One of Tupelo’s best known and beloved citizens, David Oliver Puckett, III, at age 62, departed this life on Sat., Feb. 13, 2012 at North Miss. Medical Center from complications of Kidney failure. David was born in Tupelo on Oct. 13, 1958, the youngest of three children born to the late D.O “Son” Puckett, Jr. and Betsy Armistead Puckett. During his youth, David attended Joyner Elementary School, Milam, Carver, and in 1977, graduated from Tupelo High School. Throughout these years he was involved in a number of activities and organizations including swimming for Tupelo Aquatic Club, playing tennis for the Tupelo High School tennis team, and participating in both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. After graduating from Tupelo High, David attended Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Mississippi for 2 years, then transferred to the University Of Mississippi for a short stent, unfortunately having to withdraw prematurely due to his rapidly deteriorating eyesight caused by Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative condition affecting the retina of the eye. Though now legally blind, but while retaining some functional vision for the next 2 years, David procured sales positions with Trace Ford and National Men’s Wear in Tupelo. With his eyesight continuing to deteriorate rapidly, he soon became totally blind. David and his family heard about and investigated Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation For The Blind and Visually Impaired. He was accepted as a client, going on to receive rehabilitation and mobility training at Services For The Blind in Tupelo followed by further training at Addie McBride Center For The Blind in Jackson- receiving training in mobility, Braille, computer technology, and a whole host of other activities which would enable him to adapt to his blindness, work, and live in a sighted world. Once this training was complete, David chose to further his education to better prepare him for the work place and challenges that lie ahead. In 1983, he enrolled in Mississippi College where he finished and received his undergraduate degree. In l988, David received his MA in Rehabilitation Counseling from Mississippi State University. Mr. Ed Neely, President of The Peoples Bank & Trust in Tupelo was willing to give David a chance in the banking world, and offered him a job. David began work at The Peoples Bank & Trust Co, now known as Renasant Bank, on June 1, 1989, first working in the bank’s Marketing department and later, as the bank’s Outbound Sales and Service Consultant where he worked until retiring in July of 2015. David had a servants heart and was always willing to express his gratitude to others through service above self. Over the years, David has been intimately involved in numerous social, civic, and non-profit organizations in an effort to help others in need and, most especially, helping individuals with disabilities to live a more independent productive life. Among his affiliations were Rho Chi Sigma Honorary Fraternity, Alphi Chi Honorary Fraternity and Pi Gamma Mu Honorary Fraternity. He was an active member of the Mississippi Council of the Blind, a member of the Clinton Civitan Club and the Tupelo Luncheon Civitan Club. He was appointed by the Governor to the Board for Mississippi Industries For The Blind where he held many offices. Following in his father’s footsteps of being a builder, he served as a longtime Board member and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. He was a Board member and “big brother” to many in the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Northeast Miss. David served on the Board of the Yocona Council-Boy Scouts of America and actively volunteered in training many scouts for their merit badges. His most passionate service was being a faithful Board Member of Regional Rehabilitation Center for over 20 years. He served as President of Advisory board of LIFE, Inc. (Living Independently for Everyone) in Tupelo as well as board Member, Vice President, & State President of LIFE Inc. in Jackson, Ms.David was a charter member and on the Board of Tupelo Evening Lions Club. His faithful selfless service to others despite his own disabilities will be a large part of David’s legacy. He had friends everywhere, would call often just checking on them and always encouraging them in their life pursuits. A jolly cheerful soul, David will be sorely missed by a grateful community and State as well as is family. He was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church of Tupelo and had most recently been attending Oak Hill Community Church. Pending the outcome of the pending severe winter weather, Holland Funeral Directors will be announcing plans for a public visitation and memorial service. Condolences may be e mailed to email@example.com. Per David’s request, memorials in his memory should be sent to Regional Rehabilitation Center, 615 Pegram Drive, Tupelo, MS. 388-1 David is survived by his beloved wife, Mary Ruth Puckett and her family, of Tupelo; his extended family on the Puckett/Armistead side. He was preceded in death by his parents, “Son” and Betsy Armistead Puckett, his Puckett grandparents, his maternal grandparents, Mr./Mrs. Lemaster Armistead and his two sisters, Betty and Debbie.
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