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Flags to fly at half-staff in honor of James Larry Laster

By October 18, 2023

Delta State will lower all flags to fly at half-staff on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, through sunset on Thursday, October 19, 2023, in memory of James Larry Laster, Delta State alumni who was a founding brother and charter member of the Lambda Pi Chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity.

James Larry Laster, who unconditionally loved his family, friends and Duck Hill, Miss., left us on Oct. 13, 2023, after a brief illness.

Larry was born in Greenwood, Miss., on Jan. 10, 1952, to Harris and Frances Taylor Laster, who had moved to Minter City for work in farming. They returned to their native Duck Hill soon after, and Larry attended school there for 12 years, graduating from Binford High School in 1970 with some classmates who started first grade with him. He was named Mr. Binford High School and to the Hall of Fame but was likely prouder to be part of the school’s first state championship track team in 1970. He also played baseball and basketball and attended Holmes Junior College on scholarship for both. His greatest accomplishment in high school, though, could be that he survived telling his mother, “me and Jim Morrison don’t wear underwear.” Larry loved music and The Andy Griffith Show. His large record collection (yes, including Jim Morrison and the Doors) dates to his high school days, and he enjoyed attending concerts. But, like Barney Fife, he couldn’t sing a lick. Not a lick.

Larry graduated from Delta State University with a degree in physical education. He was a founding brother and charter member of the Lambda Pi Chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and was also one of the school’s first male cheerleaders. He was well-known and easily recognized on campus by the red Afro hairstyle he sported at the time, much to the chagrin of his mama and daddy. He received special recognition from the university in 2013 after converting thousands of pictures from the women’s basketball championships of 1974, 1975 and 1976 from negatives to digital form. The photos were taken by his sister, Nannette, and are now part of the Delta State University Archives and Museum. Larry was also the family archivist, which is a polite way of saying he was a “pack rat.” Among the treasures in his collection are the paper place setting from his high school athletic banquet and an empty Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill bottle.

He began his teaching and coaching career at home at Duck Hill High School and later taught at Independence and Coldwater in Tate County before retiring. He and his wife Carol lived in Senatobia for many years before relocating to Hernando. During these years, they acquired a new “family” of fellow Ole Miss football fans who tailgated together. Until falling ill, Larry attended every home game for 30 years.

For the past 10 years in his hometown, he worked on The Annual Duck Hill Mountain Climb to give folks the chance to climb the big hill. People from all over the U.S. have hiked, along with hundreds of locals.  He was also a faithful supporter of the annual Binford School Reunion and had hoped to see the school building restored and returned to community service.

Larry was a member of Duck Hill Baptist Church for many years, and precious memories were made there. He and his family later joined First Baptist Church of Senatobia.

Family was everything to Larry, and we are heartbroken.

He is survived by his wife Carol, the love of his life. He absolutely adored his daughter Madilyn Donovan, her husband Justin and their son Maximus. Max was his pride and joy.

Also grieving this loss are his brothers, Johnny Laster and Robert Gary Laster (Susan) of Duck Hill, his sisters, Melba Rodgers (Thomas) of Duck Hill and Nannette Laster of Grenada; his Aunt Ruth and Uncle Joe Harbin of Grenada; Uncle Bob and Aunt Ann Laster of Raymond; Uncle John W. Laster of Duck Hill; and a very long line of nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws.

Larry made friends wherever he went, and many visited him in his last days. For that, we will always be grateful.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM Wednesday, October 18, 2023 at Duck Hill Baptist Church.  Interment will follow in the Laster family plot in the Mt. Pisgah Cemetery near Duck Hill.  The family will receive friends from 5:00 – 7:00 PM Tuesday evening at First Baptist Church – Senatobia and Wednesday from 12:30 PM until the hour of the service at Duck Hill Baptist Church.

Pallbearers will be Tom Campbell, Chase Lancaster, Cody Lancaster, Keith Lawrence, Jr., Austin Rodgers, Taylor Rodgers and Brandon Vance.  Honorary Pallbearers will be Greg Holmes, Tim Laster, Keith Lawrence, Sr., Jeff Moore, Keith Norris, Johnny Ray Simmons, Lance Turnage, Toby Wilson, Billy Woods as well as members of the Binford High School Class of 1970.

Memorials may be directed to Duck Hill Baptist Church Agape Missions, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Getwell Church in Hernando.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at

Arrangements have been entrusted to McKibben and Guinn Funeral Service in Grenada, Mississippi.

For additional information, please click HERE.