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Bernice P. Ellis, 95, passed away, Sunday, April 5, 2020. She was born April 29, 1924, in Lee County, MS, to William Pannell Sr. and Mary Allen Pannell. Bernice was a resident of Tupelo, MS. She accepted Christ at an early age, and was a diligent, faithful member of Rising Star Baptist Church for over seventy years. She graduated from College Hill High School in Pontotoc, MS. She dedicated many years of work to South Central Bell in Tupelo. Thereafter, she was a self-employed, well sought-after seamstress, especially for her wedding dresses. She loved singing in the church choir and was an avid gardener.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her beloved husband of thirty years, Richard A. Ellis; her dear son, Royce V. Ellis; four brothers, Cleophes Pannell, William Pannell Jr., Joe Pannell, and Johnny M. Pannell Sr.; and sister, Willie B. Scales. Bernice is lovingly remembered by her three children, Patricia A. Ellis, Gwendolyn A. Ellis, and Brenda F. Ellis-Bass (Malcom), all of Tupelo, MS; step-son, Wayne Patton (Evelyn) of Toledo, OH; sister, Theresser Topp of Saltillo, MS; four grandchildren, Evelyn Holden, Mond Ellis, Nakia Triplett, and Kesha L. Ellis; three great-grandchildren, Taje Smith, Evan Sellers, and Ariah Ellis; and one great great-grandchild, Taje Santana Smith. She also leaves to cherish her memories, a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.
A private family graveside services will be held Friday, April 10, 2020, at Lee Memorial Park in Verona, MS. Reverend Melvin Lewis will serve as the officiant. Grayson-Porter’s Funeral Directors will oversee the arrangements. A memorial service honoring Bernice will be held at a later date to be determined.
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