Funeral services for James Edward Hester, 81, of Benoit will be at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Benoit Union Church. He died Thursday, February 28, 2013 at Bolivar Medical Center, Cleveland. Burial will be in Burrus Cemetery, Benoit under the direction of Boone Funeral Home, Greenville. “Ed” was born April 1, 1931 in Dixon, MS. He was a 1955 graduate of Mississippi State University and was a lifelong Bulldog fan. He served during the Korean War from 1950-1952 in the Army tank division and as military police. He was a big man with a big heart and was loved by everyone he met. Many people were influenced by his friendly smile and loving personality. In 1949 he became a Christian and served his Lord in his church, as well as his secular life. He was a wonderful husband and father. His faith in God permeated every area of his life and he led by example. He spent his life farming in the Benoit-Scott area and many farm organizations sought his services and insight on many committees and offices. He served on local, state and national levels. Many awards were given to him, which he always humbly accepted. Some are listed here: COUNTY LEVEL ACTIVITIES: Benoit Baptist Church, Past Chairman of Deacon Board and Choir member; Benoit Lions Club, served all offices; Bolivar County Hospital, Past Board Member and Chairman of Finance Committee; Bolivar Medical Foundation Member and Secretary; Central Drainage District, Chairman of Board; Deer Creek Drainage District Director; Bolivar County FmHa Committee, Past Chairman; Bolivar County FSA Committee, Past Chairman; Bolivar County Farm Bureau, Board Member, Past President; Bank of Benoit, Member Board of Directors; Benoit Outing Club, Member Board of Directors: STATE LEVEL ACTIVITIES: MFBF, Past Director, and Chairman of Soybean Committee; MS Soybean Association, Member and Past President; MS Soybean Promotion Board, Member and Past President; MS Rice Council, Member; MS Rice Promotion Board, Previous Member; Delta Council, Director, Past County Membership Chairman, Past Vice President;; Land Bank of North MS, Director and Past Chairman of Board of Directors; Delta Electric Power Association, Director; MS Row-Crop Farmer of the Year, 2003; Northwest Central MS Farmer of the Year, 1993; MSU Alumni Award for Outstanding Contribution to Production Agriculture, 1993; Lancaster/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year, 1995; MSU 2002 CALS Alumni Fellow: NATIONAL LEVEL ACTIVITIES: ASA, Past Vice President, Member of Executive Committee, and Chair of Research Committee; USDA Federal Grain Inspection Service, Advisory Committee Member; AFBF, Advisory Committee Member for Grain Quality; AFBF, Chairman Advisory Committee Member for Soybeans; Federal Grain Quality Workshop, Previous Member; 2001 Delta Council Outstanding Rice Producer Award. His greatest accomplishment is this graduation into the Heavenly Kingdom. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Louise Aldridge Hester of Benoit; son, James Timothy Hester (Guy) of Fayetteville, GA; daughter, Beryl Melinda Hester of Hendersonville, TN; 2 sisters, Jeanette Hester Graham and Sylvia Hester Nokes; a brother, Austin Hester (Dot); 5 grandchildren, Douglas Hester (Sydney), Barry Hester (Leslie), Daniel Hester, Benjamin Hester, and Bonnie Hester; and 3 great grandchildren, Bruce Hester, Adele Hester and Ginny Hester. The family will receive friends from 12:00-2:30 p.m., Saturday at the church.