TUPELO - Son James wrote the following right after his Mom's death on Saturday, August 3, 2019. "Mom passed this morning. In my entire life I never heard her say a cross word about anyone. She was the most compassionate, caring person I've known. Whether it was cooking Saturday morning pancakes for me and my vagabond friends growing up, or taking care of my problems when I wasn't capable enough to take care of them myself, she was a North Star-always shining bright, reliable and understanding like a good friend. She gave of herself tirelessly, and never forgot a student's name she taught in preschool. She was always there to help others, no matter their successful status in life, or tilted, struggling trajectory. She will be missed by those she helped at the food pantry at her church, and by anyone who was fortunate enough to be touched by her grace. And that's a fact.
She taught us by example, what is possible with dedicated effort, and kept her struggles to herself, to minimize what she may have thought were burdens to others. Marion Tootle was a giver, and I can only hope to be half the person she was in life and will continue to be in memory."
Marion was born on Oct. 10, 1941 in Byron, Georgia to the late James Clinton Marion Ward and Gertrude White Ward. She grew up there, graduated from high school and attended Georgia Southern University in Statesboro receiving a B.A. and M.A. in Elementary Education. A consummate learner, she continued her education at the University of Mississippi. Marion was a devoted, faithful, humble, strong woman who loved her Lord and her Family, her Church and the children she taught through the years. Marion taught at First Presbyterian Church preschool from 1975-1990 and at Joyner school from 1990-2004. Marion dedicated her life to serving others through selfless service and ministering, as a Meals on Wheels volunteer, at Wesley United Methodist as a Nursery volunteer & pianist. She served others at the Wesley Food Pantry and as a member of the Women's First organization.
A service celebrating her life will be held at 11 AM, Wednesday, at Wesley United Methodist Church in Tupelo with her Pastor, Rev. Roger Puhr officiating assisted by Rev. James Richardson. Private burial will follow in Tupelo Memorial Park on Joyner. Visitation will be from 9 AM-service time Wed. only at Wesley UMC. Holland Funeral Directors, Tupelo Chapel is honored to be serving their friends.
Marion Tootle is survived by her eternally loving husband of 56 years, Errol Tootle of Tupelo, MS., her children, Lisa (Jason) Simmons of Pikeville, TN, Deborah (Ed) Houston of Tupelo, MS, James (Abbey) Tootle of Austin TX, and Jeffrey (Christy) Tootle of Pontotoc MS. Her beloved grandchildren, Taylor Grass of Harriman TN, Evan and Jake Houston of Tupelo, MS, and Savannah and Walker Tootle of Pontotoc, MS. Her cherished sisters, Lena (Dwight) Lindsay of Dothan, AL and Mary Joyce (Goodloe) Love of York, PA. Her in-laws, Barry (Saralyn) Tootle of Glennville GA, Gaynell (Twiman) Garrison of Ludowici, GA, LaJeune Fennell of Glennville, GA, Anne Ward Savannah, GA, and Alice Ward of Rincon, GA.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations made in her memory to Wesley United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 2122, Tupelo, MS 38803.