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Katie Ruth Newell Boyte

July 12, 1926 – Jan. 8, 2021

Natchez — Graveside services for Katie Ruth Newell Boyte, 94, who died Friday, January 8, 2021, in Natchez, will be at 1 p.m., Sunday, January 10, 2021, at Greenlawn Memorial Park Cemetery. The Reverend Dr. Joan W. Gandy, minister of First Presbyterian Church, will officiate.

Burial will follow under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

Known as “Sweetheart” by her grandchildren, Katie was born on July 12, 1926, in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, and was the daughter of John and Emma Ruth Newell.

After high school graduation, she became one of the first female employees at Armstrong Tire and Rubber Company in Natchez. She enjoyed her co-workers and the Natchez social scene with her boarding housemates during the years of World War II, when she also polished giant shell casings produced at Armstrong during the war.

Katie was one of nine children, and Carolyn Boutwell, her only surviving sibling and the youngest daughter, fondly recalls the loving support Katie joyfully gave to her personally as well as to their entire family, who were sharecroppers in Hunters Bend near Tallulah, Louisiana.  The family experienced very hard times during the Great Depression, but Katie relished the memories of their resilience and recalled making their clothes and dolls from flour sacks, singing “When the Roll is Called up Yonder,” and riding the family horse Dan to the grocery store for an overnight stay before returning home.

Following retirement from her job testing rubber samples at Armstrong, Katie enjoyed a new career selling Beauty Control products. Along with her generosity and deep love for friends and family, whether by birth, marriage, or semi-adoption, she was very proud of her many family members and always entertained friends with news of them.  She had local fame for her scrumptious cooking, especially biscuits and French fries.

Katie was preceded in death by her husband of fifty years, Harvey Dwight Boyte, her children Darrell Boyte, Johnny Boyte, and Kathy Boyte, and her siblings Lucille Lemon, Ella Dozier, Frances Hoyle, John Newell, Nell Bryant, Albert Newell, and Charles Edwin Newell.

Left to cherish the memory of Sweetheart are her children Susan Boyte Watkins, Dwight Boyte, Randy Smith and his wife Helen Moss Smith, daughters-in-law Linda Boyte Foster, Anona Wilson Boyte, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The family deeply appreciates the management and employees of Magnolia Village for their care and professionalism over the past four years.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at lairdfh.com.

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