Leola's Story

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Leola Knight Cowart
Leola Knight Cowart of Meridian, the wife of Dennis D. Cowart was called to her Heavenly home on June 5, 2017. Memorial services will be held on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at Robert Barham Family Funeral Home. Officiating will be Dr. Raymon Leake and Dr. Jon Martin. Burial will be in Forest Lawn Cemetery.
Mrs. Cowart was born on January 27, 1923 near Tremont, MS. She attended Tremont High School before transferring to East Mississippi Junior College. She attended Hinds Junior College before earning her Registered Nurse degree from Gilfoy School of Nursing in Jackson in 1948. She worked for the Mississippi Department of Public Health for thirteen months, and then began a thirty six year career with the Veterans Administration Hospital in Jackson. She married Dennis, a WWII veteran, on February 1, 1947. They were married for sixty five years. They had one child, Mary Ann.
Leola was an avid fisherwoman who loved to fish for bass. For many years, she kept a record of the thousands of bass she caught. After her career with the VA, she volunteered on a regular basis for the American Red Cross, traveling to many disaster sites across the U.S. She lived a full life and was active in the various churches she attended. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Meridian.
Leola is survived by her daughter, Dr. Mary Ann Cowart Wilkerson (Joe) of Meridian; a grandson, Dr. Benjamin Wade Wilkerson (Kelly) of Oxford; a granddaughter, Dr. Shelley Elizabeth Wilkerson Ellis of Meridian; four great-grandsons, Wade and James Wilkerson, and Hayes and Wilkes Ellis. Survivors also include her sisters, Betty Hale of Fulton, MS, and Bernice Nail of Oklahoma City, as well as many cousins, nephews, and nieces.
Leola was preceded in death by her parents, A. L. and Effie Green Knight; brothers, James Knight, Lee Knight, and Alvin Knight; sisters, Lilla McCarley and Audra Johnson.
Memorials may be sent to the American Red Cross, First Baptist Church of Meridian, or a charity of choice.
Pallbearers will be Kendall Hawkins, Tommy Autry, Chuck Burk, Griffin Burk, Phillip Price, and Tilton Prater. The family would like to thank Mrs. Cowarts caregivers who allowed her to stay at home during her illness. They are Betty Coleman, Darnice Sims, Georgia Portis, Tresia Adams, and Robbie Granger.
Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at robertbarhamffh.com.
Visitation will be held Thursday, June 8, 2017 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. at Robert Barham Family Funeral Home.
Published on June 6, 2017
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