Gayle Wilson Barron

Funeral services for Gayle Wilson Barron, 79, of Clayton, were held Wednesday, August 21, 2019, at Young's Funeral Home, Ferriday with Tommy Barron officiating.  Interment followed at Big Creek Cemetery-Pollock, under the direction of Young's Funeral Home.

Gayle Wilson Barron was born on Monday, December 18, 1939 in Pollock and passed away Sunday, August 18, 2019 in Alexandria. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. Gayle spent most of her time caring for others as an RN.

She was preceded in death by her parents Wallace Wilson and Mamie Graves Wilson; son Eric Barron and sister Margie Wilson Barron.

Survivors include her husband of 60 years Charles Barron; three children, Susan Wanette Kirk, Vicki Page and her husband Sherman and Eddie Barron and his husband Alicia; brother Wallace L. "Buddy" Wilson, Jr. and his wife Mary Jane; seven grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and her favorite companion- Peppy.

Pallbearers were David King, Billy King, Jr., Shan Price, Louis Barron, Carl Bates, and George Barron, Jr.

Honorary pallbearers were Charles Veron Husband, Donnie Arnett, Tommy Bingham, Joseph Page, and Trey Page.

To leave an online condolence for the family please visit


Mary Purcell

Mary Hamilton Purcell, age 92, national and international leader for equity for women and girls in the 20th century, died July 28, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee, home of her son Bill (former mayor of Nashville.) She died at Abe’s Garden where she had resided since 2015. A native of Louisiana, she had lived in the Philadelphia area for 63 years before moving to Nashville. Born in Ft. Worth on December 15, 1926 and raised in Ferriday, she was a speech educator in Philadelphia. She was a leader in the drive to achieve equity for women and girls at the United Nations and worldwide until a decade ago.

Preceded in death by her parents, Rev. J.H. and Letha Hamilton and her husband William (Bill) P. Purcell, Jr.; she is survived by her two children, former Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell (wife, Debbie Miller) and David Hamilton Purcell (wife, Nancy); her brother, Dr. Joseph H. Hamilton (wife, Janelle); and her three grandchildren, Jesse Miller Purcell, David Purcell, and Matthew Purcell.

Visitation took place at Doyle-Stonelake Funeral Home, 85 E. Baltimore Ave. in Lansdowne, PA on Wednesday, July 31 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. The service was held at Lansdowne Baptist Church, 17 E. Lacrosse Ave. on Thursday, August 1st at 12 p.m., with the Rev. David Braneky and Rev. Jeffery Snyder officiating.

Mary Purcell’s life was spent in service to both her local and global communities indefatigably leading the fight to improve the lives of women and girls. In the years 1979-1985, Mary served as vice president and then president for two terms of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), a national organization devoted to fostering education opportunities for women and an early advocate for Title IX. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Mary was a leader – vice president and president – in the Pennsylvania AAUW, one of the largest state branches, and was a prime mover in urging members into an activist mode to work for the Equal Rights Amendment.

Mary herself went out on the road to campaign all over the U.S. for the ERA, saying over and over that “men of quality are not afraid of women of equality”. She said she was uniquely prepared to go toe-to-toe with opponents on the role of women. “As the daughter of a Baptist minister and the chair of my college debate team, I could quote the Bible verse for verse in rebuttal to anyone.” Mary Purcell and her partner had been ranked first in national women’s debate competitions in 1947.

A graduate of Mary Hardin Baylor College (now University), she earned a master’s degree from Louisiana State University in 1948 and was recruited by Temple University to teach speech communications and coach debate. Mary met her husband, William (Bill) Purcell, a successful food broker, in Philadelphia. They settled in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania and later moved to Wallingford, Pennsylvania. Bill died in 2010.

Mary served six years on the Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board, telling her friends who rallied to her campaign, “After working for so many years to encourage women to run for public office, I felt I had to put my money where my mouth was.” Both Purcells were staunch members of their church in Lansdowne for more than 50 years, and both served in leadership positions. Mary was the first woman elected president of the Ministers and Missionaries Board of American Baptist Churches and served two terms as president 1995-2003. Named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania in 1982, she served two years as president of that group of recognized woman leaders.

Mary Purcell supported and strongly advocated for AAUW to be a leader in projects that focused on the needs of girls, and she considered this work to be her legacy. Mary was president of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW) from 1990 to 1992 and the representative for both AAUW and the IFUW at the United Nations.

The Working Group on Girls was formed at the behest of UNICEF in 1994 and Mary was the first to head the Group, along with co-chair Kate Katsky of New York. Mary represented UNICEF’s Working Group on Girls at the United Nations 1995 Beijing International Women’s Conference where she succeeded in having the Commission on the Status of Women include a special section on girls in the official UN document. This was the first time that the interests of girls were singled out.

Mary’s involvement with the Working Group on Girls continued until 2006, and her advocacy for girls had a far-reaching effect. During those years, she made more than a hundred trips to the UN in New York for meetings and attended many international meetings as well.

In May 2006, the NGO Committee on UNICEF’s Working Group on Girls recognized Mary Purcell “for her inspiration, vision and perseverance, and for mobilizing us to put girls on the Global Agenda.” And the following year, in March 2007, the Commission on the Status of Women at its conference at the U.N. recognized Mary for her efforts in placing girls on the UN agenda.

In lieu of flowers please make donations to;

Abe’s Garden at

American Association of University Women at

Lansdowne Baptist Church at 17 E Lacrosse Ave, Lansdowne, PA 19050



William Wade Watson

William Wade Watson, 85, died peacefully on August 18, 2019. Bill was was preceded in death by his parents Roslyn Newell and Philip Brooks Watson Sr., his brother Philip Brooks Watson, Jr. and stepson Adam David Nations. He is survived by his daughter, Rebecca Watson Vizard and husband Michaelof St. Joseph; his grandchildren Sarah Scott Vizard of New Orleans, Ross Vizard (Brooke) of Nashville, TN, his former wife and best friend, Katie Adams Watson of Natchez, MS, her children Adrian Sandel (Lisa), and Kate Nations Seal (Charles), her grandchildren Ashley and Will Sandel, and Charlie, Matthew and Katie, and nephews Scott Watson (Mary Lynn), Brooks Watson (Karen) and Ben Watson (Linda) as well as a host of great-nieces and great-nephews. He also leaves his rescue beagle LouLou to mourn his passing.

Bill graduated from Joseph Moore Davidson High School 1952 (class of 8).  He attended Tulane University and graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 1956 and then attended Tulane University Law School where he earned his J.D. degree in 1958.  He was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, and the Tulane Law Review. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon social fraternity. Bill was very active in campus life and participated in numerous fraternity and campus football, basketball and softball events.

After college, Bill served in the United States Air Force as a Judge Advocate from 1958-1960 at Eielson Air Force Base, Fairbanks, Alaska. He was called home to work at the Bank of St. Joseph and Trust Co., which subsequently became Cross Keys Bank. He was employed at the bank from 1960 through 2004, serving as President and Chairman of the Board from 1969-2004. A dear banking friend best described Bill as a noble voice of reason in the banking industry and no one could express a position on the issues quite like Bill.  He was President of the Louisiana Bankers’ Association in 1987.

One of his proudest accomplishments was starting the Lake Bruin Golf and Country Club with Barbara and George Bagley and being president of the club for the first seven years. Bill was an avid reader and published, “High Cotton, High Water, High Times” which he compiled from his great-aunt Lucille Watson’s diary she kept in the early 1900s on Cross Keys Plantation. Bill was an active member of Christ Episcopal Church serving in the vestry and as treasurer for many years.

Bill was an avid and vocal football fan. Sarah his first grandchild, dubbed him “Touchdown.” Soon it became a term of endearment used by all. Touchdown was well known for his conservative convictions and passionate letters to the editors on a broad array of subject matters. When having fun with a group, he would often quote and old country friend and say “People have more fun than anyone I know.”

Bill loved his dogs, Lake Bruin, sports wagering, telling jokes, Galatoire’s, Old Fashions, and people of all ages. He loved to keep an eye on his daughter and grandchildren on the Find My Friends app. God knows he will not need an app to keep up with us anymore. His last day was happily spent on his pier with family and friends and watching golf.

Visitation will be held at Christ Episcopal Church in St Joseph, on Wednesday, August 21st from 12:30 to 2 p.m. followed by a memorial service with Father Gregg Riley.

Honorary pallbearers will be the current and former Directors of Cross Keys Bank, Ross Vizard, Parks Watson, Will Watson, Philip Watson, Adrian Sandel, Charles Seal, Ryan Sartor, Bob Cudd, and Larry Baker.

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