Joe Steve Webb died peacefully with his family at his side on Sunday, November 10, 2019, at Neshoba General Skilled Nursing Facility. His family will welcome visitors at the First United Methodist Church, Philadelphia, Mississippi on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. with a memorial service immediately following at the church and a graveside service at Cedarlawn Cemetery.

 

Someone once said about Steve, "In the eyes of those around him, Steve Webb is a giant among men, but he really doesn’t seem to notice."

 

Steve was born on May 4, 1932, in Philadelphia, Mississippi, the youngest of six children, to Thomas Allan Webb and Minnie Hardage Webb. As a youth Steve was awarded the Eagle Scout and began his life-long love of the outdoors. He attended Philadelphia High School where he excelled as a football player and was named Captain his senior season. Following graduation, Steve attended East Central Junior College on a football scholarship where he also served as Captain. Following graduation from East Central, Steve continued his education at the LSU School of Forestry.

 

Steve married his childhood and high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Charlene Peebles in 1954. Charlene and Steve would have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on December 28, 2019.

 

Steve graduated from LSU in 1955. He was drafted and served in the United States Army (1955-1957) and was stationed in Germany the final year. He continued his service with the United States National Guard for eighteen years and retired as Captain in the Meridian, Mississippi branch.

 

After returning from Germany, Steve and Charlene settled in Meridian where Steve began his career as Chief Forester with the Flintkote Company of Meridian. He served as President of the Meridian Jaycees in 1963 where he developed many of his leadership skills. After ten years with Flintkote, Steve accepted a position with Molpus Lumber Company and he and Charlene moved back home with their three children. Steve had a distinguished career in the lumber and forestry industry serving as Vice-President for Molpus, chairman of the Mississippi Chapter of the Society of American Foresters (1968-69), and President of the Mississippi Forestry Association (1977).

 

In 1978, Steve was working for Molpus and was a Director of The Citizens Bank of Philadelphia, when his good friend and Chairman of the Board, Allan King offered him the position as President and CEO. Steve's father, T.A., had held that position from 1925-1969. While Steve initially had reservations about following in his father's footsteps, he eventually accepted the position and never looked back, serving as CEO and then becoming Chairman of the Board of Directors in 1998.  Steve was certainly comforted by the fact that his office at the bank was on the site of the old Methodist Church where he and Charlene were married. Steve's vision and leadership, along with the hard work of many loyal and dedicated employees, served the bank well, and it grew from a one-town bank to a community bank serving nine counties in east central Mississippi. Steve served as the 113th President of the Mississippi Bankers Association (2001-2002).

 

Steve and Charlene were longtime members of the First United Methodist Church of Philadelphia where Steve held numerous leadership positions. Steve gave back to his community in many ways, serving as President of the Neshoba County Chamber of Commerce (1979) and served several terms as President of Mississippi Industrial Development Authority (1982-2007). He was a longtime member of Philadelphia Rotary Club, and a former member of the school board for Philadelphia city schools.  Steve was recognized as Philadelphia Citizen of the Year in 2000 for his dedication and commitment to his community. 

 

He is survived by his devoted and loving wife, Charlene; three sons, Joe Steve Webb II "Jody" (Deree), David P. Webb (Debbie), and John H. Webb (Melody); nine grandchildren, Josh Webb Gamblin (Frances), Mallory Tay Webb Hopkins (Pearce), Thomas Parkes Webb (Tommi Lynn), Sarah Katherine Webb Mitchener, Daniel Peebles Webb (Emily), Madeline Scott Webb, Samuel Hardage Webb, William Henry Webb, and Emma Grace Webb; nine great-grandchildren;  brother, William Allan Webb (Helen), and numerous nieces, nephews and their families.

 

Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Allan and Minnie Hardage Web; one sister, Virginia Webb Nowlin; and four brothers, Sam Webb, Thomas Webb, Paul Webb, and Howard Webb.

 

Steve was a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He particularly enjoyed hunting and fishing and spending family time at the Blue Room Hunting Camp in Kemper County, The Lake at Four Corners, and with extended family at the Neshoba County Fair.

 

The Webb family wishes to express its heartfelt appreciation and thanks to Alfreda Roberts for her loving care and service to Steve and Charlene these past few years, and for the compassionate and professional care provided to Steve by Mary DeSpegler, Joyce Cole, Paulette Buckley, the staff at Neshoba General Hospital and Skilled Nursing Facility, and the staff at Quality Hospice during the last weeks of his life.

 

Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church, Philadelphia, Mississippi, or a charity of your choice.