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Mary Virginia Welch Bessonette

Graveside services for Mary Virginia “Aunt Virginia” WelchBessonette of Ridgeland are 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9, at Union BaptistChurch Cemetery in Lincoln County.

Mrs. Bessonette, 79, died Saturday, Dec. 7, 2002, at HospiceMinistries of Ridgeland. She was born in Georgetown on April 21,1923, to the late Willard and Emmer Greer Welch of CopiahCounty.

She was retired from South Central Bell of Jackson, where shehad worked for 26 years. She was a member of Crossgates BaptistChurch, where she was a driver of elderly people to the church. Shewas a lifetime member of the Pioneers of America, the first managerof the first Krystal’s Restaurant in Jackson, the owner of severalgas stations and a practical nurse in the 1950s.

Preceding her in death were her parents; husband of 46 years,Thomas J. Bessonette; and two sisters, Betty Bessonette and JewelHerring.

Survivors are her step-son, Thomas Bessonette Jr. of LaCombe,La.; step-grandson, Bernie Bessonette of San Antonio, Texas; niecesand nephews, Howard and Sandi Bessonette of Deland, Fla., DianeBessonette of Ashbury, N.J., Deborah and Lamont Crenshaw ofNiceville, Fla., Deda and Rickey Phillips of Demopolis, Ala., Ellaand Steve Windham of Brandon; and great-nieces and nephews, Amandaand Shawn Hall, Matthew Bessonette, Joey Bessonette and TammyBessonette.

Special caretakers were Heather Smiley, Joisha Johnson andWillie May Harvey.

Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association,Mississippi Chapter, 1900 Dunbarton Drive, Suite I, Jackson, MS39216.