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March 28, 2023


Merlyn Saucier Autry

September 21, 1929 – March 24, 2023

Our mother, and grandmother, Merlyn Saucier Autry, 93, passed peacefully early Friday morning, March 24, 2023, under the loving watch of Brookdale Senior Living, Gentiva Hospice, and Forrest General Hospital’s care teams for whom our family has deep gratitude.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in elementary education in 1949, and remained an avid supporter of the university and of Golden Eagles athletics, as well as the music and theatre programs. Due to teacher shortages, she received an emergency certificate and began her 37 year teaching career at the age of 19. Upon graduation, she taught hundreds of primary children at Pearl McLaurin Elementary School in Pearl, Ms, before moving back to Marion County, MS. Once in her home county, she educated children at Improve Elementary School, West Marion Primary School, Columbia Training School as well as Columbia Academy. Well after she retired, she was always a teacher seeing students in everyone she met.

A cutthroat Bridge player, and hostess of countless bridge parties in the 1960s in Jackson, MS, she and Loucinda Herrington evolved in Columbia into champion partners. They were relentless.

She was an avid lover of shoulder pads. Since 1946.

She loved dogs, cats, bluebirds, cranes, and parakeets.

Her love of Duke basketball and March Madness should be noted, as well.

She held her own as the only girl with ten brothers.

Mother was also an artist, leaving us with many paintings and drawings to cherish.

Her favorite lipstick was Cherries in the Snow, by Revlon.

She loved reading and frequented the city library with us for summer reading books, and visited the Book Mobile with us for books year-round in our community, Bunker Hill.

She enjoyed fishing at our family farm pond and baited her own hooks.

She loved and grew Shasta daisies. She could grow massive Boston ferns and Philodendrons. African violets were en mass in her kitchen. She loved tending roses.

She was predeceased by husband Louin L. (Red) Autry; her parents, James E. and Lillian Robertson Saucier; brothers, Felder Saucier, Wayne Saucier, Warren Saucier, Doyle Saucier, Billy Saucier, Gene Saucier, Lamar Saucier, Howard Louis Saucier, and Lavell Saucier. Mrs. Autry is survived by daughters Rebecca Lynn McDaniel-Hosman (Larry) of Hattiesburg, MS; Anna Lisa Fehrenbacher (Rick) of Seattle, WA; a brother Gerald Saucier of Bogalusa, LA; grandchildren Buck McDaniel of New York, NY, Aric Fehrenbacher (Ellie), Jack Fehrenbacher, Caelan Fehrenbacher, of Seattle, WA, Laura Hosman of Cleveland, MS, and Sarah Hosman of Philadelphia, PA; and will be missed by countless nieces and nephews.

The visitation will be at Colonial Funeral Home on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 from 5:00pm until 8:00pm. The funeral service, officiated by Father Tommy Conway, will be in the funeral home chapel on Thursday, March 30, 2023 at 11:00am. She will be laid to rest in the New Bunker Hill Cemetery assisted by Andy Saucier, Kenny Saucier, Harry Saucier, Tim Saucier, Thomas Saucier, and Charles Jones serving as pallbearers. David Saucier and Stacey Saucier will serve as honorary pallbearers.

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