Pontotoc – Miss Teresa Lynn Vails, 56, crossed over to perfection, Thursday, January 3, 2019 at North MS Medical Center following a brief illness. She was born April 21, 1962 in Tupelo, MS to Charles R. Vails, Sr. and Elizabeth Ann Coker Vails. The daughter of an Air Force military family, she lived in several states in her life but home was the Tupelo area. She was a 1980 graduate of Saltillo High School. She continued her studies at Itawamba Community College and University of Mississippi where she earned her B.S. in Biology and Master’s Degree in Secondary Education. Teresa had a insatiable appetite for lifelong learning. She loved books and reading and was a private student of her Bible. She lived an interesting, intriguing life. She was an encourager and brought out the best in her family and friends. Teresa was a gifted musician, playing the piano and guitar by ear as well as other instruments. A true renaissance woman, Teresa enjoyed photography, nature and all God’s creation from which she derived much of her spiritual maturity. She was a cat lover, and had a passion for rescuing all animals. A free, independent spirit, Teresa touched so many lives as an employee for over 12 years at the Lee County Library where she was reference librarian and worked the bookmobile. She finished her working career as an adult education facilitator at the Tupelo Branch of the University of Mississippi, retiring last year. Her life made a difference and a grateful family and community shares gratitude for her pilgrimage amongst us.
A celebration of life service will be Sunday at 5 PM in the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with Bro. Bobby Holland officiating and Steve Holland delivering the eulogy. Private burial will be in Camp Creek Cemetery. Visitation will be today from 3 PM to 5PM and Sunday from 3 PM to service time.
Survivors include her mother Elizabeth “Ann” Vails of Pontotoc; two sisters, Cynthia Underwood of Copperas Cove, TX and Lorie Murphy (Tracy) of Saltillo; brother, Charles “Ray” Vails, Jr. (Peggy) of Benbrook, TX; 3 nieces, Brandi Giroux (Danny), Courtney Murphy (Magen), and Angie Vails; 2 nephews, Jonathan Underwood and Patrick Underwood (Victoria); 5 great nieces and nephews, Jayla Underwood, Raiden Underwood, Marlee Seawright, Chase Seawright, and Charli Little; and a host of feral cats and other animals she loved. She was preceded in death by her father, Charles Vails, U.S. Air Force, Retired who died July 28, 2018 and brother-in-law, Jerry Underwood.
Honorary pallbearers will be Jonathan Underwood, Patrick Underwood, Jeffrey Wilson, Kirk Seale, Tracy Murphy and Danny Giroux.
Memorials may be made to the Tupelo-Lee Animal Shelter, P. O. Box 1185, Tupelo, MS. 38802 or to Pontotoc Animal Shelter, Highway 41, Pontotoc, MS. 38863.
The service may be viewed at www.hollandfuneraldirectors.com/Livestreaming in real time at 5 PM today and for 60 days thereafter.