“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult…
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” (Excerpted from Psalm 46 RSV)
Michael Reese Carithers passed away peacefully on May 27, 2020 at Colquitt Regional Medical Center. He was the son and first born of the late Claude Estees Carithers, Jr. and the late Martha Adele Parker Carithers. Born May 26, 1946 in Jackson MS, his family subsequently moved to Meridian, MS where he was reared.
Michael’s favorite and most cherished things in life after his family and his church were golf and Ole Miss football. He graduated from Meridian High School, Class of 1964, where he was involved in many activities, but his favorite was the Golf Team. He was proud of his “7-ish” handicap and continued to play golf throughout his adult life. Another favorite pastime was automobiles. While in high school, he would work at a local car dealership just so he could be around cars (and was actually sent to repossess a few) and to observe what was new. During these years, he especially enjoyed driving his yellow Triumph TR3 in car rallies on the weekends, often with his younger sister, Jane, as his navigator.
He attended the University of Mississippi and was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. At Ole Miss, he majored in History and pursued this interest through travel and books for the next fifty years. A few years ago, he and Betty had the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of touring the D-Day arena and the Normandy Beaches. An Ole Miss Rebel through and through (although living patiently in a house which echoed with “Roll Tide” a few months a year), he could quote chapter and verse of every football season. His favorite post-game witticism was “Ole Miss may lose a game, but they’ve never lost a party.”
Following in his father’s footsteps, he spent 34 years of his professional career at Riverside Manufacturing Company, a textile manufacturer in Moultrie, GA. He began there as the salesperson for South Carolina and later was made Vice President and Southeast Regional Manager, where he provided leadership for up to 13 territory salespeople in seven states. He was awarded the Riverside Globe Award in 2007 and the Achievement Award for Territory Management in 2012. Michael remained close friends with many of the sales staff to the end.
Michael was a faithful communicant of St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Moultrie where he served in several capacities, including terms on the Vestry, Acolyte, and greeter. Many in the congregation of St. Mark’s became his close and beloved friends.
Michael is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Betty Nowlin Carithers, son Michael Tad Carithers (Carin) of Alexandria VA, daughter Caroline Ellis Hudson Cockrell (Dale) of Jacksonville, AL, sisters Claudia Dell Carithers Hauberg (Robert) of Jackson MS, and Martha Jane Carithers (Cheryl) of Progreso, Yucatan. Also surviving him are his nephews Patrick Reese O’Keefe (Chuck) of Memphis, TN, and Michael Carithers O’Keefe (Nini) of Nashville, TN; his grandchildren Daniel Reese Carithers, Claudia Jane Carithers, Abigail Reese Cockrell, Emma Katherine Cockrell, and Lily Anne Cockrell, who will all sorely miss their “Big Daddy.” He also leaves behind his beloved cat Naomi.
Due to the current restrictions, a private family service will be held with a Memorial Service later. Memorials may be made to St. Marks Anglican Church, Moultrie GA or the Moultrie Colquitt County Humane Society.
Rest in peace dear Michael – son, husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather and friend. You were a good and faithful servant of your fellow man and of our Lord and Savior.