Fall 1985


One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonging to him, and the other to the LORD. When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he questioned the LORD about it. "LORD, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me."

The LORD replied, "My son, My precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."

— Author Unknown

This writing has become a favorite during recent years. The message is one to which many can relate. We recognize that truly He does carry us through our difficult times.

As we enter into the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, I always think of those who have experienced the loss of someone dear and will be saddened as they face the first of these celebrations since that death. Sara Teasdale wrote: Oh better than the minting of a gold-crowned king, is the safe-kept memory of a lovely thing." I trust that you have many good memories from which to draw comfort as you go into this time.

The entire staff of Waller Funeral Home wishes each of you a blessed holiday season.

Feature Staff Member, Bobby Phelps

Bobby Phelps, licensed embalmer and funeral service practitioner and licensed insurance agent, is featured in this newsletter in the first of a series to help you become better acquainted with our Funeral Home staff.

Born in Panola County, Bobby is the son of the late Louis Phelps and the late Fannie Murphy Koonce, who was a first cousin of Percy Waller, Don’s father. After graduating from South Panola High School, Bobby attended Northwest Junior College for one year and then worked at the Batesville Company and for the Mississippi State Highway Department before coming to work for Waller Funeral Home in April of 1978. After beginning work at the Funeral Home, Bobby completed specialized training and received an Associate in Applied Science Degree at the Northwest Junior College School of Mortuary Science. He served the embalming apprenticeship for licensing under the late C. S. "Crack" Wilson. He passed the State Embalming Board examination and was granted his license on April 12, 1984.

Bobby is very active in the work of Blackjack Presbyterian Church, where he has served on the Board of Deacons since he was eighteen years old. He served as youth advisor for twelve years, and he is presently serving as Sunday School superintendent. He serves also as a member of the Camps and Conference Committee for Camp Hopewell of the St. Andrew Presbytery.

Bobby is a member of the OD. Smith Lodge #33. He has two sons, Ken, 17, and Lee, 15, who attend South Panola High School.

We are proud to have Bobby as a member of our staff!


A Federal Trade Commission study found that 45 percent of all deaths were sudden or unexpected (i.e., not resulting from illness or old age). In 33 percent of the cases, the deceased never discussed arrangements with close relatives. Of those making arrangements, 40 percent had no previous experience in funeral planning.

In preparing for death, many circumstances are uncontrollable; however, one important step which will make this time easier for your family can be made in advance — pre-arrangement of funeral services.

The funeral service industry nationwide is experiencing an unprecedented increase in the number of funeral pre-arrangements. At Waller Funeral Home, we are prearranging three or four funerals each week. Insurance companies, recognizing this trend, have introduced plans which provide several different ways to make pre-need payments.

The insurance companies which we represent now enable us to offer options for pre-need payment in addition to our established monthly payment plan. We offer an insured monthly payment plan. With this plan, you make specific service pre-arrangements and buy an insurance policy which provides for payment of the balance due if death should occur before complete payment has been made. (Certain age restrictions apply to this insurance plan.)

For those who do not wish to purchase specific funeral services but do want to provide funds for their funerals in advance, we have insured financing plans for from three to five years.

A member of our staff is available to discuss these plans with you in the privacy of your home or at the funeral home. We will arrange an appointment at your convenience, including during evenings or weekends for those with limited time during the usual business day.

Remember — preplanning and prearranging of funeral services is one of the most thoughtful things you can do for your family.


We dedicate this issue of SEASONS to those who have died and whose families we have served from August 13. 1985 through November 11, 1985.

Mr. Lester Alvin Mitchell 8-13-85

Mrs. Gertrude Ellis Gober 8-15-85

Dean Robert J. Farley 8-23-85

Mr. Dewey Denton 8-28-85

Mrs. Dorothy Bratton Turnbow 9-1-85

Mr. Willard Holmes Sollers 9-5-85

Mr. Charles Edward (Bob) Howington 9-20-85 

Mr. Chester Wayne Tubbs 9-21-85 

Miss Marjorie Ann Parks 9-29-85

Mr. Gaylon H. Fuller 10-15-85 

Mr. Murry Ellzey 10-17-85

Mr. Norman Clark 10-21-85

Mrs. Lora Fudge Hunter 10-30-85

Mrs. Ruth Barry Harris 10-31-85

Mr. William McNeil Reed 11-3-85

Mrs. Juliet Ales Garrett 11-4-85

Mr. Harry P. Collins 11-8-85

Mrs. Lois Vinson Smith 11-9-85

Recent Improvements to Waller Funeral Home

Waller Funeral Home was designed, built, and furnished to provide an attractive, home-like atmosphere. Like our homes, constant attention to housekeeping and maintenance is required. We have recently painted inside and replaced carpet in the high traffic areas.

Many of you have already enjoyed the photograph of the student body of Yocona Consolidated High School during the first school session, 1923-24, which has been added in the lounge.


Getting Through The Night

"What is urgently needed," a bookstore friend told Eugenia Price not long ago, "is a small, simply-written book on handling grief. It should be done by an author whom readers know and trust. Flowers don’t last, cards are too often impersonal, and most of us don’t know what to say at a time of deep loss. You’re the author who should write that book."

Some time later, while reading the Thirtieth Psalm, Eugenia Price began to concentrate on the actual form such a book might take. Ms. Price recalls: "Two lines in verse five literally stopped me: 'weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning' I thought, Is this really true? It must be. We have God’s word for it. But isn’t there a lot more here than meets the eye? Far more than what at first glance appears to be a pat-sounding platitude? I learned that there was. This book about finding one’s way through the loss of a loved one was all there in those few words. And the book’s title would be: Getting Through the Night.

Millions have read and reread Eugenia Price’s novels and inspirational books, and indeed, her readers not only trust her, they consider her a friend with a no-nonsense way of looking at life, one who is still learning.

To those in grief, to all of us, she writes: "One thing is clear —there is no promise anywhere of a magic wand to end grief. But we do have God’s word for it that anyone willing to try, even a little, to understand that there is a way into meaning, will make it through."

Getting Through the Night is not only for those already sorrowing. Better to have read these pages before grief comes. After all, no one is immune to it.

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