Obituary ran April 12, 2019 in Hattiesburg American (extended version)

Madie Ray Rogers Gipson, fondly called “Mother,” passed peacefully on Sunday, April 7th, 2019, fulfilling her goal in reaching 100 years of life.  Oldest daughter of the late Ellie and Sylvester Rogers, she was preceded in death by 7 siblings, LaRue Rogers (Millie), Buster Rogers (Jernie), Howard Rogers (Mary), Hardy Rogers (Olga), Margaret “Sis” Alexander (Charles), Betty Rester (Stanton), and Ann Bounds (Buddy).  She was widow to Elmer O’Neil Amacker, Sr., deceased 1940, and Alvin Henry Gipson, deceased 2004.  Madie Ray was also preceded by her 2 sons, Alvin Ray Gipson, Sr. (Susan), and Army Major Elmer O’Neil Amacker, Jr. (Judy), along with grandchild, Army Corporal Michael Andrew Amacker.

                Born on December 16, 1918, in Queen City, Texas, Madie Ray learned the importance of hard work and family values.  She married her first husband, Elmer Amacker, in 1935, and after his passing in a tragic accident, Madie Ray relocated with her 3 young children to Poplarville, MS., to gain her footing. In 1943, she married her second husband, Alvin Gipson, and welcomed 4 more children into their family.  Being the matriarch of her large blended family never stopped Madie Ray in becoming a progressive woman of her generation.  She skillfully balanced raising children (and some grandchildren), while simultaneously running 4 successful small businesses.  These included, the first Taxi service of Poplarville, MS., Magnolia Court Hotel, Southern Lumber Company, and Gipson Building Supply.  Even with the continued growth and success of her professional life, Madie Ray always maintained family as the center of hers.  As her family grew, Madie Ray felt tremendous joy in being a grandmother and aunt to many.  She always found great pleasure in welcoming each new addition to her very large, ever growing family.  Some of Madie Ray’s personal accomplishments include being a member of an all girls’ professional basketball team during World War II, and the first female to hold the title of Colonel under Mississippi’s Governor, Ross Barnett.

Madie Ray leaves behind a legacy almost as large as her family. Her strength, work ethic, determination, discipline (sometimes shown with a switch), loyalty, and love have been passed down to many. These virtues will live on for many generations to follow.

                She is survived by her children, Barbara Pace Highstreet (Paul), Sandra Peters (Larry), Scott Rogers Gipson (Sandy), Bryan LaRue Gipson, Sr. (Eileen), Steven Neil Gipson, Sr. (Sarah), her grandchildren, Billy Pace, Jennifer Pace Martin, Tracy Pace Gill, Shelly Pace Winstead, Alvin “Chip” Ray Gipson, Jr., Wendi Gipson Lipford, April Gipson Reaves, Alan Peters , Kim Peters Stone, Dawn Peters, Beth Peters Cooling, Lynn Amacker, Leaa Amacker Harry, David Amacker, John Charles Gipson, Brandy Gipson Anderson, Brynn Gipson Strahan, Bryan LaRue Gipson, Jr., Charles Edward Gipson, Whittney Gipson McMillan, Danacey Gipson Vasquez, Jace Steven Gipson, Steven Neil Gipson, Jr., and Sidney Alvin Gipson, her 46 great grandchildren, and 21 great great grandchildren.

                Relatives and friends are invited to attend visitation at White’s Funeral Home 315 Highway 11 South Poplarville, MS. 39470, Saturday, April 13, 2019, 5:00pm until 9:00pm.  Funeral services at White’s Funeral Home Monday, April 15, 2019, at 12:00pm, officiated by Madie Ray’s nephew, Dane Bounds.  Interment Poplarville City Cemetery.  Contributions may be made to Pearl River Community College.