Obituary – Ellen Denise Norris

Ellen Denise Norris, affectionately called “Beasley”, was the second child born to James C. Cork and Jo Ellen “Norris” Cork on March 12, 1974.

Her early years of education began in the public schools of Choctaw County. During her years as a student in Ackerman High School, she was part of the cheerleader team, student government, honor society, and other school activities, excelling in everything she participated in. After graduating from high school, she furthered her education at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., where she received her BA, MBA in Accounting and later became a Certified Public Accountant. Ellen was a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

At an early age, she united with Red Hill Missionary Baptist Church of Eupora, Miss. where she was taught biblical principles and came to know about salvation. After relocating to Memphis, she later joined and rededicated her life to Christ at The Life Church of Memphis under the leadership of Pastor John Siebeling. Ellen was employed at Baptist College of Health Sciences as a Director of Finance for the past several years.

Ellen transitioned from this life on Monday, March 24, 2014, when the angel of time met with the angel of eternity and ushered her from labor to reward from Baptist East Hospital, Memphis, Tenn., surrounded by her loved ones. She will be remembered as a vibrant woman of courage, a fighter, classy, having a radiant smile and possessing great strength.

She leaves to cherish her memories and celebrate her life: her parents, James C. Cork and Jo Ellen Cork; the highlight of her life and pet “Emmie” Norris; two devoted sisters: Daphne Ann Norris and Merlisa Rochelle Scott (Damon L. Scott, Sr.); four brothers: Derrick Beckom (Vickie A. Beckom), Tony Gaston, Robert D. Cork, James L. Cork; three nieces: Latyana Beckom, Mariah Beckom, Abbygail Gaston; three nephews: D’Onte Cork, Derrick Beckom, Jr., Lejamielle Beckom; a host of uncles, aunts, cousins, family and friends.

Ellen was preceded in death by her grandparents: Robert O. and Susie Cork, and Fred W. and Dollie M. Norris.

A memorial service was held March 29, 2014, at the Choctaw County Community Center at 2:00 p.m. with Apostle Pete McKinnis officiating. Pallbearers were LaMario McKinnis, Steve Triplett, Montez McKinnis, Steve Patterson, Derrick McKinley, and George Davidson. James Howard Cork, Fred Norris, Jr., William E. Norris, and Cephus Hervey served as honorary pallbearers. The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority served as flower bearers. Interment was at Red Hill Cemetery in Eupora.

Professional services were entrusted to West Memorial Funeral Home, 103 Jefferson Street, Starkville, Miss. You may sign the online memorial register by visiting