as commander of a VFW post in California and was a member of the VFW and National Rifle Association.

Mr. Nelson was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Berdie Bell Nelson; his parents, Charles H. and Ester Petre Nelson, and two sisters, Lois L. Neumann and Doris Dudley.

He is survived by a son, Robert D. Anderson Sr., of Vicksburg; two brothers, Paul W. Nelson of San Jose, Calif., and Richard D. Nelson of Tampa, Fla.; two sisters, Norma Oglay and Betty Ann Herman of Sterling; three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Pallbearers were Robert Anderson Jr., James Wayne Hughes, Josh Davidson, Frederick A. Hughes Jr., Pete Weathersby and Allen Hughes.


OCEAN SPRINGS J.L. “Jake” Scott died Monday, April 23, 2001, in Jackson. He was 86.

In March 1947, Mr. Scott became the first staff member of the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, where he worked until he retired in 1985 as director of construction and physical affairs. He served as coordinator of budgets for all institutions and was assigned to the Mississippi Legislature to guide the funding for all budgets, new construction, repair, renovation and campus expansions.

The J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium on Point Cadet in Biloxi was named for him.

He lived in Jackson for a number of years. He created the Scott Aquarium’s parent institution, the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs.

He helped write the original legislation that established the laboratory as an official state institution of higher learning, which is now a part of the University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Marine Sciences.

Survivors include his wife, Murriel Reed Scott of Jackson; a daughter and son-in-law, Lisa Scott Magee and Kenneth R. Magee of Jackson; a sister, Lucille Kelly of Vicksburg; a grandson, John Scott Magee of Jackson; nieces and nephews.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at Wright & Ferguson Funeral Home on High Street in Jackson

Visitation will be from 4 until 6 p.m. Wednesday and from 12:30 Thursday until the service at the funeral home. Burial will be at Wright & Ferguson on Highland Colony Parkway in Ridgeland.

Memorials may be made to the John Lee “Jake” Scott Memorial Fund for the J.L. Scott Marine Education and Aquarium, P.O. Box 7000, Ocean Springs, MS 39566-7000.


Rosie Lee Sylvester died Tuesday, April 24, 2001, at ParkView Regional Medical Center. She was 75.

A homemaker, Mrs. Sylvester was a member of Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witness.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Sylvester Sr.; a daughter, Rosetta McClain; and her mother, Litha Cupit.

Survivors include six sons, Joseph Sylvester Jr., Jessie Sylvester, Isaac Sylvester and James Sylvester, all of Vicksburg, Paul Sylvester of Shreveport and Add Sylvester of Flint, Mich.; six daughters, Frances Taylor and Delia Mae Sylvester, both of Houston, Texas, and Adell Lindsey, Marilyn Williams, Christine DeFrance and Delores DeFrance, all of Vicksburg; 31 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and other relatives.

W.H. Jefferson Funeral Home has charge of the arrangements.


Alice B. Tillman died Saturday, April 14, 2001, at St. Catherine Village in Jackson. She was 104.

Mrs. Tillman was a native and lifelong resident of Vicksburg. She had lived in Jackson since 1984. She was a member of Crawford Street United Methodist Church.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Albert G. Tillman.

She is survived by a daughter, Camille T. Bartling of Jackson; 10 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Services will be at 4 p.m. Thursday at Cedar Hill Cemetery under the direction of Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home of Jackson.