Dr. Wayne Lavert Denton Jr., Sammy G. Ferguson Jr., Brandi Morrow Fortner, Diane Wilson Melton, Lisa Renee Shelnutt

Dr. Wayne Lavert Denton Jr.

LAFAYETTE, La. – Dr. Wayne Denton, Jr. peacefully passed away in Lafayette with his loving wife and family at his side on March 11, 2020.
He was a member of St. Pius Church in Lafayette and loved to hear the choir at the 5 p.m. mass. His final wishes included having his remains transported to Greenwood, Miss., for a family graveside Christian burial alongside his parents.
Survivors include his beloved wife of 28 years Linda Rogers Birch Denton; his son Wayne (Dwayne) Denton III and his spouse Tara; his daughter Mary Stephanie Denton and her companion Mike Meaux; his stepdaughter Rachelle Adrianne Birch; and his grandchildren, David Corey Hastings and his spouse Angie; Victoria Ray Denton Pierce and her spouse Joshua Pierce; Christina Marie Denton Ganier and her spouse Mike Ganier; Elizabeth Wayne Denton and her fiancé Nate Martinez; and four great-grandchildren, Adele Kathryn Hastings, Michael Evertt Pierce, Matthew Lavert Pierce and Christian Michael Ganier. He was preceded in death by his loving parents Wayne L. Denton and Edna Naaman Denton of Greenwood.
Wayne was born on Nov. 15, 1943, and attended Greenwood Public High School. He graduated from Delta State University with a bachelor’s degree and from Oklahoma State University with his doctorate degree in biochemistry.
He moved to Lafayette in 1970 and began his career teaching and performing research at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Wayne was quickly moved into Research Administration and was charged with the task of working with faculty and the funding agencies in Washington, D.C., to increase external research funding to the university. He is credited as the major player in working with the Louisiana Congressional Delegation, especially Senators John Breaux and J. Bennett Johnson, to bring two federal agency laboratories, the National Wetlands Research Center and the Estuarine Habits and Coastal Fisheries Research Center, to the University Research Park. Wayne advanced to be named the University’s Vice President for Research and remained as Vice President until he chose to resign to become Director of the University Research Park. He remained in this capacity until his retirement from the University in 2010.
Wayne was selected as a member of the Rotary International Group Study Exchange Team to Australia and later joined the Lafayette Rotary Club where he served in many capacities including president and chairman of the board. He was appointed to the Enterprise Center of Louisiana Board and to the Board of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA) where he also served as Chairman of the Board during the development of the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE). His many years of service also included: Athletics Self Study Steering Committee Chairman, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) Executive Board, Louisiana Stimulus for Excellence in Research Chairman, Emergency Medical Service Advisory Board Chairman, Louisiana Arthritis Foundation Board of Governors, and Fund Drive Chairman for the American Heart Association and the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society.
Before passing, he wanted to acknowledge former University President Dr. Ray Authement and his wife Barbara and Mrs. Loretta Tauzin for their tremendous support and friendship during both his tenure at the university and his retirement. He also wished to acknowledge his long-time friendship with Raymond Cordova and the “Rat Pack.”
View the obituary and guestbook online at www.mourning.com.
Martin & Castille Funeral Home, 337-234-2311.

Sammy G. Ferguson Jr.

Mr. Sammy G. Ferguson, Jr., 69, of Grenada, died Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at the University of Mississippi Medical Center Grenada.
Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by McKibben and Guinn Funeral Service in Grenada.

Brandi Morrow Fortner

Mrs. Brandi Morrow Fortner of Sumner, formerly of Duck Hill, died Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in Memphis.
Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by McKibben and Guinn Funeral Service.

Diane Wilson Melton

Mrs. Diane Wilson Melton, 70, of Grenada, passed away Sunday, March 8, 2020, at the University of Mississippi Medical Center Jackson.
She was born March 23, 1949, in Lexington, Tenn., to Robert C. and Rena Elizabeth Jordan Wilson. She had worked for many years as a pharmacy technician and will be remembered as a devoted pastor’s wife always willing to serve in any capacity in the churches that she and her husband served in through the years. She was a wonderful friend, sister, wife, mom and Nana.  Diane will be truly missed, but her family finds strength in the knowledge that she is in a better place, and they will see her again one day.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 14, at Hardy Baptist Church. The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at McKibben and Guinn Funeral Service and one hour prior to the service Saturday at Hardy Baptist Church.
Survivors include her husband the Rev. James Melton; daughter Candice Harris (Keith) of Duck Hill; son Joshua Melton (Sarah) of Houston, Texas; three sisters, Robbie Hughes of Tuscaloosa, Ala., Edna Maxwell of Parsons, Tenn., and Barbara Canaday of St. Augustine, Fla.; one brother Bobby Wilson (Linda) of Lexington, Tenn.; and two grandchildren, Keri and Xander Harris.
She was preceded in death by her parents; son Robert Ashton Melton; two sisters, Betty Jo Jowers and Jane Frasco; and two brothers, James Wilson and Neil Wilson.
Memorials may be directed to Hardy Baptist Church.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.mckibbenandguinn.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to McKibben and Guinn Funeral Service in Grenada, (662-307-2694).

Lisa Renee Shelnutt

Ms. Lisa Renee Shelnutt, 41, of Oakland, passed away Saturday, March 7, 2020, at Baptist Memorial Hospital – North Mississippi in Oxford.
She was born Aug. 4, 1978. She was a homemaker and loved spending time with her children and grandchildren.
A service to celebrate her life will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, March 16, at McKibben and Guinn Funeral Service in Grenada.  Family and friends will gather one hour prior to the service Monday at McKibben and Guinn.
Survivors include three daughters, Brianna Holland (Dillon) of Grenada, Kaytlynn Stephens of Tillatoba and Destiny Stephens of Grenada; one son Chance Stephens of New Edinburg, Ark.; father, Kaylon Case of Florida; two sisters, Holly Neese of Holcomb and Tara Case of North Carolina; four brothers, Brandon Hancock of Alabama, Josh Thelemann of Missouri, Chad Case of Kentucky and Kevin Case of North Carolina; and four grandchildren, Landon Holland, Mayci Gant, Alyssa Gant and Paisley Brown.
She was preceded in death by her mother Donna Thelemann Stephens and step-father Robert  “Don” Stephens.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.mckibbenandguinn.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to McKibben and Guinn Funeral Service in Grenada, (662-307-2694).