Memorial services for Harold Ray Hurst, 80, of Leland will be at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, March 24 at Boone Funeral Home, Leland, MS. He passed away peacefully on March 20, 2016 surrounded by his family. Burial will be in Hess Cemetery near Coal Hill, AR on Friday, March 25 at 2:00 p.m.
Harold, the son of a Coal Hill, AR small farmer, started working with his father at age nine. He was the first one in his family to earn a college degree, going on to get his Masters at the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) and his PhD at Kansas State University. During his career as a weed scientist/plant physiologist, Dr. Hurst worked first for the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. He then worked for 29 years for Mississippi State University as head of the state weed control research program and assistant superintendent of the Delta Branch Experiment Station (MAFES). Despite his success, Harold never forgot his roots and remained a humble man throughout his life. He was a member of the church of Christ.
Harold is survived by his devoted wife of 56 years, Ann Milam Hurst; four children – Michelle Hurst of Ft. Worth, TX, Melanie Bilyeu of Brookshire, TX, Michael Hurst of Maben, MS, and Melissa Hurst of Kaufman, TX; six grandchildren – Jessica, Hunter, Jolie, Recardo, Luke, and Jacob; one sister, Anice Hurst Stevenson of Hernando, MS; and five nephews – Mitchell, Kevin, Thom, Clark, and Jon. Harold was preceded in death by his parents – Everett and Emma Hurst; three brothers – Vernon, Bill, and Joe Lee Hurst; one sister, Reba Lou Hurst Odom; and one nephew – Robert W. Stevenson III.
There will be a visitation one hour prior to services at Boone Funeral Home, Leland, MS.