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Murry Duane Coward

July 3, 1941 ~ January 4, 2019 (age 77)

Tupelo – Mr. Murry Duane Coward, 77, died Friday, January 4, 2019 at University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS following a brief illness.  He was born July 3, 1941 in Pontotoc County, MS, to Reid Coward and Jimmie Sloan Coward.  Murry was a graduate of Thaxton High School and earned an Associate Degree from Itawamba Junior College (ICC).  He married his sweetheart, Betty Jo Sneed on September 1, 1961 in Pontotoc, MS.  They made their home in Tupelo where they raised their family, worked, and have remained longtime active members of Harrisburg Baptist Church where he served as a Deacon and enjoyed attending the Kilgo Sunday school class.  He enjoyed his career as a supervisor employed by Hancock Fabrics for 43 years before retiring, then working as a courier for BancorpSouth for 10 years until his hospitalization. 

Murry loved being outdoors gardening and putting up Christmas decorations for all to enjoy.  He loved caring for his wife, Betty Jo, and spending time with family and friends. He was a loving grandfather. He greatly enjoyed traveling with his wife, brother-in-law and one of his best friends, Billy Quay Montgomery and his wife, Charlie Ruth.

A celebration of life service will be at 1 PM, Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at Harrisburg Baptist Church with Dr. Forrest Sheffield and Bro. David Smith officiating.  A graveside service with Bro. Marcus Coward officiating will follow at Tupelo Memorial Park.  Visitation will be Monday from 4 PM – 7 PM in the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors and Tuesday from 11:30 AM to service time at the church. 

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Betty Jo Coward of Tupelo; 3 sons, Scott Coward (Debbie) of Mooreville, Kevin Coward (Pam) of Tupelo, and Patrick Coward (Paige) of Heber, Utah; 6 grandchildren, Kristen Meeks (Braxton), Katherine Coward, Ashley Coward, Kara Beth Coward, Emily Coward, and Reid Coward, and a host of many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents.

Pallbearers will be his nephews, Steven Coward, John Coward, Shannon Coward, Adam Coward, Steve Montgomery, Billy Ray Sneed, Al Jones, and Tony Spears.  Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Kilgo Sunday School class, employees and friends of Hancock Fabrics and BancorpSouth.

Memorials in memory of Murry Coward may be sent to Harrisburg Baptist Church, 4675 Cliff Gookin Blvd., Tupelo, MS 38801 or St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN  38105.  Condolences to the family may be posted at

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