Feb. 9, 1935 – Sept. 21, 2022
Winnie Ruth Morris Wilks, 87, died Sept. 21, 2022, at Diversicare of Tylertown. She was born Feb. 9, 1935, in Marion County, the only child of Winfred Morris and Ruth Holmes Morris.
The early years of her life were spent on the family farm at Improve. When her parents became associated with The Lampton Co. in the 1940s, the family moved to Columbia. In Columbia, Mrs. Wilks was a member of First Baptist Church and was very involved in school activities. A highlight of Winnie’s school years was representing Columbia High School at Girls State.
She attended the University of Southern Mississippi, where she was a member of Chi Omega. In 1958, she married Samuel Edward Wilks of Columbia and they moved to Oxford. During their years at Ole Miss, she worked in the office of Chancellor J. D. Williams.
When the couple moved with their two young daughters to Tylertown in 1965, she became involved in the community through her membership in the Cosmopolitan Club, and she was an engaged parent through her support of school activities and Girl Scouts. A longtime member of Tylertown Baptist Church, Mrs. Wilks participated in the music ministries of the church as a member of the handbell choir and in her later years as a member of the sanctuary choir.
She worked in office management positions for several Tylertown businesses, and she is remembered by many former students and their families as “Miss Winnie,” when she served as the school secretary at Walthall Academy from 1972-1978.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, with whom she celebrated 50 years of marriage shortly before his passing in 2008.
Survivors are her daughters, Lisa Carpenter (Mitchell) of Hattiesburg, and Amy Beard (Ken) of Tylertown; three granddaughters, Lauren Carpenter of Hattiesburg, Ashley McCarson (Russell) and Meagan Resendez (Louis) of Victoria, TX; a grandson, Brennen Beard (Kristen) of Summit; and four great-grandchildren – L. J. Resendez, Ada McCarson, Bryce Beard, and Evelyn Beard.
Services were Sept. 26, 2022, at Colonial Funeral Home in Columbia, graveside at Woodlawn Cemetery with Rev. Russell McCarson officiating.