William Gaylord Welles Anderson

William Gaylord Welles Anderson, 32, died after a brief illness on April 11, 2019, at North Mississippi Medical Center. Welles Anderson was born on Oct. 16, 1986, to James Granville Anderson Jr. and Amy Kathryn Welles Anderson. Welles Anderson was of the Methodist faith and involved at The Orchard in Tupelo, Miss.

Mr. Welles Anderson grew up a tough kid who loved hunting, fishing, and all things outdoors. Later in life he relished a ride across “The Place” with a friend in the passenger seat, of course to serve not only as good company but also as the designated gate opener. Growing up in a small town without even a red light, Welles Anderson was part of a tightknit community of friends who are family and was an integral member of the “little hood,” a group of guys who were brothers in their own right. His ultimate joy was sharing a self-proclaimed vast knowledge of hunting and fishing. Welles Anderson enthusiastically shared this wisdom from daybreak to sunset during their outdoor excursions, which often began around Mama Jo’s breakfast table. Later, the nights meant intense games of dominoes where nothing excited him more than having his big brother Tres on his team, usually for the better good of all. On the surface was a fun and friendly game that began with a little bragging from last week’s winners; however, there was always turbulence brewing underneath which brought on slight signaling and smooth gestures between Tres and Welles Anderson to ensure a big win. He wouldn’t want to disappoint his role model—Papa—who instilled so much, including his love of any game.

Welles Anderson from the beginning set the standard for a country boy. From cattle, horses and farming—right down to the love he had for his two favorite girls, his mama, Amy, and sister, Lara Kate—Welles Anderson loved it all. He absorbed and adored Okolona, Miss., and all that it represents. He had an edge to him but also had a huge heart and loved big, especially his family and nephews Jimmy and Everett, to whom he was the famous Uncle Wee. A good book of quotes or one that pushed deep-thinking was a place where Welles Anderson found great refuge, as was his own personal journaling and poetry writing. He appreciated his roots and the principles his father (Papa) and Uncle Lynn instilled in him. There’s no doubt his grit and love for life came straight from his mama. Until his last days, Welles Anderson sought and loved Jesus and his huge family, which is the most important piece of his legacy.

Mr. Welles Anderson is survived by his mother, Amy Anderson of Okolona, Miss.; his brother, James Granville “Tres” (Kate) Anderson III of West Point, Miss.; his sister, Lara Katelin (Neil) Anderson Pope of Nashville, Tenn.; his grandmothers, Jo Anderson of Okolona and Sandra Welles of Arcadia, Fla.; his uncle, Jeb Anderson (Anna) of Tupelo, Miss.; his aunts, Dawn Anderson Robbins of Tupelo, and Tara (Ron) Welles Jones and Leslie (Justin) Welles Hale, both of Arcadia; his nephews, James Granville “Jimmy” Anderson IV and Everette Charles Anderson, both of West Point, Miss.; his cousins, Aubrey Robbins (Connie) of Lewisburg, Tenn., Travis Cooper of Madison, Wisc.; Owen, Tate and Mary-Jenkins Anderson, all of Tupelo; Sage (Jed) Gray of Okeechobee, Fla., Remington Jones of Arcadia, Alexis (Chris) Heptinstall of Fairmount, Ga., Berkleigh Hale of Arcadia; and great-nieces, Stella Grace and Georgia Ann Robbins of Lewisburg, Tenn. Welles Anderson is preceded in death by his father, James “Jimmy” Granville Anderson Jr.; his grandfathers, James “Jim” Granville Anderson and William G. “Kayo” Welles IV, and his aunt, Talley Anderson Cooper.

A service celebrating the life of Welles Anderson was April 15, 2019, at the First United Methodist Church in Okolona, Miss., with the Rev. Colby Cuevas officiating. A private family graveside followed at the Anderson Family Cemetery in Okolona. Condolences may be emailed to hollandfuneraldirectors@comcast.net. Holland Funeral Directors, Okolona Chapel handled the arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 350 West Woodrow Wilson Dr., Suite 2470, Jackson, Miss. 39213, or to the city of Okolona K-9 Unit Fund (remit to: Okolona K-9 c/o Bank of Okolona, P.O. Box 306, Okolona, Miss. 38860). Pallbearers were Hunter Davis, Tyler Davis, Jake Jolly, Jess Davis, Davis Clayton, Jacob Washington and Bonner Coleman.

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