Edith Neal Terry

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Edith Neal Terry, 97, died Sunday, Oct. 22, 2006, at HospiceMinistries Ridgeland. Visitation is Wednesday, Oct. 25, from noonuntil 2 p.m. at Brandon Baptist Church in Brandon, followed byfuneral services at 2 p.m. at the church, with burial in theBrandon Memorial Cemetery. Baldwin-Lee Funeral Home in Pearl ishandling the arrangements.

Mrs. Terry, the last surviving child born to the union of JamesOwen Neal and Sarah Neal, late of Lincoln County, has now rejoinedher father, mother, brothers: Jessie, A.E. Sr., Fulton andFitzhugh; and sisters: Edna and Ivy, in their eternal celestialhome. After 42 years she has at last reunited with the love of herlife, the late J. Walter Terry, whose name she cherished andhonored from the date of marriage until her passing on.

Edith was an accomplished musician and during her younger years,traveled with her father and brother, Fulton, to singingconventions all over Southeast Mississippi. She was Salutatorian ofher high school class at Fair Oak Springs (Lincoln County) andcontinued her higher education at Whitworth College in Brookhaven.It was at Whitworth where she met and fell in love with Walter, ayoung member of the Mississippi State Legislature, and they weremarried shortly thereafter. During the early years of theirmarriage they both taught school in Lincoln and Rankin counties,while Walter served in both the House of Representatives andSenate. The young couple settled in Rankin County in the late 1930sand from 1944 lived in Brandon.

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Edith enjoyed the reputation of being an outstanding legalsecretary, working for local lawyers, judges, secretary of thestate senate and retiring as secretary to the Attorney Generalassigned to the State Public Service Commission. She traveledextensively during her retirement years but remained loyal to herchurch, teaching a Sunday school class for over 30 years andremained active in the Eastern Star, serving all stations. She wasa charter member of the Mississippi Official Women’s Club and washonored at the Governor’s Mansion in December 2005, as the lastsurviving charter member of that organization.

Her love for her family was unsurpassed and she was in turn,loved, admired and depended upon for advice and Christian guidanceby those who knew her, especially her family. As one grandson saidlately, “Maw Maw is the glue that has held us all together.” Familyand friends mourn her passing but rejoice with the memory of beingso blessed with her presence for 97 years. She was a member ofBrandon Baptist Church.

Survivors include sons, Dr. Joe Walter Terry Jr. and wifeBillie, of Canton, Judge Jerry O. Terry Sr. and wife Annette, ofBiloxi; grandchildren, Shannon Conner and husband Ben, of Canton,Dr. Joe Walter Terry III and wife Linda, of Canton, Melinda Brownand husband Jim, of Olive Branch, Ruth Anna McDaniels and husbandMickie, of Tylertown, Kathryn Terry Bryant, of Biloxi, Jerry O.Terry Jr. and wife Melissa, of Laurel, Thomas Neal Terry and wifeRegina, of Brandon, Timothy W. Miles and wife Gayle, of Gautier,and Terri Michelle Miles, of Gulfport. She also leaves 19great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson, as well as manynieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made to Brandon Baptist Church BuildingFund.