If the world seemed just slightly dimmer on the first of January 2022, it’s because Patsy Lou Dillard Quinnelly of Cumberland, Mississippi went to be with Jesus a few hours before the New Year and took a light that illuminated every situation, she was in with her to heaven.
Born February 15, 1942, to Murray and Irma Dillard of Cumberland, MS, Patsy was raised in Webster County where she graduated from Cumberland School in 1960. From an extremely young age, she was a gifted musician, and used those God given talents to worship the Lord by not only playing piano in her local church, but for gospel concerts and traveling singers.
Her melodic talents took her to Mississippi College where she was a member of Delta Omicron, the college’s honorable music fraternity. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree in 1964, the same year she married James Doss Quinnelly.
The Quinnellys moved to Omaha, Nebraska where they had two children, Charis, and Chara. It was in Nebraska that Patsy found her true calling as an instructor of Protestant Religion for Father Flanagan’s Boys Town. It was that role at Boys Town, as well as raising Charis and Chara that fulfilled her the most. She didn’t, however, let her music degree rest as she taught piano lessons out of her home and was the organist at her Omaha place of worship, Harrison Street Baptist Church, where she was also a women’s Sunday school class teacher.
In June 2001, Patsy returned to Mississippi to care for her mother who passed away two years later. Patsy remained in Starkville and worked as a librarian at Hebron Christian School and as a part-time employee of Welch Funeral Home in Starkville.
She, of course, also taught music at Hebron Christian.
Patsy’s last church home was First Baptist Church in Starkville where she enjoyed singing in the senior adult group. In 2013, she was diagnosed with dementia and lived the remainder of her life at Winston Medical Center in Louisville.
To know Patsy Lou Dillard Quinnelly was to immediately like her and to feel valued and important. She loved to make people around her laugh and would tease her friends, children, grandchildren, and son in laws, and also very much enjoy being teased by them as well. Both of her daughters graduated high school in Omaha with honors and went on to become college graduates and wonderful wives and mothers. Her spirit still lives in them and, truly, almost anyone that had consistent contact with Patsy, whether it be her piano students, her sisters, her nurses at Winston Medical or any of the hundreds of people she connected with at her church homes.
She is survived by her older sister Jeanne Johnson (Mantee, MS), younger sister Marcia Rhodes (Lexington, TN), daughters Chara Robinson and Charis Fortenberry and grandchildren; Riley Robinson, Lucy Robinson and Ben Fortenberry.
Patsy will be remembered as many things to many different people, but most will remember her as a loving mother, faithful follower of Christ and gifted musician.
A visitation was held at Cumberland Baptist Church on Wednesday, January 5, at 10:00am with the services immediately following at 11:00am. Pallbearers were Joe Murray Johnson, David Mock, Brandon Johnson, Anthony Rhodes, Jackie Wofford and Ben Fortenberry. Reverend Jimmy Furr conducted the services.
You may go online and sign guest register at www.welchfuneralhomes.com