Julia Saxon

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 2, 2010

NATCHEZ — Services for Julia Dathal Saxon, 99, of Natchez, who died peacefully in her beloved home, Monday, Aug. 30, 2010, will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Washington United Methodist Church with the Rev. Reed McCaleb officiating.

Burial will follow at the Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

Visitation will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the funeral home and from 10 a.m. until service time Saturday at the church.

Mrs. Saxon was born Aug. 25, 1911, in Church Hill, the daughter of Julia Fairman Starnes and William Chambliss Starnes. She was a lifelong member of Washington United Methodist Church and had strong ties to the Washington community. She was baptized at the church shortly after her family moved to Washington in 1912. She grew up in the home behind the church known locally as the Hess home or Meadvilla. She began elementary school at Jefferson College, as it was not uncommon for local children to attend classes at the college due to there being no public school. She remained active in the Washington community her entire life, serving on the Cemetery Association, teaching classes and singing in the choir at the Methodist church and serving as PTA president at Washington Public School.

She was a homemaker until the sudden death of her husband in 1964. After his death, she was employed as a food service manager in the Natchez-Adams County school system. She would routinely tell people that the job was an answer to prayers because it enabled her to work and still be home with her youngest daughter after school.

Mrs. Saxon was especially proud of the house she designed and that she and her husband built almost solely from reclaimed materials. Although her husband died during the construction, she completed the house by taking on a number of projects herself and with help from family.

Known for her resourcefulness, Mrs. Saxon had an uncanny ability to see something that was nothing and make it into something, a quality she attributed to growing up during the Great Depression. She was an accomplished seamstress and worked with Ellen Starnes, her aunt, making a number of the queen’s and court dresses for the Natchez Pilgrimage as well as a number of wedding gowns.

Mrs. Saxon was a loving and generous person, kind to all she met and beloved by a number of people. In her younger years, she enjoyed tennis and basketball, participating in sports at a time when it was a bit unusual for women. Later, she was devoted to her family and friends, a patriot who cherished her right to vote. She was an avid gardener and did so well up into her 90s. She served delicious meals to those lucky enough to be at her table utilizing her homegrown vegetables. She was known to a large number as “Aunt Doodle” and to her grandchildren as “Meemaw.” She was always ready with a glass of lemonade and a desire to make people feel comfortable in her home.

She was preceded in death by her husband, William Harvey Saxon; her parents; three sisters, Kathleen Chambliss Starnes, Ellen Starnes Meschutt and Elizabeth Atkins Smith; one brother, William Calvin Starnes; and a very special cousin, Louise Wynne Burns.

Survivors include one son, William “Bill” Jafon Saxon and wife, Beverly, of Natchez; three daughters, Chambliss Saxon Mitchell and husband, Jimmy, of Fall Church, Va., Julia Saxon Hernandez and husband, Jorge, of Miami, and Alett Saxon Little and husband, McHenry, of Hot Springs, Ark.; 10 grandchildren, Andrew B, Mitchell, John M. Mitchell, Danielle R. Saxon-Christie, Tevah K. Saxon, Trevor J. Saxon, Derek W. Saxon, Jorge E. Hernandez, Christina Saxon-Hernandez, Candace L. Smith and Denver L. Little; 12 great-grandchildren; and a special niece who loved and cared for her, Ruby E. Meschutt.

Pallbearers will be Andrew B. Mitchell, John M. Mitchell, Trevor J. Saxon, Derek W. Saxon, Jorge E. Hernandez and Denver L. Little.

Honorary pallbearers will be Jimmy R. Mitchell, E. Jorge Hernandez, C. McHenry Little, Reynolds L. Atkins, Charles C. Burns and D.W. “Sonny” Daniel Jr.

The family is deeply appreciative of the care given by Natchez Regional Medical Center staff and Deaconess Hospice staff.

Memorials may be made to Washington United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 37, Washington, MS 39190.

Online condolences may be sent to www.lairdfh.com.