Catherine Alford Ellard

Published 1:54 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2023

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Jan. 7, 1930 – June 16, 2023

NATCHEZ – Catherine Elzina Alford Ellard, of Natchez, peacefully slipped into the arms of Jesus the night of June 16, 2023.  But oh, the rejoicing in heaven, as the last of thirteen children arrived at her eternal home.  Her most important earthly treasures were all the members of her family; and she added to that number, the many friends that she entertained along the way. They all left feeling the love of home.

Visitation will be at Laird Funeral Home in Natchez, from 5 until 7 p.m., Thursday, June 22, 2023, to continue at the City Cemetery in Natchez at 9 a.m. Friday, June 23, 2023 and service at 9:30am.

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Catherine was born Jan. 7, 1930, to Benjamin Cleveland Alford and Annie Freeman Alford.  She often said she was the baby three times, as two of her younger siblings died as infants/young children.  When she was 8, her mother passed away, and she was left with her father and brothers to cook and care for.  Three of her sisters were married and one left home shortly thereafter.  She was her father’s “baby”, and she faithfully helped care for him until his death in 1969.

There was a closeness between brothers and sisters that we sometimes don’t see today.  Sure, there were misunderstandings and hurt, but the bonds of family run deep, and again the importance of family was only second behind their faith and their savior Jesus Christ.

Catherine loved school and had many friends.  She played basketball for Enon High School and was a drummer in the band.  After graduation she attended and graduated from Draughn’s Business College in Jackson, MS.  She worked in the telecommunications industry for twenty plus years, and afterward, was a bookkeeper for several businesses in Natchez.  She made friends wherever she went and kept in touch with them for many years.

After working in Jackson and Greenwood, Catherine was transferred to Natchez in 1956, and there she met the love of her life, Bruce Ellard.  They married in 1957 and were married for 63 years at the time of Bruce’s death in 2020.

Two children, Debbie and Mike, were born to Bruce and Catherine.  To say that they were the center of her life would be an understatement.  She gave everything to her role as wife and mother, despite losing her mother at such an early age.  No one could have done it better.

Catherine was a Pink Lady at Natchez Regional/Merit Hospital and was also active in the Pilot’s Club International, serving many offices in the state, including President.

Catherine was a member, and faithfully attended and served at Parkway Baptist Church in Natchez from 1957 until her health prevented.  She raised her children to love and serve Jesus wherever they might go. Her grandchildren always loved going to Mawmaw Cat’s, always feeling important and loved.  She was so proud of them all.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her twelve siblings, and many friends.

She is survived by one daughter, Debbie Ellard Ball and son-in-law, Lane of Summit; one son, Michael Bruce Ellard and daughter-in-law, Sandra Vines Ellard of Natchez; nine grandchildren, Johnny Lane Ball, Jr. (Polly), Ashleigh Thornhill Copeland (Josh), Andrew Michael Ellard (Ashlee), Jason Lee Ball (Rosemary), James Bradley Thornhill, Amy Catherine “Kate” Ellard, Martha Ann “Marty” Kennedy (Kolby), Mallory Ball McKenzie (Elliot) and Carly Catherine Ball; 11 great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews and friends, all of who never doubted her unconditional love for them.

A mother’s and grandmother’s love is one of God’s most perfect gifts; not perfected by imperfect people, but perfected in Him.  To God be the Glory.

Pallbearers will be Andrew Michael Ellard, James Bradley Thornhill, Johnny Lane Ball, Jr., Joshua David Copeland, Thomas Elliot McKenzie, and Kolby William Kennedy.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at