Obituaries for week of December 5


Brett Alexander

62, of Hattiesburg

Brett Newton Alexander, formerly of Derby, died Nov. 21, 2019, at his home. Services were Nov. 26 with burial in Dixie Cemetery.

Mr. Alexander graduated from Poplarville High School in 1975 and received his B.S. from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1979. He later joined the Hattiesburg Police Department, where he climbed to the rank of captain before retiring and was owner of ASI Investigations.

Survivors include his son, Austin Alexander of Poplarville; his  daughter, Sarah Alexander of Hattiesburg; his sister Margaret Ladner of Poplarville, six grandchildren.

Deborah M. Cooper

60, of Hattiesburg

Deborah M. Cooper died Nov. 25, 2019, at Forrest General Hospital. Graveside services were Dec. 2at Highland Cemetery.

Ms. Cooper was a manager at Hattiesburg Clinic for 41 years.

Survivors include her cousins, Earl A. "Lonnie" Cooper of Hoover, Ala., Jane Cooper Lapcewich of Vancouver, Wash. and William J. "Bill" Cooper of Florida.

Kenneth Gerald Hampton

80, of Hattiesburg

Kenneth Gerald Hampton died Nov. 26, 2019, at Forrest General Hospital. Services were Dec. 1.

Mr. Hampton was born Nov. 30, 1938, in Winston-Salem, N.C., to Wade Gorrell Sr. and Velma Mae Bovender Hampton.

Gerald grew up in Winston-Salem where he graduated from John W. Hanes High School valedictorian in 1957. He attended Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, where he received a B.S in Chemistry and Duke University in Durham, N.C. where he received a Ph.D. in chemistry.

He taught at Texas A&M for four years and Pearl River Community College for 28 years as a professor of chemistry. He attended First Presbyterian Church in Hattiesburg.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Joan Martiner Hampton; three children,  Jennifer of Florida, Kenneth Gerald “Tim” Hampton Jr. of Mobile, Ala., and Julie E. Hampton of Gibsonville, N.C.; a brother, Wade Gorrell Hampton II; five grandchildren.


Evelyn Hegwood

85, of Oak Grove

Evelyn Hegwood died Dec. 2, 2019. Graveside services were Dec. 4, at Highland Cemetery.

Mrs. Hegwood retired from Trustmark Bank and was a longtime employee of S.H. Kress. She was a member of Calvary Baptist Church of Oak Grove.

Survivors include one son, David Hegwood of Dear Park, Texas; daughters, Debbie Hegwood and Newana Evans, both of Purvis; one sister, Bobbie Jones of Petal; four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren.

Linda Kay Ishee

68, of Hattiesburg

Linda Kay Ishee died Nov. 25, 2019, at Forrest General Hospital.  A graveside service was held Dec. 5 at Beaumont Cemetery.

Mrs. Ishee was a member of McLain First Baptist Church and also attended the McLain Church of God.

Survivors include her sisters, Helen Smith of Avera, Sylvia Watts of Wiggins; brothers, Michael "Larry" Brewer of Apache Junction, Ariz., Ernest Brewer of Beaumont, Texas; special friend, John Clayton of Brooklyn.

Montez Miller Locke

85, of Lumberton

Montez “Granny” Miller Locke died Dec. 1, 2019, at Asbury Hospice House in Hattiesburg. Services were Dec. 4 at West Black Creek Missionary Baptist Church with burial in the Caney Creek Baptist Church Cemetery.

Mrs. Montez was a member of West Black Creek Missionary Baptist Church. She worked for more than 30 years at Movie Star Garment Factory and then operated a store for several years before settling becoming a cattle farmer and gardener.

Survivors include her children, Patsy (David) Williams of Improve, Wiley (Cyndy) Miller of Kokomo, Michael (Beverly) Miller of Hattiesburg and Joy (Chris) Matheny of Columbia; sister-in-law, Christine Gipson; 13 grandchildren 21 great-grandchildren and one on the way.

Mrs. Montez was preceded in death by her husband, W. C. Miller; parents, Griff and Lula Gipson; daughter, Mary Nell Miller Purvis, and son-in-law, Dale Purvis.

Jones and Son Funeral Home in Hattiesburg is in charge of arrangements.

Bonnie Moss

58, of Petal

Bonnie Moss died Dec. 1, 2019. at Asbury Hospice House. A memorial service will be held at later date.

Mrs. Moss was born in New Orleans, LA on April 8, 1961. She was a homemaker.

Survivors include her husband, James Moss of Petal; daughters, Shelly Boatner of Petal and Michelle Lee of Ellisville; two grandsons.

John Donald Motes Sr.

79, of Petal

John Donald “Donnie” Motes Sr. died Nov. 26, 2019, at Bedford Care Monroe Hall. Services were Nov. 30 at Carterville Baptist Church with burial in Forrest Memorial Gardens.

Mr. Motes was a member of Bible Baptist Church.

Survivors include his wife of 24 years, Redenia Motes of Petal; his three daughters, Becky Downing of Ovett, Deedie Motes Watts of Petal, and Kim O’Steen of Wiggins; his son, John Donald “Jody” Motes Jr. of Pelham, Ala.; his five step-children, Ronald Napper of Chattanooga, Tenn., Edward Napper Jr. of Auburn, Ala., Michael Napper, Angelina Carraway and Joseph Napper, all of Petal;  a sister, Paulette Guthrie of South Padre Island, Texas; 20 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren.

Mary Pierce

73, of Petal

Mary Pierce died Nov. 26, 2019, at her home. Services were Nov. 30, 2019, with burial in Providence Baptist Church Cemetery.

Survivors include her husband, Mack Pierce of Petal; her son, Jeff Pierce of Petal; her sister, Patricia Blakeney of Hattiesburg; her brother, Ellis Lester Blakeney Jr. of Petal; two grandsons.

Olivia Pigford

71, of Hattiesburg

Olivia Pigford died Nov. 24, 2019, in Bossier City, La. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 at Mount Olive Baptist Church.

Mrs. Pigford was born Feb. 13, 1948, to Zebedee and Curlie Mae Pigford in Meridian.

Mrs. Pigford attended Meridian Junior College and received her degree in accounting. She later returned to school and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Social Work from the University of Southern Mississippi. She worked in accounting and human resources retiring from USM after more than 30 years of service. She also volunteered at the Forrest General Cancer Center.

Survivors include two daughters, Lisa P. Hall of Mary Esther, Fla. and Kezia Pigford of Shreveport, La.; one brother, Zebedee Pigford Jr. of Los Angeles, Calif.; one sister, Jessie Mae McCoy of Grand Prairie, Texas, one grandson.

Melvin Lee Seals Sr.

76, of Petal

Melvin Lee Seals Sr. was born June 4, 1943, in Smith County to Woodrow and Mary Lee Seals. He attended school in Mize and joined Mount Vernon Baptist Church of Petal. He worked for Marshall Durbin, Mississippi Railroad, Waste Management, MDOT, Petal School District and was self-employed at Melvin’s Lawncare.

Survivors include his wife of 23 years, Clara J. Seals; 10 children,  Terry Madison, Melvin Seals Jr., Brenda Cooley, Joe Melvin Seals, Ruth Scott, Katherine Foley, Marie Seals, James Foley, Sabrina Foley, Angie Smith; a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren.

Susan J. Smith

46, of Hattiesburg

Susan J. Smith died Nov. 28, 2019. Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6,  at Melba Cemetery.

Survivors include two sisters, Rita Smith of Hattiesburg and Sharon Williams of Petal.