Mississippi Association of Petroleum Landmen

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Charles W. Cook

Bruce, MS

Charles W. Cook, 75, passed away on June 10, 2016 at his home in Bruce, MS (cancer). He was born on December 5, 1940, to the late James E. Cook and late Rita S. Cook, in Waynesboro, MS. He was a retired attorney and petroleum landman.

After graduating from Bruce High School (1958), he received both undergraduate (BBA 1962) and law degrees (JD 1964) from the University of Mississippi. He served in the Mississippi Army National Guard. A lifelong member of Bruce United Methodist Church, he served as a Sunday School teacher and finance chairman. After spending a few years of his early legal career in Jackson, Charles returned to his hometown of Bruce….. During his career served as attorney for the Calhoun County Board of Education, and as a director for Bancorp South. He traveled throughout the Southeast for most of his career as a petroleum landman, and on the weekends he always returned to his beloved Bruce. He was an avid reader and enjoyed spending time on his farm, attending Ole Miss football games, visiting with his many friends.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years Estelle McKellar Cook, sons Charles W. “Bill” Cook, Jr. (Kara) of Oxford and Michael (Tammie) of Bruce, grandsons Colby Cook, Micah Cook, granddaughters Morgan, Mary, and Maddie, and sister Carol Collins of Brandon, MS.

Visitation for Charles will be from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm Saturday at Parker Memorial Funeral Home in Bruce. Funeral services we be on Sunday at 2:00 pm., the body will lie instate at the Bruce United Methodist Church, followed by internment at the Bruce Cemetery.

Pallbearers are Chip Crocker, Chuck Herring, Sam Hawkins, Wade Hawkins, Scott Tims, Mac Burnett, Richie Bennett, and Caden Murphree.

Honorary pallbearers are Bruce United Methodist Men, C. A. Ford, Robin Howard, Sonny Clanton, Johnny Norwood, Dr. Bruce Longest, Jerry Johnson, John Crocker, Dr. Charles Crocker, Shed Hill Davis, and Dudley Davis.

In lieu of flowers, the family ask that memorials be made to the Bruce United Methodist Church or Jesse Yancy, Jr. Memorial Library.


Published in Clarion Ledger on June 12, 2016


Jack Lawrence Ritter, Sr.

Jack L. Ritter died peacefully at Hospice Ministries Ridgeland on July 8, 2016. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, July 12th, 2:30 p.m. at Fondren Presbyterian Church in Jackson. Visitation with the family will be Monday, July 11th, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., also at Fondren Church.

Jack was born in Belden, MS on November 29, 1927, the son of Ruby Robinson Ritter and Lawrence Cluster Ritter. A1945 graduate of Tupelo High School, he served in the United States Marine Corp (1946 – 1948). Jack attended the University of Mississippi and received his LLB in 1952. At Ole Miss, Jack was a member of Sigma Chi and Phi Alpha Theta Law Fraternity. An avid Ole Miss sports fan, he continued to attend Rebel football games for 65 years.

Jack married Judy Walters Ritter, on July 26, 1952 and he loved her dearly throughout their 64year marriage. Their first home was in Clarksdale, MS where Jack practiced law with Holcomb & Curtis and their son, Jack Ritter, Jr. was born. In 1956, Jack Sr. joined the California Company as a Petroleum Landman, and the Ritters moved to Jackson where their daughter, Ann Ritter Walthall, and son, George Howard Ritter, were born.

In 1960, Jack started his business as an Independent Oil & Gas Lease Broker which continued for over 40 years until his retirement at age 83. Jack was a member of the American Association of Petroleum Landmen and a member and past President of the Mississippi Association of Petroleum Landmen. Jack mentored many young men and women as they started careers as Oil & Gas Lease Brokers and formed lasting friendships with professional colleagues.

Jack was an active member of Fondren Presbyterian Church USA where he served as an Elder. He enjoyed reading, golf, stamp collecting, genealogy, and most of all, being with his extended family and friends.

Jack was predeceased by his parents and his sisters, Rosemarie “Bitty” Sneed and Dale Ritter; his brother-in-law, Thomas Price Sneed; and his son-in- law, Ralph Walthall. His love and legacy will continue with his wife, Judy Walters Ritter; his children of whom he was extremely proud Jack Ritter, Jr. (Linda), Ann Ritter Walthall and George Ritter (Betsy); his grandchildren who loved and admired him greatly Andrew Ritter (Haleigh), Jackie and Shawn Walthall, Kyle Ritter and Sarah Love Crawford (Bentley). Jack’s extended family includes brother-in- law, Dr. Carl Walters, Ecuador; nephews and nieces Jim Sneed (Melody), John Sneed (Stacy), Jeffrey Walters (Edna) and Lucy Walters Martin (Robert).

Pall bearers are Christopher Pinkston; grandsons Andrew Ritter, Kyle Ritter and Shawn Walthall; and great-nephews Will and Michael Sneed.

Memorials may be made to Fondren Presbyterian Church, PO Box 55434, Jackson, MS 39296 or Hospice Ministries, 450 Towne Center Blvd, Ridgeland, MS 3915


Lloyd Grant Tankersley

 Madison, MS

Lloyd Grant Tankersley passed away in Jackson, MS on May 19, 2016, at the age of 90.

He was born in McClain County Oklahoma, near the town of Blanchard on January 20, 1926 to O.H. and Addie Tankersley.Tanksersley-obituary-photo

In 1928 the price of cotton and broomcorn hit bottom and his father lost one of the best farms in the area due to the bank foreclosure. In 1929 his family moved as a part of the “Okie” migration to California, after about a year his father was able to acquire land back in Oklahoma. They moved back to Oklahoma in the middle of the depression only to find themselves in the center of the dust bowl. His early education began in a rural two room schoolhouse. He graduated from Blanchard High School in 1943 at age 17 and that summer he earned enough money to pay his tuition to Oklahoma University and he got a job at the Norman, Oklahoma Fire Department to pay for his room and board. While attending OU he wanted to join the Army Air Corps but at age 17 he needed his parents’ authorization. His mother refused to sign his enlistment papers. He took matters into his own hands and forged his parents’ names to enlistment papers and joined the Army Air Corps. He would later joke, that “crime doesn’t pay”. At wars end he was a right blister gunner on a B-29 in the 485th Bomb Group and his crew was waiting for delivery of a new B-29 to fly to the war zone. After the war he went to Oklahoma A & M (now Oklahoma State University) for pre-law and graduated from Oklahoma City University Law School in 1953. He and Betty Jane Harrison were married June 26, 1952. He was employed by Phillips Petroleum Company in the Land and Exploration Department for 34 years and retired in 1985 as District Landman in Jackson, MS. After retirement he continued to work and be involved in the Oil and Gas business until his death. He was a member of the Oklahoma State Bar Association, the Mississippi Association of Petroleum Landmen, the American Association of Professional Landman, the American Legion, and the Masonic Lodge. He was an avid golfer and was a member of Colonial Country Club. He shot his age each year beginning at age 79 and for the next six years.

He was pre-deceased by his parents and two sisters, Betty Ruth who died as an infant, and Bonnie June McFadden. He was survived by his beloved wife of 63 years Betty Jane Harrison; by daughter Gail Tankersley Lamb (Scott) of Jackson, MS and two grandsons, Grayson Harris Lamb and Grant Huston Lamb; nephews, Jack McFadden and Jimmie Lloyd Wiggley of Paris, TX and Nieces Joan Ferguson of Paris, TX and Wilma June Sober of Chandler, TX.

A memorial service for Lloyd will be held at Parkway Funeral Home, Ridgeland, MS on Tuesday May 24, 2016 at 11:00am with a visitation beginning at 10:00am.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Veterans Administration of Jackson, MS or the charity of your choice.

John Player


John Player, was born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1918. He was raised in Longmont, Colorado, and a resident of the Jackson area for 60 plus years. John passed away August 31, 2016 at the Blake at Township in Ridgeland, MS at the age of 98. He graduated from the University of Colorado and received the award as the outstanding student of his graduating class. After graduation he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the US Navy where he served from 1942 to 1946 in the Pacific, Italy, and England. After discharge, he went to work for Atlantic Oil Company.


Soon after he went on his journey to be an independent Geologist. Throughout his life, he was completely devoted to his wife and children and working on his farm adjacent to the Natchez Trace. This immensely beautiful man, “our dad”, was happily married to Jane Genevieve Simmons in Holy Matrimony for 54 years until her death in 2003. He always lifted people up for the smallest of things and gave a helping hand to those in need. His heart was filled with gold for the poor at heart. He had a love for life itself. One summer when he was young, he hitchhiked around the United States working in transient harvesting when he could, slept wherever he was, and ate anything available. He traveled extensively to national parks, traveling overseas with his wife, mostly in Europe and Canada.


He has been in every state and many other countries. He was by nature a happy strong independent thinker who was successful at everything he did. We love you dad and long for the time that we too can come home to be where you and Mother are. Survivors include his children: John Player Jr. of Selma, Oregon, Dave Player of Bellingham, Washington, Mark Player of Gulf Shores, Alabama, and Joan Player of Madison, Mississippi; three grandchildren, David Allman Patterson, Jason Christopher Steen, and Jonathan Pelot Watson. Per his request no funeral services will be held at Parkway Funeral Home in Ridgeland, MS. Memorial donations may be made in John’s name to the charity of your choice.


The family would like to thank the Blake staff and Jean Bunge for all of their love and support.

Published in Clarion Ledger on Sept. 4, 2016

Homer Best, Jr.

Homer Best, Jr., a man who got the most out of life, died peacefully and with his children in the early morning of September 26, 2016, from respiratory failure at St. Dominic’s Hospital. He was 90 years old.

Homer was born to Homer Best, Sr. and Carolyn Doty Best in Memphis, Tennessee on July 31, 1926, but was a resident of Jackson almost all of his life, attending Jackson Public Schools and graduating from Central High School in 1944. In June 1944 he volunteered for service in the U.S. Army Air Corps, and after attending B-29 gunnery school in Ft. Myers, Florida, he was called to active duty as a Central Fire Control Gunner on a B-29. He was eventually stationed with the Ninth Air Force in the European Theatre of Operations for nine months, and was honorably discharged from the service in the summer of 1946. In the fall of 1946, Homer entered Ole Miss Business School and became a member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity. In 1947, while at Ole Miss, he married his lifetime love, Jane Elizabeth Ross, whom he referred to as his Blue Angel, truly an angel on earth.

Homer graduated from Ole Miss in 1949 and joined Mississippi Stationary Company, where he later became Vice President and part owner. Soon thereafter he established Best-Allen Office Supply with his good friend and partner, Ernest Allen. He entered the oil business in 1954 and was very active in oil and gas exploration in Mississippi, Alabama and South Louisiana. At one time, he had interest in over 100 producing wells. Homer was very proud of his many years of association with the Chisolm family of Laurel, Mississippi, as an Oil & Gas Consultant and Investment Adviser. He was appointed by President Nixon to the National Petroleum Council, served on the Executive Committee of the Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, Board of Directors of IPAA, Board of Directors of Jackson Petroleum Club and Board of Directors of Country Club of Jackson. He later was one of the founders of Annandale Golf Club, and was proud that he contributed to the naming of the club. He was an avid golfer and parred several courses throughout the country. He was very proud to have made three holes in one and to have shot his age after retirement and under his age several times when he was 75.

Homer loved baseball and with his father coached Dixie Boys baseball team in 1964 to a city championship. He coached both his sons, Jimmy and Camp, at various levels of youth baseball.

Mr. Best was an avid hunter and hunted with the Hannon family for many years in Madison County, where he was fortunate enough to harvest several bucks. He was also able to hunt later in life with his dear friend, Bob Lloyd.

Homer and wife, Jane, were founding members of Northminster Baptist Church where he was a deacon and member for many years of the Men’s Sunday School Class. Chuck Poole, the pastor, was admired and loved by Homer for many years and was a close friend and counselor.
Homer fulfilled his civic responsibilities by serving on the Board of Directors of the Jackson Symphony, as co-chair of the Easter Seals, as chairman of the March of Dimes Jackson Campaign and as Vice-President of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. Homer was a member of the Chancellor’s Trust at Ole Miss, a lifetime member of the Alumni Association and a long-time supporter of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation.

Homer was predeceased by his parents; by his sister, Carolyn Jean Best Schirmer, and by his wife, Jane Elizabeth Ross Best. He is survived by his 4 children: James Homer Best, Camp Best, Julie Best Clark and DeDe Best Miley; 5 grandchildren: Nathan Best (Kimberly), Adam Clark (Maggie), Suzanna Best, Doty Miley and Wilson Miley, and 4 great grandchildren: Campbell Best, Yates Best, Dotson Clark and Savannah Best.

The family would like to thank special caregivers, Donna Gates, Milford Currie, LaQuanda Nichols, and Matasha Ford for their service to Homer. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Northminster Baptist Church and to The University of Mississippi.

Visitation will be held Friday, September 30, 2016 at Northminster Baptist Church in Jackson from 9:00 to 11:00 am, with a funeral service beginning at 11:00 am. Interment will follow at Parkway Memorial Cemetery in Ridgeland. Lunch will be served at Northminster Baptist Church following the interment.

Published in Clarion Ledger from Sept. 28 to Sept. 30, 2016

Howard Eugene Stoverhoward-stover-photo_edited


Howard Eugene Stover was born in Tulsa, OK on Sept. 22, 1927, and was taken home by his Lord as he slept on Sept. 28, 2016.

He is survived by his adored family: his wife, Flolynn Tate Stover of Madison; his daughter Libby Stover Phillips and her husband, John, of Wagoner, OK; and their children, Emile Meyer of Moore, OK and Preston Phillips of Jackson; and his daughter, Barbara Stover England and her husband, Bob, of Madison and their children, Chris England (Nancy) of Gulfport, Rob England of Hattiesburg, and Zach England of Madison. He is also survived by numerous great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Juanita and Howard Stover of Tulsa; his sister, Barbara Simons of Sugarland, TX, and a brother, Joe Stover of Houston, TX. His business partner and friend of over 50 years, Neal Clement, also preceded him in death.

Howard graduated from Oklahoma Military Academy and served in the U.S. Army before receiving a bachelor of business administration degree in 1951 from the University of Oklahoma. He was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity.

Following his graduation he moved to San Antonio, TX to begin his career as a landman in the oil business with Amerada Petroleum Corporation. He moved to Jackson to open an office for Argo Oil Corporation in 1958. Howard and Neal began their business relationship in oil and gas exploration in the early 1960s.

Howard was former past president of the San Antonio Landman’s Association; past vice-president of Mid Continent Oil and Gas Association; charter member, past board member and chairman of the national convention of the American Association of Petroleum Landmen. He served by Presidential appointment on the National Petroleum Council in 1971 and 1972. He was a current member of the Mississippi Association of Petroleum Landmen and the National Association of Petroleum Landmen.

Howard was very involved in the Jackson community, having been honored as a Goodwill Volunteer of the Year. He was a founding member of the board of directors of Southern Christian Services for Children and Youth, where he served two terms as president. He was currently serving as a board member emeritus for that organization. He was a past long time board member of the International Ballet Competition and served on that organization’s executive committee for many years. He was a past board member of the Wilson Foundation at Mississippi Methodist Rehabilitation Center, and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of Central Mississippi.

He was appointed by Governor Kirk Fordice to service on the board of the Mississippi Association of Educational Television and also served as that board’s representative for EdNet and the Foundation for Public Broadcasting. He was a founder of Mississippi Magazine and a founding member of Annandale Golf Club.
Howard was a long-time member of First Christian Church, where he served as an Elder and treasurer. His current church home was St. Andrews Episcopal Cathedral.

A quiet, compassionate man with a servant’s heart, Howard always put other’s well-being ahead of his own. He was loved by many, including the Lunch Bunch, and will be missed greatly.

Services will be Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 11 a.m. at St. Andrews Episcopal Cathedral. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. in the church parish hall.

The family requests in lieu of flowers contributions be made to one of the following organizations: Southern Christian Services for Children and Youth, 860 East River Place, Suite 104, Jackson, MS 39202 or Harbor House, P.O. Box 2917, Jackson, MS 39207

William (Bill) Madison Morgan



William (Bill) Madison Morgan, III, 81, petroleum landman, passed away at his home surrounded by his loving family.

A funeral mass will be celebrated at 1:00 PM Thursday, October 13th at St. Richards Catholic Church at 1:00 with a wake at 11:00 AM, also at St. Richards. Burial will be at 1.00 at the Biloxi Cemetery on Friday, October 14th.

Bill, a Biloxi native, was born 8/17/1935 to William (Doc) and Eleanor (Nana). After graduating from Notre Dame High School he attended Springhill College in Mobile and graduated with a bachelors degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. From 1957 to 1961 he served as a Chaplain’s Assistant in the US Army in Europe. After discharge from the Army, he worked at Chevron. In 1964 he married his wife, Nancy Lynn Castle and a year later his son, John Thomas, was born.

He later became an independent petroleum landman working for several different companies in MS, LA and Texas.

Survivors include his son, John Thomas of Ridgeland; sister, Anne Toups of Ocean Springs; 11 nieces and nephews; and 12 great nieces and nephews.

The family would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude for the love, care and support given to Bill by the ladies at Assisting Angels.

Published in Clarion Ledger on Oct. 12, 2016