Blanton Hunter Parham

Published 12:31 pm Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Blanton Hunter Parham, 79, passed away peacefully on Friday, July 17, 2020, at his home in Oxford surrounded by family. A graveside service was held Monday, July 20, 2020, at 10 a.m. in the Amory Masonic Cemetery in Amory, Miss., with the Rev. Eddie Rester of OUUMC officiating.

Pallbearers will be his beloved godsons, Bill and Rodney Defenbaugh, of Grenada, Miss., Douglas and Draper Mauldin, of Cacilla, Miss., John Mayoral, Deck Fair, and Hunter Darby, all of Oxford, and Ted Kubista, of Huntsville, Ala. Honorary pallbearers will be John Lewis, of Water Valley, Miss., Mack Johnson, of Augusta, Ga., Bob Tompkins, of Madison, Miss., Jim Sineath, of Burlington, N.C., John Willingham, of Tyler, Texas, Art Bresler, of Oxford, and all of his faithful golf buddies from his “happy place” at the Bayou BenD, Doug Mauldin, Mike (Catfish) Flautt, Sykes Sturdivant, Bill Luckett, and Morgan Freeman. Waller Funeral Home is charge of arrangements.

After a very courageous battle with the after effects from chemotherapy for the last 21 years, Hunter had been recently diagnosed with a third cancer. To everyone, he was the most courageous person fighting to the end and always upbeat despite his numerous health issues. Hunter was born March 30, 1941, in Paynes, Miss., to Robert and Dorothy Denman Parham who preceded his in death. He graduated from John Rundle High School in Grenada, Miss., and Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss., where he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Hunter left Mississippi for Florida, teaching art but soon discovered his true calling was in sales and worked for several companies covering the entire Southeast living in Chattanooga and Augusta before returning to his home state. Working in those areas gave Hunter plenty of time to pursue his passion for golf.

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He served as a gallery guard at the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Ga., often getting to play the course. After returning to Grenada, he married the love of his life, Bettye Jo Christian, on November 14, 1996. Anyone who ever met Hunter became his friend as he had an incredible love for people, especially on any and every golf course he ever played. After moving to Oxford, ten years ago, he joined the Oxford Country Club and Oxford-University United Methodist Church. However, his true happy place was at the Bayou Bend Country Club in Webb, Miss. His cheerful demeanor and his signature cowboy hat were easily recognizable. Hunter converted to an Ole Miss Rebel enjoying all sports, especially baseball with his wife who shared his enthusiasm. His true joy and delight were in his grandchildren. Their visits, activities, and achievements were a great source of happiness to him. His great granddaughter, Maddie, particularly enjoyed riding to sporting events on Hunter’s wheelchair as she was in charge of the horn!

He is survived by his wife, Bettye, of Oxford; stepsons, Robert Hollingsworth (Ronnie Gilmer),  of Memphis, Tenn.,  and LTC (Ret.) Andy Hollingsworth (Dana), of Grenada, Miss.; stepdaughter, Karen Hollingsworth, of Seabrook, Texas; grandchildren, Jake Hollingsworth (Starr), of Oxford, Cadet Bas Hollingsworth, of West Point Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., Luke Hollingsworth, of Grenada, Olivia Hollingsworth, of Seabrook; and great granddaughter, Maddie Hollingsworth, of Oxford; endearing sister, Nadene Tompkins, of Madison, Miss.; niece, Allyson Tompkins, of Madison; great nieces, Sara Grace, Olivia, and Ella Harrison of Madison; and nephew, Michael Tompkins of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He was very close to his many cousins.

Bettye and the family would like to especially thank Dr. Mall Riddell of Grenada for his care and friendship these past twenty-three years. “Mal, Susie, and his staff were always there for us.”

Memorials may be directed to Oxford-University United Methodist Church, 424 S 10th St., Oxford, MS 38655; MD Anderson Cancer Research Center in Houston, TX or a charity of one’s choice.

For additional information or to leave an online condolence, please call 662.234.7971 or visit YOUR HEART, HUNTER—WE WILL MISS YOU!