Vance N. Means

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, September 23, 2012

Funeral services for Vance Norman Means of Brookhaven are 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 24, at Riverwood Family Funeral Service. Burial with military honors will be held at Union Baptist Church Cemetery in Lincoln County.

     Visitation is Sunday from 5 until 7 p.m. at the funeral home.

     Mr. Means, 90, died at his residence on Sept. 22, 2012. He was born in Texas on Nov. 19, 1921, to Alva “Red” Means and Juanita Warden Means.

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     Mr. Means served his country as a sergeant in Troop F of the 12th Cavalry Regiment. He and his older brother, Oswald, joined the U.S. Army 1st Calvary Division on Aug. 7, 1940. During World War II, Mr. Means served in the Southern Philippines, Luzon, Bismark-Archipelago and New Guinea. He was awarded the Combat Infantrymans Badge, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four Bronze Stars, the Philippine Liberation Medal with two Bronze Stars; the Good Conduct Medal; The American Defense Service Medal; and a Purple Heart with two Oak Leaf Clusters.

     Following his discharge from the Army he went to work as a surveyor with the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. He came to Brookhaven, Mississippi, with his new job and met the love of his life, Rachel Summers. The pair were married on March 3, 1946, just two weeks after their first meeting. The couple lived an extraordinary life, having lived, worked or visited almost every state in the union while traveling with a Coast Survey party.

     Mr. and Mrs. Means finally settled in Brookhaven, Mrs. Means’ hometown, when they retired. During his retirement years, he continued to work as a self-employed carpenter.

     Mr. Means was of the Holiness faith.

     Preceding him in death were his parents; his brother, Oswald R. Means; and his sister, Juanita G. “Sug” Means Chandler.

     Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Rachel Summers Means of Brookhaven; his daughter, Juda Rich of Brookhaven; his three grandchildren and their spouses, Tammie S. Brewer and her husband, Dennis, of Brookhaven, Roger Dale Rich Jr. and his wife, Rhonda, of Monticello, and Terry Rich Tate and her husband, Steve, of Tyler, Texas; nine great-grandchildren, Jeremy Smith and his wife, Mica, of Brookhaven, Jordan Efurd of Tyler, Joshua Rich of Monticello, Liana Bass Brown and her husband, Zane, of Brookhaven, Jacob Rich of Monticello, Rachel Efurd of Tyler, Brianna Rich of Monticello, Dustin Brewer and his wife, Donna, of Meadville, Derrick Brewer and his wife, Jonie, of Wesson, and Kayla Tate of Tyler; 11 great-great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and other relatives.

     The family would also like to acknowledge his caregivers, Shawn Balmer, Kathy Case, Misty Murray and Angie and Lenora Rials for their excellent loving care during his decline; and to Amaryliss Leggett R.N. and staff at Hospice Ministries for their unwavering support during Mr. Means’ last days.

     Serving as pallbearers will be Dennis Brewer, Steve Tate, Roger Rich Jr., Jacob Rich, Jeremy Smith and Logan Howard.

     To express your thoughts to the family, you may visit and click on his name to leave a comment.