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Obituary of Dr. Darrell and Mary Bess Blaylock

Within a few short hours of each other, Dr. Darrell and Mary Bess Blaylock were called home to share in the reward they had spent their entire lives planning for.  Mary Bess passed away on Thursday, August 13, 2020, and Dr. Blaylock passed away on Friday, August 14, 2020.  Both were patients at Merit Health River Oaks Hospital in Flowood, Miss., at the time of death.

A visitation will be held Saturday, August 22, 2020, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.at the Oxford Church of Christ. Interment will follow after one last trip around the Square at Garden of Memories Cemetery in Oxford. A Celebration of Life service for Dr. and Mrs. Blaylock will be held on Saturday, August 29, 2020, at 3 p.m. at South Main Church of Christ in Greenville, Miss.  A visitation will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. prior to services also at South Main Church of Christ.

Dr. Blaylock was born to the late John Nolon Blaylock and Adene Lauderdale Blaylock in Purvis, Miss., and raised in Oxford.  He later attended University High School and graduated from the University of Mississippi Pharmacy School in 1958.  During high school and college, he loved working as a soda jerk at Blaylock Drugs, his father’s drugstore in Oxford.  He then attended the University of Mississippi Medical School, where he graduated with his medical degree in June of 1962.  He finished out his medical training with internships and residencies at Mid-State Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., and the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, Tenn.  Dr. Blaylock served as a Major in the United States Army from 1966-1969, where his family was stationed in Augsburg, Germany.  After his time in the Army, Dr. Blaylock and his family moved to Greenville where he practiced internal medicine for the next 49 years, retiring in 2018.  The biggest thing he missed after his retirement was his relationships with his patients.  They were truly the reason he worked.  He enjoyed playing golf until dark and attending Ole Miss athletic events; but most of all, he loved being involved in the lives of his children and grandchildren.  He served on the board of Washington School in Greenville, as well as on the boards of Sunnybrook Children’s Home and Sunnybrook Estates in Ridgeland, Miss. Always a fan of the underdog, Darrell was a long-time member of the Ole Miss Basketball Tip-Off Club.  He enjoyed watching The Andy Griffith Show and MASH.  He was a former member of the Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club, and he would jokingly say that he was getting his continuing medical education by watching MASH.

Mary Bess Blaylock was born to the late Lester William and Lucille Grace Watt.  She was raised in Oxford and attended University High School and Ole Miss.  She married her high school sweetheart in 1957.  She worked beside Darrell in his medical office as an office manager at Blaylock Medical Clinic in Greenville.  She was a very active member of the Coterie and Garden Club of Greenville.  Mary Bess served in numerous capacities at Washington School, including the PTA and Booster Club, while her children were students there.  But, her greatest love was spending time with her family.  She attended ballgames, school activities, and even 4-H pig shows – of course, in her heels.  She always had coke and chip money for the grandchildren, and they hold many happy memories of Christmases spent at Pickwick.  She loved to laugh; she loved clothes and shopping, and she loved Ole Miss tailgating.  Mary was fun to be around, and she set a godly example for her family; however, she was quick to remind her children that she brought them into this world, and she could take them out.  

For nearly 50 years, both Dr. Blaylock and Mary Bess were active members of the South Main Church of Christ, where he served as an elder.

As a father, Dr. Blaylock’s main goals were to teach his children about the love of God and to provide them with a good education.  He tackled these tasks with fervor.  Known as Grumps to his family, he was a lifelong cheerleader for his children and grandchildren.  Mary leaves the legacy of how to be a good spouse and how to put others before self.  She taught her children to have a soft spot for anyone who needed anything.  Anytime she heard of a child in need, she made sure that more than was needed was provided.  She befriended a homeless guy in town and made sure he always had plenty of snacks. 

Dr. Darrell and Mary Bess Blaylock are survived by their five children, Darrell Blaylock (Tina), Doug Blaylock (Debbie), Dina Andrews (Adam), Dwayne Blaylock (Leigh), and Dawn Eifling (Jason).  They will be dearly missed by their grandchildren, Anna Marie Brown (Paul), Meredith West (Brendon), Taylor Jackson, Killian Jackson, Brittany Clemens (Trey), Taylor Blaylock, (Katy), Nolon Blaylock (Logan), Addison Andrews, Will Andrews (Cori), Madeleine Blaylock, Lucy Blaylock, and Mary Presley Eifling; and their great-grandchildren, Jack Thomas Brown, William Brown, Davis West, Ella West, Riley Dunn, Corinne Clemens, and Jack Clemens.  They are also survived by David Blaylock (Betty), Dianne Mills, Nancy Watt Diffee (Joe), Martha Watt, Nancy Blaylock, and beloved friend of almost 50 years, Mary Lou Holt.

They were preceded in death by their parents, John Nolon Blaylock, Adene Lauderdale Blaylock, Lester William Watt, and Lucille Grace Davis Watt; and other family members, Billy Watt and Charles Mills.

Darrell and Mary shared an incredible love story, and they were inseparable even at the end of their lives on earth.  A childhood friend of the family commented that they were a story of plain people who grew up to live full and rewarding lives.  

They may be honored with memorials sent to Sunnybrook Children’s Home (222 Sunnybrook Rd, Ridgeland, MS 39157) or the Diabetes Foundation of MS (800 Avery Blvd. N. #100, Ridgeland, MS 39157).

Coleman Funeral Home of Oxford is in charge of all arrangements.