Meridian Star


November 10, 2012

Harrell Thomas Heptinstall

MERIDIAN —     Services for Harrell Thomas Heptinstall will be held Sunday, at 1:30 p.m., at Robert Barham Family Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. John Sweeny officiating. Burial will be in Newton Masonic Cemetery with Robert Barham Family Funeral Home in charge of the arrangements.

    Mr. Heptinstall died Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012. He was born Dec. 21, 1935, in Ennis, Ellis County, Texas. He attended school in Oklahoma, Texas and Soso and Calhoun, Mississippi. He was of the Baptist faith. He served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force during which time he served overseas in Fairbanks, Alaska, Kwajalein Atoll in Marshall Islands, Johnson Island, and Ismir, Turkey. During his years in service, Harrell earned credits from William Carey College in Hattiesburg and when he retired Aug. 31, 1975, he immediately began teaching at Meridian Community College. A few months later, he walked across the stage to receive his degree from William Carey College. He retired with 20 years of service at Meridian Community College in 1995.

    Always a lover of the guitar and country western music, he began playing and singing with his own little band, entertaining the Officer’s Club in Johnston Island. Years later, in Meridian, he organized a blue grass band, Mid South Bluegrass Band., playing and singing for several years at Bluegrass Festivals. He was a member of the American Legion, Post 21 (First Vice Commander); Masonic Lodge (Past Master); Scottish Rite Bodies, Hamasa Shriner (32nd Degree); The International Singing Breakmen Association (President); hosted Hospitality Room during Jimmie Rodgers Week; Magnolia State Bluegrass Association (Secretary); and, a promoter of Bluegrass Festivals.

    Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Joan Hines Heptinstall; one daughter, Denise Ann Randall; one granddaughter, Ginny Harrison, all of Meridian; one brother, Calvin Heptinstall; and, two sisters: Jean H. Holifield and Jannis Baird, all of Laurel.

    He was preceded in death by his parents, Sanford Samuel Heptinstall and Wilma Garrison Heptinstall; and a daughter, Darlene Elizabeth.

    Family and friends may sign the online guest book at

    Visitation will be today, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., at the funeral home.

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