Bessie West Lea, 92, of Hazlehurst, died Thursday, October 20, 2011, at
Visitation will be from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM at Stringer Funeral Home in Hazlehurst on Friday, October 21. Her funeral service will be at 11:00 AM on Saturday, October 22 at Stringer Family Chapel in Hazlehurst. Interment will follow inUnited Methodist Church cemetery on Carter Hill Road..
Born October 27, 1918, Bessie was a lifetime resident of , having worked at Bank, Hardy Wilson Memorial Hospital, Copiah County Courier, and she was a co-founder and officer of , LLC. She is a graduate of in and . She was an active member of Pleasant Ridge United Methodist Church in Hazlehurst and the Order of the Eastern Star Chapter 25 in Hazlehurst, where she served in many capacities.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Edgar Goza, Sr. and Honor Elizabeth Goodrich Goza, her husbands, James Halbert West, Sr. and E. C. Lea, her infant son, Joe Frank West, and her sisters, Edwina Goza Gallagher and Katherine Goza Connell.
She is survived by her children, Anna Carolyn West Coates, James Halbert West, Jr., Walter Sims West II (Genie), Martha McKinley (Peter); her grandchildren, Renee Coates Harrison Berry (Roger), Lisa Coates, Amy Coates Falcon (Kevin), Joe Buck Coates (Karen), John Thomas Coates (Brandi), Elizabeth Frances McKinley, Hunter James McKinley, Peter Beto McKinley, Charla West Edwards (Brian) and Walter Sims West III (Emily); and great-grandchildren, Brodie Jackson, Heather Harrison, Holly Harrison, Jessie Grace Cole, Connor Coates, Grayson Coates, Emily Claire Coates, Mary Beth Coates, Edwards, Adam , Blake Whittington and Elise Whittington; her brother, Edgar Franklin Goza, Jr., her sister, Carolyn Goza Ensign; her special nieces and nephews, Katherine “Cacus” Connell Bergin (Pat), Joe Connell (Marianne), Mike Connell (Donna), Steve Connell (Ruth), Jerry Goza (Nona), Duane Goza (Kathy), Linda Goza Williams Daigle (Bruce); and dozens of great-nieces and nephews and countless friends.
The family thanks Dr. Randy Hankins, Dr. Bob Walker, Dr. Ken Whittington, 2nd floor nurses and staff of Hardy Wilson Memorial Hospital, and caregivers Maria Johns, Renee McCardle, Nikki McCardle, and Debbie Westrope for the kind and loving care provided to our mother and grandmother during her final days. Words are inadequate to express how much your simple acts of kindness meant to her and to us. May God richly bless each of you.
Memorials may be made to Pleasant Ridge United Methodist Church, Children’s Ministry of Hazlehurst United Methodist Church, Order of the Eastern Star, Chapter 25, or to a charity of your choice.