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Dr. John Rhett Presley (64) was called Home by the Lord Sunday, February 5, 2016.  Born on March 18, 1952 to John Hearst Presley and Ora Lavon Cahoon Presley, Rhett resided in Pickens until he graduated from Lexington High School in 1970.  While at The University of Mississippi, he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order.  After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from Ole Miss, he attended the University of Tennessee where he received a Doctorate of Dental Surgery in 1979. In 1983, Rhett received certification in acupuncture from the University of Oriental Studies, Center for Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, California.
After receiving his DDS, he and his wife, Ann Dabbs Presley, returned to Holmes County, and he established a dental practice in Lexington that was later moved to Durant.  Rhett was a member of the American Dental Association and the Mississippi Dental Association.  Rhett tirelessly helped those less fortunate than he.  Rhett’s calling in life was to serve others as a caregiver.  Through his nurturing spirit, he touched countless lives with his gentle grace.  Devoted to his community, he was instrumental in bringing Mallory Community Health Center to Lexington.  F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “When you have said that a man is a ‘good man,’ you have said about all you can say.” John Rhett Presley, Sr., was a “good man.”
Rhett cherished the time spent with friends and family while hunting, and he looked forward to reliving his experiences through telling stories.  One of his most memorable hunts that he loved to retell was when his team won the One Box Pheasant Hunt in Broken Bow, Nebraska.  Later the Mississippi team returned and won The Nebraska One Box Pheasant Hunt Past Shooters Competition. Rhett had a story that accompanied almost every hunt and those that love him most could not help but wonder if he had embellished the facts.  From award winning pheasant hunts to watching deer play in the back yard, Rhett was most at peace in the woods.  A pioneer in Hunter Education, Rhett spent many years fostering respect for wildlife and the sport of hunting in Mississippi’s youth.
When he was not telling hunting stories, he was sharing other past memories. Rhett was a free-spirit, and he loved rock-n-roll.  He relished the opportunity to tell others about his time at Woodstock and would reenact how musicians like Jimmy Hendrix played their instruments on stage. He also would share his fond memories of riding the train to hear The Beatles play in Memphis, TN.
Rhett was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend. Married to his beloved wife, Ann, of 42 years, together they raised two children, Bronwyn and John Rhett, Jr. A treasured grandfather, Bear, dreamt of his granddaughter, Presley Ann, riding on a competitive equestrian team.  He looked forward to the days of teaching his grandsons, Hudson and John Collier, to be master marksmen and avid hunters.  He was his grandchildren’s hero, and he spoiled them with all the love he had to give. Bear will be remembered by his grandchildren as an adoring man of few words that always greeted them with a larger than life smile and a hug that could warm you for a lifetime.
He is survived by his wife, Ann Dabbs Presley; their two children, Bronwyn Martin (Brandon) and John Rhett (Sara Marie), both of Madison; grandchildren, Presley Ann, Hudson, and John Collier.  His survivors also include his sister, Daphne Presley of Ashville, North Carolina.
Visitations were held Wednesday, February 8 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Parkway Funeral Home, 1161 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, MS  39157.  Another visitation will be held at Pickens Presbyterian Church Thursday, February 9 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. with funeral services to follow.  Internment will be at Parkway Memorial Cemetery at 3:30 p.m.  In lieu of customary remembrances, memorials may be made to French Camp Academy, 1 Fine Place, French Camp, MS 39745.

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