Baldwin-Lee Funeral Home

3780 Highway 80 East, Pearl, MS


Amy Merle Lightsey

January 31, 1931February 8, 2020

Amy Merle Lightsey, 89, went home to Heaven on Saturday, February 8, 2020 surrounded by her family. Merle was born January 31, 1931, in Jasper County, Mississippi, the third of eight children born to the late Oleous O. Barnes and Alice Clara Kelly Barnes. As the last surviving child, her passing closes that generation of the Barnes family.

Merle was a charter member of Skyway Hills Baptist Church having joined the congregation at its inception in August of 1963. A faithful member of the church she could be seen sitting midway down front on the left in a red ensemble. Merle was happily involved in church activities, and enjoyed working with the youth and teaching Sunday School. She also loved to sing and was a member of the church choir and church quartet.

Merle retired from the State of Mississippi after having served as nutritional director for the Pearl Public School System for more than twenty-five years.

Never one to sit idle, Merle was active throughout her life, and remained so following her retirement. She found great pleasure in tending to her lawn and flower and veggie garden. Cucumbers and tomatoes were her specialty. Her pride in her yard led to friendly competition with her neighbor, Dot Morgan, and Merle was known for having been awarded the Yard of the Month for the City of Pearl.

A gifted artisan most of Merle’s hobbies allowed her creativity to shine. She enjoyed sewing and often handcrafted costumes for her grandchildren and repaired clothing articles for numerous family and friends. Merle had an appreciation for art and painted several inspirational landscape scenes on canvas. She also worked with ceramics, painting and decorating Santas. Other hobbies included hunting, fishing, and caring for her dogs, Jacque and Sugar.

A devoted mother and grandmother, Merle was truly in her element with her family, cooking and caring for them- her warm, fluffy biscuits will not be forgotten! She doted on her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Whether traveling to see her granddaughter perform with the Mississippi State Famous Maroon Band, or spending quiet time with her grandson talking and scratching his back, Merle was happiest with them. Merle also made holidays special for her family and precious are their memories of many a Christmas Eve spent at her home. In addition to her parents, Merle was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Charles Edward Lightsey, and her seven siblings.

Survivors include daughter, Cheryl Upton; son, Ted Lightsey (Ann); grandchildren, Justin Upton (Ashley), and Amy Edwards (Mark); great-grandchildren, Elaina Upton, Jackson Edwards, and Marley Edwards; nieces, Denise Ward, and Renee Hudson; and nephew, William Barnes.

Visitation will be 11:00am-1:00pm, Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at Skyway Hills Baptist Church in Pearl. Funeral services will follow at 1:00pm at the church with interment in Floral Hills Memory Gardens.


  • Cheryl Upton, Daughter
  • Ted Lightsey (Ann), Son
  • Justin Upton (Ashley), Grandchild
  • Amy Edwards (Mark), Grandchild
  • She is also survived by great-grandchildren, Elaina Upton, Jackson Edwards, and Marley Edwards; nieces, Denise Ward, and Renee Hudson; and nephew, William Barnes.

  • William Barnes, Pallbearer
  • Larry Edwards, Pallbearer
  • Mark Edwards, Pallbearer
  • Ted Lightsey, Pallbearer
  • Justin Upton, Pallbearer
  • Kenneth Ward, Pallbearer


  • Visitation Wednesday, February 12, 2020
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, February 12, 2020


Amy Merle Lightsey

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Ann Lightsey

February 11, 2020

Nana you will be greatly missed. You were a part of mine and Dana's life for 10 years and we always enjoyed our visits, with your contagious laughter and smile. We enjoyed going to play bingo, fishing and riding the 4wheeler. We love you Ted & Ann Lightsey & Dana Smith-Lightsey.

Trish Kinnebrew

February 10, 2020

Oh my Mrs. Merle I can remember coming to you in junior high all the time during lunch come sit with you & each lunch I was only eight months when my parents joined Skyway Hills I have known you all my life you will be greatly missed I love you

Carol Ledford

February 10, 2020

I grew up next door to Meryl, the only adult in my young life I called by the first name. She helped me learn to sew.
I asked her to teach me alto at church. She said, “Just sit beside me in choir” And I did. I love her & Cheryl as my own family