Linda Barfield Sudduth, surrounded by her family, went peacefully to be with her Lord and Savior on November 8, 2021. Funeral services are Friday, November 12, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. at Natchez Trace Funeral Chapel in Madison with interment in Natchez Trace Memorial Park. Visitation is Friday, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Natchez Trace Funeral Home.
Born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, on August 12, 1942, Linda grew up with her brother and two sisters. She graduated from Kosciusko High School where she met a young man, James “Jimmie” Sudduth, who would soon take her heart and hand in marriage and hold on to both for the next 61 years. During those years, Linda postponed attaining her own college degree to raise and educate her family, getting her husband successfully through his undergraduate degree and later her children through undergraduate degrees and law school before completing her Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Belhaven University in 1999.
Linda began her professional career in San Bernadino, California, working as a legal secretary for a small law firm. She and Jim eventually moved back home to Mississippi, and she would master the skills of typing, Gregg shorthand and stenography, attaining Certified Shorthand Reporter status and transcribing the official transcripts for several Mississippi courts including Forrest County Court and Youth Court. After a career that spanned across six decades, Linda retired in 2014 as the court reporter for the Honorable Patricia D. Wise of the Fifth Chancery Court District of Hinds County. Linda was active in the Mississippi Court Reporters Association, serving several terms as editor of its newsletter, MS/Strokes, including her own “Little Bits of Stuff” (matching her initials) section.
As successful as she was in her career outside the home, Linda’s compassion for others, particularly her family, was unparalleled. Those who were privileged to call her “Mom,” knew they were loved, and loved unconditionally. Her family was her focus and her passion, in both her words and her actions: she was able to work within a modest family income to provide a warm and loving home, delicious and healthy dinners, access to school and extracurricular activities for her children, and countless other acts of love. And, she did all this after a full day’s work and without the benefit of dishwashers and microwave ovens, and well before grocery pick-up, video baby monitors and Pinterest.
Linda’s and Jim’s commitment to their family was never more evident than during the birth of their first-born, Susan. Undaunted by doctors who told them a newborn with Downs Syndrome would create difficulties and hardships on very young parents, and who advised them to place Susan with a health provider so they could continue on with their lives, Linda and Jim refused that advice. Instead, they engaged the best medical and educational practitioners and, with love and determination, raised Susan to become a beautiful, generous, accomplished women.
Linda’s care and compassion extended beyond her family. She was always willing to lend a helping hand to a colleague at work or volunteer in the community. Strong in her faith, Linda was an active church member, singing in the choir and leading Sunday School classes. She discovered two other passions later in life: granddaughters and Mississippi State football. Nana thoroughly enjoyed watching any program or sporting event her granddaughters participated in and, as a season ticket holder, loved following the Bulldogs.
Linda is survived by her husband, Jim Sudduth of Ridgeland; son, Alan Sudduth (Heather) of Pascagoula; daughter, Sheri Taylor (Russ) of Brandon; grandchildren, Valerie and Natalie Taylor and Sydney Sudduth; brother and sisters, Jim Barfield of Jackson, Betty Johnson (Billy) of Summit, and Jane Russell of Kosciusko. She is preceded in death by her daughter, Susan Sudduth.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: SON Valley Group Home P. O. Box 406, Canton, MS 39046, or to a charity of choice.