Anna Gunning

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 5, 2011

NATCHEZ — Services for Anna Elizabeth Watts Gunning, 51, of Natchez, who died Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at St. Dominic Medical Center in Jackson, will be at 11 a.m. today at Trinity Episcopal Church with the Rev. Walton Jones officiating.

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

Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until service time today at the church.

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Anna was born Jan. 22, 1960, in Natchez, the daughter of John Richard Watts and Margaret Elliot Bennett Watts.

She was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church. She was a 1979 graduate of Trinity High School, attended the University of Southern Mississippi and was a graduate diplomate of the Food Service Institute of New Orleans. She was general manager of Hampton Inn and Suites in Natchez. Anna worked for more than 27 years in hospitality services including event coordinator, professional cooking, restaurant manager and caterer. She was awarded Tourism Superstar in 2004 and 2008 for outstanding work to enhance and promote the City of Natchez by the Chamber of Commerce Tourism Council and the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau. The three things Anna loved most in life where people, Natchez and telling people about Natchez.

Anna was preceded in death by her father, Dr. John Richard Watts.

Survivors include her husband, Joseph Louis Gunning of Natchez; one son, Elliot Terry Ernst of New Orleans; one daughter, Katie Elizabeth Ernst of Natchez; her mother, Margaret Bennett Watts of Natchez; one brother, John Bayard Watts of Natchez; one sister, Margaret Watts Meyers and husband, Jay, of Golden, Colo.; a number of nieces and nephews; and many loving friends of the Wood, Watts, and Kelley families.

Pallbearers will be Dennis Short, Bob Sizemore, Kirk Ragsdale, Alex Allain, William Godfrey, Mark Taylor, Scott Hanson and Clark Lambdin.

Honorary pallbearers will be Andre Farish and Michael Gunning.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the American Heart Association or the charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be sent to