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OBITUARIES FOR FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2001

By Staff
WILLIE HAROLD BLANKS
Services for Willie Harold Blanks will be held today at 1 p.m. at St. Mark United Methodist Church with the Rev. James L. Morris officiating. Burial will be in Rose Garden Cemetery in Daleville with Enterprise Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Blanks was born on Feb. 23, 1923, in Daleville, to Willie R. Blanks and Fredna Stennis Blanks. He departed this life at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center on Thursday, April 12, 2001. He attended Daleville Elementary School and completed his secondary education at St. Joseph School and T.J. Harris High School.
Mr. Blanks joined the United Methodist Church at an early age. He volunteered for the U.S. Army in 1940, where he served as a corporal in the European Theater of World War II. He was discharged in 1945. He was an auto mechanic instructor at T.J. Vocational High School. Mr. Blanks later moved to New York where he retired as president and owner of the Blanks Brothers Landscaping and Excavating Inc. Company.
He united in holy matrimony with Helen Sharp Blanks. They joined the New St. Mark AME Zion Church in Park Ridge, N.J., where he was the organist for many years.
He leaves to cherish his memories his mother, Fredna Blanks; two brothers, Bertis Blanks Sr. and his wife, Elizabeth, and Fred Blanks; four sisters, Inez Rucker and her husband, Robert, Theresa Whiteside and her husband, Ken, Marie Hicks and her husband, Joe, Beatrice Downing and her late husband, Eddie; an aunt, Viola Stennis; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen; his father, Willie Roy Blanks; and sister Dorothy Blanks.
WARREN ELSTON RAGLAND
Retired South Central Bell district engineer
Services for Warren Elston Ragland will be held today at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church with the Revs. Dr. Raymon Leake and David McCubbin officiating. Burial will be in Brandon Cemetery at 2:30 p.m. today. Barham Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Ragland, 86, of Meridian, died Tuesday, April 17, 2001, at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center. He was the holder of the Legion of Merit. Colonel Ragland's military career began in 1937 when he was commissioned to second lieutenant through the reserve officers training course program, upon graduation from Mississippi State University in 1937. While at MSU, he was a charter member of Alpha Tau Omega.
After serving on active duty in World War II, he entered the reserve program. He served as commanding officer of the U.S. Terminal Unit (1181) Meridian, a post he held at the time of his release from the Army after 30 years of military service.
Mr. Ragland, a native of Rankin County, was district engineer for South Central Bell. A director of the Meridian Chamber of Commerce, he was active in the Lauderdale County Chapter of the American Red Cross, a member of the Meridian Symphony Society, the Meridian Kiwanis Club and the Third Army Advisory Committee. He served as a deacon at First Baptist Church of Meridian and was a charter member of the Queen City Investment Club.
Survivors include two daughters, Ann Ragland Furse and her husband, Larry, of Atlanta, and Susan Ragland Hill and her husband, George, of Meridian; six grandchildren, Rilla Furse Umstead and her husband, Danny, of Atlanta, Daniel Warren Furse and his wife, Bethany, Jonathan Hill and his wife, Ashley, Benjamin Hill, Cecily Hill and Elizabeth Hill, all of Meridian; a great-grandchild, Meredith Furse; a brother, Sidney Ragland of Jackson; a sister, Mary Alice Stubblefield of Brandon; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth Kennedy Ragland.
The family requests memorials be made to First Baptist Church, Sta-Home Hospice or the American Heart Association.
Pallbearers will be Danny Umstead, Daniel Furse, Jonathan Hill, Benjamin Hill, Edward Hatten, Tom Kennedy, David Ragland, Doug Ragland, Steve Stubblefield and Freddie Poitevent.
Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Queen City Investment Club.
JERRY B. PARKER
Account representative
FOREST Services for Jerry B. Parker will be held today at 10 a.m. at Ott and Lee Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will be in Hickory Plaines Cemetery in Hickory Plaines, Ark.
Mr. Parker, 53, of Lake, died Wednesday, April 18, 2001, at Neshoba General Hospital. He was a native of Stuttgart, Ark., and had been a resident of Lake for the past two years, formerly living in Philadelphia. Mr. Parker was a member of First United Methodist Church in Stuttgart and attended Hillcrest Methodist Church in Forest. He had spent several years working with the Army Corp. of Engineers. He was also an avid NASCAR fan and loved to cook.
Survivors include his wife, Laura Parker of Lake; a son, Shain Parker of Gulfport; three stepsons, Scott Doolittle, Bryon Doolittle and Dustin Doolittle, all of Lake; a daughter, Tracy Wise of Stuttgart; two sisters, Gwen Stephens of Stuttgart and Dona Stacks of Edgemont, Ark.; nine grandsons, Bradley Wise, Morgan Wise, Cari Wise, Joseph Parker, Nathan Parker, Casey Parker, Trevor Kelly, Kobe Doolittle and Andrew Durbin; and a granddaughter, Kaelyn Parker.
Visitation will be today from 8-9:45 a.m. at the funeral home. Services will also be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Turpin Funeral Home Chapel in Stuttgart, Ark., with visitation Friday from 6-9 p.m. at the funeral home.

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