From June 21, 2001

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 21, 2001


Memorial services for Francis W. “At” Atkinson will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at Crawford Street United Methodist Church with the Rev. Geoffrey Joyner officiating.

Mr. Atkinson died Saturday, May 26, 2001, at the Alterra Claire Bridge of Carrollwood in Tampa, Fla. He was 86.

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Mr. Atkinson was born in Britton’s Neck, S.C., and received a civil engineering degree from the University of South Carolina. He joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg in 1937 and retired in 1979 as assistant chief of the Operations Division.

He served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean Conflict, retiring as a commander.

Mr. Atkinson was a member of Crawford Street United Methodist Church, serving as business manager for 40 years and on the World Service and Finance Commission for the United Methodist Church of Mississippi Conference. He was also a member of the Men’s Bible Class.

For 40 years he was a member of the Lions Club of Vicksburg, receiving the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award of the Lions International Foundation. He was a life member of the Salvation Army, serving two terms as chairman of the Advisory Board.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ebbie Johnson Atkinson and Carrie Bell Atkinson; a son, Ronald A. Atkinson; and a sister, Miriam Boulware.

Survivors include his wife, Dorothy Tyson Atkinson; a son, William T. Atkinson of Tampa; four sisters, Ellen Friday of Winnsboro, S.C., Carrie Bell Sells of Knoxville, Tenn., Gladys Vinzani of Florence, S.C., and Pauline Edwards of Marian, S.C.; four brothers, E.J. Atkinson and William D. Atkinson, both of Mullins, S.C., Aldrich Atkinson of Clemson, S.C., and John Atkinson of Marian; and two grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to Crawford Street United Methodist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 526, Vicksburg, MS 39181 or to a favorite charity.


NATCHEZ Ernest Templeton Black died Monday, June 18, 2001, at Natchez Regional Medical Center. He was 88.

Mr. Black had lived in Natchez most of his life. He was an 11-year Navy veteran, serving aboard the U.S.S. Mississippi during World War II. He was a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps, worked as a photographer at Knabb-Lane and Prince Studio and spent a number of years as a traveling salesman. He was of the Presbyterian faith.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Templeton Black and Mattie Davis Black; and three sisters, Hattie Beth Black Goss, Yvonne Black Lanehart and Lula Mae Black.

Survivors include his wife, Nellie Wisner Black of Natchez; a daughter, Vernona Black Sanders of Natchez; a son, Elwood Black of Natchez; three grandchildren, including David Sanders of Vicksburg; three great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews; and other relatives.

Private services will be held at Natchez City Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 3 until 5 p.m. Saturday at Laird Funeral Home in Natchez.

Memorials may be made to the Judge George W. Armstrong Library in Natchez, Public Radio Broadcasting or a favorite charity.


Services for Benjamin W. Crowder will be at 11 a.m. Friday at King Solomon M.B. Church with the Rev. Jonathan Grant officiating. Burial will follow at Cedar Hill Cemetery under the direction of Dillon-Chisley Funeral Home.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the service Friday at the church.

Mr. Crowder died Saturday, June 16, 2001, at Vicksburg Medical Center. He was 94.

Born in Hinds County, Mr. Crowder retired from the Chevrolet Division of General Motors in Flint, Mich., in 1963 before moving back to Vicksburg. He was a member of King Solomon M.B. Church.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Glevena Crowder; and his daughter, Ruth Richardson.

Survivors include nieces, nephews and other relatives, including Carrie Baity of Edwards.


GREENVILLE Reed Farmer Jr. died Tuesday, June 19, 2001, at his home in Greenville. He was 81.

Mr. Farmer was born in Wayside where he attended Riverside School. He was a U.S. Army veteran serving in Germany during World War II. He was employed with the Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg as a survey engineer until he retired in 1976. He was of the Baptist faith.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Reed and Della Farmer Sr.; and two sisters, Lillian Freeman and Florence Bowlin.

He is survived by his wife, Dean Farmer of Greenville; nine daughters; ten sons; his brother, Joe Farmer of Coffeeville; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Smith Funeral Home in Greenville with the Rev. Charles Jolly officiating. Burial will follow at Lakeview Gardens Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 6 until 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.


Robert Rashad Thomas, infant son of Briggette “Nikki” Thomas of Vicksburg, died Tuesday, June 19, 2001, at University Medical Center in Jackson.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by two brothers, Andrew Thomas and De’Andre Thomas, both of Vicksburg; his maternal grandparents, Charles E. and Cheryl White Sr. of Vicksburg; his maternal great-grandmother, Ann Davis of Memphis; his great-great-grandparents, Loubertha Chiles and Nellie and Ed Griffin, all of Vicksburg; and other relatives, including Ray Brown, Janie Haggard, Salous Bradley and members of the Davis, Chiles, Neal, Thomas, Winger and Carter families.

Williams Funeral Service has charge of arrangements.


Services for Ernestine P. Whitley will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at W.H. Jefferson Funeral Home chapel with the Rev. Willie Lee James officiating. Burial will follow at Cedar Hill Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 6 until 7 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Mrs. Whitley died Sunday, June 17, 2001, at Shady Lawn Nursing Home. She was 85.

A homemaker, Mrs. Whitley was a member of Mount Zion No. 4 M.B. Church.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Willie Whitley; her parents, Charlie and Fredonia Smith; two brothers, Charlie Smith Jr. and Calvin Smith; and four sisters, Maggie Dillard, Ruth Swain, Ruby Claiborne and Susie Lovett.

She is survived by four sons, Raymond Smith and John H. Porter, both of Vicksburg, Sammie Porter of Washington, D.C., and Preston Porter of Maryland; two daughters, Irene Whitley and Ella Weeds Whitley of Peoria, Ill.; 14 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews; and other relatives.