OBITUARY

James Robert "Bill" McPeters Jr.

February 18, 1923March 2, 2013

Memorial services for James Robert “Bill” McPeters, Jr. will be held on Wednesday, March 6, at 4:00 p.m. at McPeters Funeral Directors. Following the service, a gathering will be held in his honor at Refreshments, Incorporated, 101 West Linden Street, Corinth, Mississippi. Mr. McPeters passed away on Saturday, March 2. Having touched the lives of so many, both here in Corinth and elsewhere, he garnered a reputation as both a caring and entertaining philanthropist whose generosity was unmatched. There are few who have not evidenced his heart-felt concern, whether in the form of a small gift, a meal, a donated funeral service, or just a smile; however, much of this kindness was shared anonymously.

Serving the community in a unique fashion, Bill became an iconic personality in Corinth. Many citizens have relaxed on one of his wrought iron benches, which continue to decorate the downtown streets, or in the past have leaned against one of his multi-colored light posts, a project he initiated as an original member of the Make Corinth Beautiful Commission. Some Corinthians even experienced the pleasure of a ride in John F. Kennedy’s personal limousine, thanks to the far-sighted McPeters who purchased the Cadillac for a reported $8000. President Lyndon Johnson rode in this same limousine in JFK’s funeral procession. With a flair for the unusual, Bill had a style all his own. From the neckties he always donned around his waist to his feathered hats, Bill was a colorful, unpredictable friend even in his nineties.

Born February 18, 1923, McPeters completed high school in 1940 at Columbia Military Academy in Tennessee. After attending Cumberland University law School, he changed career goals and attended both Marion Military School in Alabama and the University of Mississippi, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. Beginning his life-long profession as a funeral director in 1946, he purchased his cousin Liddon McPeters’ share of the family business in 1954 which had been established by his great-great uncle, W. L. McPeters, and Dave Hyneman in 1905. McPeters Funeral Home, the first in the state to have a burial association, continued under McPeters’ uniquely distinctive personality and guidance. The mortuary, first located on Waldron Street, moved to its present location on East Third Street in 1978, where it continues to maintain its standard of excellence.

In 1992, the business was sold; however, after retiring for a few years in Florida, McPeters and his wife, Judy, who joined McPeters Funeral Directors in 1979, returned to Corinth to manage the business, which continues to carry the family name. By his side in the business, Judy has described her husband as a caring, generous man who always was “the same with everybody,” stating he always did little things for people, “usually hiding his kindness” even from her. His generosity, many say, stemmed from the fact that he always embraced other’s sadness as well as their needs. Daughter Kayo also states that these acts of kindness define her father.

Mr. McPeters was a member of First United Methodist Church and attended Covenant Presbyterian Church. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of McPeters Funeral Home on February 2, 2005, he was recognized by the Mississippi Legislature for “Outstanding Service by a Funeral Director,” honoring his professionalism and high standard for excellence. Described as a “colorful and unique undertaker,” the declaration praised him as “the cornerstone of compassion and service and the bedrock of generational success in Corinth and surrounding areas.” In addition to his profession, he served as a member of the Ambulance Service and the Magnolia Hospital Board. In addition, due to his love for animals, he was co-founder of the Alcorn County Humane Society and helped establish the Corinth Horse Show.

Mr. McPeters is survived by his wife Judy; his daughter, Kayo McPeters; son, Mark Matthews and wife Carley; daughter Marcy Matthews Hinton and husband Tom; grandchildren, Caitlin McPeters Voyles, Thomas Hinton, and Will Matthews. He is preceded in death by his mother, Lone McPeters; father, James R. McPeters, Sr.; and sister, Sara Nette Donachy.

Officiating the service will be Reverend Dennis Smith, Dr. Don Elliott, Dr. Prentiss Gordan and Reverend Ralph Culp. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Corinth Animal Shelter or the charity of one’s choice.

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Gathering of Celebration Wednesday, March 6, 2013

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Reception of Friends
REMEMBERING

James Robert "Bill" McPeters Jr.

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WM

March 31, 2013

I'm going to love and miss you always. You were a great friend to me and really took me under your wing and I respected you more than anyone else. You were definitely the most interesting person I've ever met and I took great pleasure saying that I worked with and for you. You told me so many stories that I will never forget, and probably won't be able to repeat either! Like the time you said, well screamed is more like it, that someone's (blanks's) were gonna fall right out of there if she didn't do something about em! Right in the middle of the family prayer right before the service, thinking they couldn't hear him... I take great pride in saying that I knew you and was able to spend time with you. Weather it was you wanting me to drive your
''Sadie-Benz'' or ''Bu-ck Luce---'' over the bike trail bridge and I refusing or you wanting me to park your car on the curbs right at the front door. You always amazed me about how much so many people respected you and you seemed to be best friends with everyone, well almost.. You taught me so many things in life and showed me how to always put other peoples needs in front of my own. You were the most selfless man I've ever known, even if you did have me print and frame sooo many pictures of you to give away or hang on every available wall space you could find. You always had to adjust everything in the chapels right before the services, even if it was just an inch to the right or move this spray to here to show off their favorite flowers. Just to give it that ''Mr. Bill's touch'' It showed me how to have the deepest reverence for the person weather they had money or not, ''They're all the same in the Lord's eyes,'' you would say. You've got to be the most generous man that I've ever known. You gave away more stuff than anyone I've ever seen. From whiskey, to pictures of you, to hats, to ties, wooden carved animals (and other things..) the list goes on and on. One of my favorite memories of you is how we would drive by a really crowded restaurant and I would say that it looked like there was no more room for us, and you would say, ''I'll make room for us, just follow my lead.'' So we would go in and find a table with two empty seats and we'd sit down and ask if we could join them for ''a little friendly lunch between friends'' Weather they knew him or not, no one ever said no. And to further sweeten the deal, he would always pick up their tab for letting us join them - Maybe that's why no one ever said no, I'm not sure.. But they always walked away with a smile and a new ''Mr. McPeters story'' to tell. No matter how far I would go, someone always would say, ''Oh, Corinth! That's where that funny funeral director is, and say you work for him, how about that!'' And to people who didn't know him, the best explanation I could give them is '' Imagine if Willy Wonka opened up a funeral home.. well that's pretty much Mr Bill!'' Anyway, I take great joy in knowing that your not suffering and in pain any more, and I cannot wait to see you again when I get up there with you, because there is no doubt of where you are!! I love you Mr. Bill

Anonymous

March 23, 2013

Mr. Bill mcpeters is/was an inspiration in my life I'm 15 and I go to kossuth my father passed away on November 21st 2010 he was only 45 and died of a heart attack now I know mrs. Judy knows most of my family one being my grandmother Millard babb/jones but anyways we had already had the visitation and then the funeral came I was so upset after it was all done so I had hugged everyone and visited and on my was out mr. Bill said come here son I have something for you so we walked out to his yellow car and he gave me a $50 bill that I still have and call it mr. Bills bill and he also gave me an antique car magizene I loved mr. Bill what a great man he was and still is he has funerald every single family member on my dads side and that's where I hoped to be buried because I know they took care of dad and I know that they will take care of me ~RIP BILL MCPeters

Sonja Delatte

March 15, 2013

Judy, our deepest sympathy to you and your family for the loss of Bill. Our prayers go out to you.

From Melinda Crow's niece and family.

Sherry Nelson Stevens

March 11, 2013

I look forward to seeing Bill again one day as he welcomes friends at heaven's pearly gates.

Sherry Nelson Stevens

March 11, 2013

Judy,
I will forever remember the loving spirit of Bill. When my momma died, he came wheeling into the driveway on Shiloh Road, jumped out of the convertible Cadillac in his silk pajamas to bring me a rose. He said "I sent the bits to git your Momma; so, I came to check in you.". She thought Bill hung the moon!!! He made some very dark days in my life enjoyable!!! I believe Maury's funeral still remains the "talk of the town". Thank you for your many acts of kindness. May you celebrate the wonderful legacy Bill created touching lives one by one with God's grace.

Lee Smith

March 9, 2013

Judy our deepest sympathy to you and your family. We thought alot of Bill he laid most of my family to rest and always was very kind. I wish he could have been there for my mothers funeral in 2011 Lottie Smith. But he was away having knee surgery. I wished i would have known he was in the Jackson area i would have came to see him during his rehab. He was a special individual!

March 7, 2013

We will never forget Bill! He was such a wonderful character and good person. He will be missed by everyone. Our sympathy to Judy and Kayo. Leeta Perkins and Patricia Robertson

Deborah Marlar

March 7, 2013

Judy, Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of Bill. He was a special person! He made it so much easier getting through the loss of my dad, grandparents, and my precious granddaughter, Rylee. Even in those darkest time, Bill knew what to do and say to put a smile on my face. He had a heart of gold and touched so many lives! Some of my favorite times were visiting and listening to Bill tell stories about things him and Kenny got into when he worked there. I will cherish the memories! May God bring you comfort, strength and peace! I love you all!

Martha Parker Davis

March 7, 2013

Judy and Family, My heart stopped when I heard the news...I am so sorry for your loss. Corinth, Ms. lost the best Icon that walked their streets.Bill was a Generous,Intelligent Gentleman and a GREAT FUNERAL DIRECTOR. His KIND HEART and UNIQUENESS is what made his personality.He will be missed. A good friend. God Bless his Soul. We all loved BILL MCPETERS.

Angie Gilliam

March 6, 2013

I'm going to miss him!! I could be having a bad day and he wouldn't leave me alone until I would smile for him.