Funeral services for John Thomas Black, Sr., 83, of Greenville will be at 11:00 a.m., Monday, March 27 at First Baptist Church, Greenville. He died Thursday, March 23 at Delta Regional Medical Center. Burial will be in Oxford Memorial Cemetery, Oxford under the direction of Boone Funeral Home, Greenville.
Mr. Black was born June 28, 1933 in Lafayette County, MS to Don and Etta Mae Boatright Black. He graduated from Taylor High School in 1951 and then served in the U. S. Navy from March 1953 to January 1957. As a Yeoman Second Class he served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Philippine Sea from 1955 to 1957. On September 6, 1956 he married the former Nelda Ruth Smith of Oxford, MS.
After leaving the Navy John attended Ole Miss and graduated in 1960 with a degree in Banking and Finance. His class was the second class to graduate under the Chair of Banking. He came to Greenville in September of 1960, where he was associated with the Commercial National Bank. In 1973 he left Greenville and served with a couple other banks before returning to Greenville in 1986 when he became associated with Sunburst Bank, now Regions Bank. He retired from banking at the end of December 1995 and then went into security brokerage business as an independent broker from 1996 to 2003 when he fully retired.
Mr. Black served on the Federal Legislative Committee of the Mississippi Bankers Association and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Bankers Association for a three year term. He was a lecturer at Ole Miss School of Banking under the program of the Mississippi Bankers Association for three years during their summer sessions for active bankers from over the state. He actively gave back to the community through his work and leadership within various civic organizations including, Salvation Army, United Way, Chamber of Commerce, Greenville Housing Initiative, Mission Mississippi and Rotary Club.
Mr. Black has written numerous articles for the Delta Democrat Times newspaper in Greenville and also for the DDT Delta Focus quarterly magazine. He had also written two books: Faith of Our Fathers, a history of 12 major churches in Greenville with a person from each church highlighted as someone whose faith made them a “success” in life. He was subsequently commissioned to write a History of the Mississippi Levee Board. He was currently working on a third book: The Mississippi River System, Lifeblood of America.—which will be finished and published.
He was an active member of First Baptist Church where he was Sunday School teacher and deacon. Mr. Black enjoyed doing woodworking in his shop and working on his book. He would want to be known as a good Husband, Father, Grandfather, Son, and Brother.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife of 51 years, Nelda. He is survived by two sons, Dr. John T. Black, Jr. (Sherry) of Tupelo and Michael Clayton Black (Susan) of Fulton, KY; two brothers, Don Edward Black (Pat) of Wheaton, MD and Richard Michael Black (Sherry) of Oxford; 4 grandchildren, Elizabeth Black of Oxford, Ramsey Black of Pontotoc, Ashley White Segars (Barry) of Tupelo and Brett White of Denver, CO; two brother-in-laws, Robert H. Smith of Oxford and Clarence Ray Smith of Blythewood, SC and many nieces and nephews.
There will be a visitation one hour prior to services at the church. Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, P. O. Box 1163, Greenville, MS 38702 or to Sanctuary Hospice House, P. O. Box 2177, Tupelo, MS 38803.
Honorary pallbearers will be the Faith and Friendship Sunday School Class.