Karlynn Hughes Courtney

Services will be held at 11:30 AM Monday, November 15, 2021 at Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home Chapel for MS Helen Karlynn Hughes Courtney, 72, of Petal, MS.

Helen Karlynn Hughes Courtney, the firstborn child of Patricia Nell Lewis Hughes and Thomas Ivey Hughes. She was a lifelong resident of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, who was born July 6, 1949, died peacefully in her sleep on November 11, 2021.

Karlynn was a 1967 graduate of Hattiesburg High School, attended the University of Southern Mississippi, became a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and attended William Cary College where she earned an accounting degree. Thereafter, Karlynn put her accounting degree to good use working closely with her grandfather, Joseph Durward Lewis and her father, Thomas Ivey Hughes in various managerial and accounting positions in the family business, American Sand and Gravel Company.

Karlynn was an active outdoors woman - enjoying hunting and fishing- on Lake Hill - spending days walking the family “farm” known as Ragland Hills and studying every possible rock formation - commercial and otherwise- found on the family property in the Glendale Community.

Karlynn was an enthusiastic environmentalist, studying Mississippi trees and wildlife years before it was fashionable to do so. Karlynn was an active participant in the Adopt-a-Stream program administered by the Mississippi Wildlife Federation becoming responsible for and promoting environmental stewardship on her chosen stream -the Bowie River running from Highway 59 to the Petal Bridge.

Karlynn was a horticulturist by hobby, spending countless hours planting and growing southern trees and plants. One of her best loved trees was the southern live oak named the “Little Gulf Park Oak” growing just off the courtyard of her home on Lake Hill. The Little Gulf Park Oak was significant because Karlynn and her grandmother, Helen Bufkin Lewis, planted the oak from an acorn taken from the famous live oak located in the center of Gulf Park College in Gulfport, Mississippi where Helen Bufkin Lewis attended college in the early 1920s. In fact, during the last days of her, life Karlynn was thrilled about collecting acorns from the Little Gulf Park Oak – still growing at Lake Hill -and potting and growing a new Gulf Park Oak for every member of her family. Unfortunately, she did not live long enough to complete her last horticulturist plan.

Karlynn was an enthusiastic collector of all things - valuable and not so valuable. Her collections ranged from - antiques, wrought iron furniture or pieces of furniture, old books and magazines, ancient photographs- to stray dogs and cats.

Karlynn worked tirelessly for the city of Hattiesburg serving on the local election commission for many years and actively volunteering for the Hattiesburg Civic Association.

Karlynn was preceded in death by her son, James Joseph “JJ” Courtney; her father, Thomas Ivey Hughes, and her grandparents, Joseph Durward Lewis and Helen Bufkin Lewis.

Karlynn is survived by her mother, Patricia Lewis Hughes; her siblings, Thomas Durward “Dud” Hughes (Sally), Karen Hughes Spencer (Sonny), and Tucker Hughes Mikell; one son, Heath Turner Courtney (Shelley); grandchildren, Josey Lislyn Courtney Cavanaugh (John), Kelley Michelle Courtney, and Cole Courtney; great grandchildren, Jaxtyn and June, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will begin at 10:30 AM Monday at Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home.