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February 11, 2003

The Vicksburg Post prints obituaries for residents, former residents and residents’ immediate family members who resided elsewhere when notified by a family member or a funeral home. There is no charge for printing an obituary, but all are edited to meet the newspaper’s requirements.

Emma Easterling

RICHTON Pioneer nurse and Mississippi’s first certified registered nurse anesthetist, Emma Easterling, died Saturday, Feb. 8, 2003, at her home. She was 96 and would have been 97 today.

Services were held this morning at Highland Cemetery in Hattiesburg under the direction of Moore Funeral Home. The Rev. Buddy Keys officiated.

Miss Easterling, a native of Perry County who had moved back after retiring, was founder and director of the Department of Anesthesia at Vicksburg Hospital, later Vicksburg Medical Center, and also served at various times as director of the hospital’s school of nursing that opened in 1929 and offered training for 28 years. She also served as house mother for the nurses throughout the 1940s.

In addition to other accomplishments, she received the Agatha Hodgins Memorial Award in 1978, two years after she retired, from the Mississippi Association of Nurse Anesthetists. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Richton.

Miss Easterling was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Luther Easterling.

Survivors include five sisters, Earle Roman of Holly Springs, Elma Graves of Sumrall, Elaine Lewis and Elna Wilson, both of Fort Worth, and Ellen Blume of Ruidoso, N.M.; and two brothers, Ervin Easterling of Reno, Texas, and Emmette Easterling of Richton.

Memorials may be made to Forrest General Hospice, 1414 S. 28th Ave., Hattiesburg, Miss. 39402.

Julia Ragan Marley

Julia Ragan Marley died Monday, Feb. 10, 2003, at her home. She was 89.

A resident of Vicksburg, Mrs. Marley was a member of Mount Zion M.B. Church in Ballground where she served on the Mother’s Board and the Usher Board. She was a member of Sacred Palm Leaf Chapter No. 84, Order of the Eastern Star.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Marley; her parents, Georgia Branch and William Ragan; a brother, Robertic Ragan; and two sisters, Mary Branch and Clora Thornton.

Survivors include a daughter, Ora Lee King of Vicksburg; a grandson, William Miller of Orlando, Fla.; three great-grandchildren, Allison Tunstall of Vicksburg, LaJoyce Miller of Orlando and Gerald Miller of Chicago; two great-great-grandchildren; a great-great-great-grandchild; and other relatives, including Gladys Warfield of Vicksburg.

Dillon-Chisley Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.

Mary Belle Cooper-Meyer

Mary Belle Cooper-Meyer died Sunday, Feb. 2, 2003, at St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital. She was 78.

A resident of Vicksburg and Jackson, Mrs. Meyer spent most of her life in Sardis. She was a native of Houston, Miss., and was a retired educator and administrator. She received an advanced master’s degree from the University of Mississippi at the age of 40.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, John Wortley Cooper.

Survivors include her husband, Marvin P. Meyer of Vicksburg; three daughters, Elizabeth Cooper Horsman, Carol Cooper King and Dorothy Cooper Parr, all of Jackson; a brother, James Ford Johnson; five sisters, Alta Mae Hardin, Dorothy Lucille Baine, Martha Ann Sumner, Ella Hughes McCullough and Billie Grace Blair; three grandchildren; and other relatives, including members of the Paden family.

Mark Seepe Funeral Home and Crematorium of Jackson has charge of arrangements.

Memorials may be made to the Mississippi Heart Association.

Blanche O. Gilchrist Smith

Blanche O. Gilchrist Smith died Saturday, Feb. 8, 2003, at University Medical Center in Jackson. She was 67.

A native of Belle Chasse, La., Ms. Smith had lived in Vicksburg for the past 3 1/2 years.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Wilson Gilchrist Sr. and Avis Ammons Gilchrist; and a brother, Byron Gilchrist.

Survivors include four sons, Michael Smith of Vicksburg, John T. Knoblauch of Belle Chasse, Brian Smith of McComb and Randall Smith of Terrytown, La.; a daughter, Patricia Westcott of Vicksburg; four sisters, Barbara Arcement of Belle Chasse, Connie Estave of Baton Rouge, Jeannie Gallagher of New Orleans and Kathy Findley of Atmore, Ala.; a brother, Wilson Gilchrist Jr.; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Westside/Leitz-Eagan Funeral Home Chapel in Marrero, La. Burial will follow at Westlawn Cemetery in Gretna, La.

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