February 11, 2005

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 11, 2005

The Vicksburg Post publishes obituaries in news form for area residents, their family members and for former residents at no charge. Families wishing to publish additional information or to use specific wording have the option of a paid obituary.

Annie Ruth Bufkin Fortner

Annie Ruth Bufkin Fortner died Thursday, Feb. 10, 2005, at River Region Medical Center. She was 82.

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Mrs. Fortner was born in Port Gibson to the late Henry D. and Bessie Bufkin. Retired from R.G. LeTourneau, she was a member of Grace Baptist Church.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by four sisters and three brothers.

Survivors include her husband, Johnie J. Fortner of Vicksburg; two daughters, Annette Fortner Harris of Vicksburg and Myra Fortner Crow of Riverside, Calif.; a son, Roger Fortner of Vicksburg; and seven grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Glenwood Funeral Home with Sam Dunaway officiating. Burial will follow at Yokena Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 5 until 8 tonight at the funeral home and from 10 a.m. Saturday until the service.

Pallbearers will be nephews: Hank Bufkin, Jimmy Webster, Ken Bufkin, Larry Bufkin, Tony Bufkin, Gary Fortner, Bill Fortner and Ernie Fortner.

Honorary pallbearers will be Marion Bufkin, Jerry Bufkin, Mack Fuller, Bubba Bliss, David Bliss, Jackie Bufkin, Charlie Bufkin, Robert Bufkin, Bully Bufkin, Randy Bufkin, Bobby Bufkin, Richard Bufkin, Mickey Bufkin, Tommy Ray Bufkin, Greg Fortner, Joe Fortner, Dr. Murray Whitaker and Dr. Randy Easterling.

Memorials may be made to Grace Baptist Church, 1729 Hankinson Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180.

Robert E. Heltzel

RICHMOND, Va. – Robert E. Heltzel, 86, died Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2005. He was a resident of Richmond, Va.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Gray Heltzel; and a son, Robert Edgar Heltzel Jr.

Mr. Heltzel was a 1940 graduate of VPI, worked for C&P Telephone for more than 40 years and was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, where he received the Meritorious Heroic Achievement Star.

Survivors include one son, Samuel B. Heltzel of Vicksburg; five grandchildren, Erica Gray Heltzel, Peter Goodwin Heltzel, Rachel Gray Heltzel Rankin, Marjorie Minor Heltzel and Robert Strader Heltzel; one great-grandson, Grayson Neal Rankin; and one brother, Alan S. Heltzel.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Health Care Fellowship Hall at Cedarfield. Interment will be private. Arrangements are being handled by the West Chapel of Bennett Funeral Home.

Memorial gifts may be made in Mr. Heltzel’s memory to the Virginia Tech Foundation, 201 Park Building (0336), Blacksburg, VA 24061.

Gregory Thomas

FAYETTE – Gregory Thomas died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2005, at Jefferson County Hospital. He was 31.

Mr. Thomas was born in Jefferson County to Otis Smith and Hannah Thomas.

He is survived by a number of relatives and friends.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bethlehem M.B. Church in Cannonsburg with the Rev. Antoine Eakins officiating. Burial will follow at Bethlehem Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 4 until 6 tonight at Rollins Funeral Home in Fayette.

Mary Whitley

Services for Mary Whitley will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Pleasant Valley M.B. Church with Rev. Alex Miller, officiating. Burial will follow at Mount Zion Cemetery of Ballground. Visitation will be this evening from 1 until 5 at Robbins Funeral Home and from 1 until the hour of service Saturday at the church.

Mary Whitley died Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2005, at Covenant Health and Rehab of Vicksburg. She was 86.

Born in Red Lick, Mrs. Whitley was a resident of the Ballground community.

She was a member of Pleasant Valley M.B. Church and was an honorary member of Mount Zion M.B. Church at Ballground. She was a member of the Willing Workers Club and a former member of the Eastern Star.

She was preceded in death by her parents, James “Jim” Smith and Lettie “Let” McCoy Smith; three sons, Charlie Williams, Dan Whitley and Lee James Williams; three sisters, Lucrisa Ennis, Gertrude Carpenter and Katie Miller; and two brothers, James “Pete” Smith and Claude Smith.

Survivors include her husband, Leon Whitley; four daughters, Claire Pettis of Memphis, Mary Louise Wright of Chicago and Bertha Mixon and Deloris Lott, both of Vicksburg; a sister, Margaret Criss of Vicksburg; 23 grandchildren, 39 great-grandchildren, 10 great-great-grandchildren; and nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives.

Thomas W. Williams Jr.

Services for Thomas W. Williams Jr. will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Spring Hill M.B. Church with the Rev. Frank Gardner officiating. Burial will follow at Cedar Hill Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 5 until 7 tonight at Williams Funeral Service.

Mr. Williams died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2005, in Hampton, Va. He was 56.

Mr. Williams was a veteran of the Vietnam War.

He was preceded in death by his father, Thomas Williams Sr.; a sister, Connie Evelyn Williams; and a brother, Dwight Williams Sr.

He is survived by his mother, Susie H. Williams of Vicksburg; a daughter, Xzavier Phillips of Vicksburg; a son, Jason Blunt of Hampton; two brothers, Michael A. Williams of Hampton and Joe Samuel Williams of Vicksburg; four sisters, Doris M. Jones of Austin, Texas, Pamela R. Ned of St. Louis, Mo., and Gwendolyn J. Strong and Linda S. Sims, both of Vicksburg; two grandchildren; and nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends, including Barbara Dunn and members of the Evers, Hughes and Crump families.