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Obituaries for Wednesday, March 24, 2004

By Staff
Retired school teacher/librarian
BUTLER, Ala. Services for Myrtee Belle Land will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at Riverchase United Methodist Church with the Revs. John Mount and Ed Underwood officiating. Graveside services and burial will be at 4 p.m. at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery.
Mrs. Land, 82, of Birmingham, died Tuesday, March 23, 2004, at St. Vincent Hospital in Birmingham.
Survivors include her daughter, June Lynn Knight of Melvin; sons, Charles Robert Land of Tuscaloosa, John Thomas Land of Birmingham and Walter Gary Land of Marietta, Ga.; brothers, Charles L. Martin Jr. of Anniston and John S. Martin of Fairhope; a sister, Virginia M. Brown of Birmingham; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
She was preceded in death by her daughters, Sarah France Land and Angela Jane Knight; and a brother, Edward Martin.
Visitation will be Thursday one hour prior to the service at the church.
Attorney
NEWTON Services for William Harvey Johnson Jr. will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at Clarke Venabel Baptist Church with the Rev. Richard Ethridge officiating. Burial will be in the Decatur Cemetery. Barham Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Johnson, 84, of Decatur, died Monday, March 22, 2004, at St. Dominic's Hospital in Jackson.
He was born on May 10, 1919, in Ball, La., and graduated from Harperville High School in 1935, East Central Junior College in 1937 and Mississippi College in 1939.
He volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Corps, later known as the U.S. Air Force, in 1941, where he served on active duty for four years, rising from the rank of aviation cadet to the rank of major. He flew with the 381st bomber group and was stationed at the Ridgewell Air Force Base, 40 miles northeast of London. He completed 26 missions over Germany, France, Austria and Poland before returning to the United States. He was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, four Air Medals and a Presidential Citation.
After serving his country, Mr. Johnson enrolled in the Ole Miss Law School in January 1946 and graduated with the LLB and LLD degrees in January 1948. In March of that same year he opened his law office in Decatur, where he worked until his retirement in 1999. During this time he was elected to the Mississippi Legislature in 1952 and served 12 years in the House of Representatives. He was elected district attorney for the Eighth Circuit Court District of Mississippi in 1963. He served as state president of the Mississippi District Attorney's Association in 1967.
Throughout his career, Mr. Johnson was a member of the Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity, served there terms on the Board of Bar Commissioners of the Mississippi State Bar, served as trustee of the Mississippi Bar Foundation and as president of the Newton County Bar Association. He served as city attorney for the town of Decatur for approximately 20 years and as county attorney for Newton County for 10 years.
He was an active member of Clarke-Venable Memorial Baptist Church in Decatur, where he served as a deacon and trustee. He was past president of the Mississippi State Exchange Clubs, past district governor of Exchange Clubs and recipient of the Golden Deeds Award presented to him by the Decatur Exchange Club in 1966. He was also past president of the East Central Community College Alumni Association and was named Alumnus of the Year for ECCC in 1968. He served as board attorney for ECCC for approximately three years.
Survivors include his daughters, Nancy Rector and her husband, Rick, of Petal and Elizabeth Woodward of Pensacola, Fla.; two grandchildren, Seth Rector and Jordan Rector; a brother, John L. Johnson and his wife, Imogene, of Augusta, Ga.; a sister, Ruth Bush of Jackson; and a special friend, Jimmie Parker.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Lizzie Butts Johnson; and his parents, William Harvey Johnson Sr. and Lela Johnson.
Memorials may be made to Clarke-Venable Baptist Church building fund or the Decatur Cemetery Association.
Pallbearers will be Jimmy Dowdle, Mickey Medlock, George Hayes, Jim Ledlow, Melvin Tingle and Harvey Trapp. Honorary pallbearers will be members of his Sunday school class.
Visitation will be today 5 p.m.-8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Arrangements were incomplete at Stephens Funeral Home for Myrtis Stokes Scarbrough, 89, of Meridian, who died Tuesday, March 23, 2004, at King's Daughters and Sons Rest Home.
Arrangements were incomplete at Barham Funeral Home in Newton for Ottis Russell, 73, of Newton, who died Tuesday, March 23, 2004, at Newton Regional Hospital.

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