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Woman’s Positive Influence Lives on After Explosion, Daughter Says

Brittany Petty, daughter of the late Cynthia Hughey, looks at the rubble Monday morning as she discusses her mom’s many positive qualities. (Photos by Josh Mitchell/Corinth Today)

By Josh Mitchell

Corinth Today News Editor

Among the rubble from the explosion, sits a bright-colored sign with no damage, and it says, “This is the day the Lord God has made. Psalm 118:24.”

Two or three Bibles were also found without damage.

Cynthia Hughey’s mobile home in the Biggersville area exploded Friday night, but the positive influence she had on the world lives on.

Her daughter, Brittany Petty, 23, was in El Paso, Texas, traveling with her husband, who is a truck driver, when she got word of the tragedy.

“I had just talked to her 30 minutes before, and she was fine,” said Petty on Monday morning as she stood near the explosion scene, which was under investigation by the state fire marshal’s office.

Petty’s aunt had called her and said the mobile home had blown up. She and her husband turned around from Texas and made the trip back home.

Petty’s mom raised her as a single parent and cooked breakfast for her every morning.

“I never wanted for anything,” said Petty. “She was my whole world.”

Hughey woke up each day at about 4 a.m. and read the Bible every morning. She was a “very Christian woman” and attended church at Oak Grove C.M.E. across the street. She would stop to check on her mom, who lives next door, before work each morning.

Hughey had lived in the Oak Grove community of Alcorn County her whole life, but she loved to travel. She would drive to Cincinnati and Detroit to visit family and did not like sitting around the house.

Going to yard sales to buy clothes and purses was one of her pastimes. And she was always looking for items she could buy other people since she was such a kind person.

She would purchase clothes for children in the community, and she was so well known around the area that kids would run up to give her a hug. The children at Biggersville school where she worked as an assistant manager in the cafeteria loved her.

Hughey loved Luther Vandross music, and her favorite color was purple. Family was a very important part of Hughey’s life, and she was always taking pictures with her iPad at family gatherings.

She was a reliable person who kept the family together and people depended on her. She was like a mother to some people who were not her children. Hughey ran track and played basketball at Biggersville in her school days.

Hughey was a hard worker, and she was employed at the cafeteria at the former Rienzi school before going to Biggersville. She also worked at the Parker Hannifin plant in Booneville for 20-plus years before it closed.

Not only is Hughey’s mom, Irene Pruitt, having to deal with the sudden, tragic loss of her daughter, but her house next door also sustained serious damage with broken windows and heavily damaged walls.

But Hughey’s mom said the family is close and the Lord is with them.

This sign with a Bible verse was found undamaged after the blast.
Brittany Petty looks through photos left after the explosion.
Brittany Petty and her mom, the late Cynthia Hughey.


  1. Faye odle Faye odle December 31, 2018

    God bless the family. And friends. She was a great brother worker in rienzi when she did.

  2. Lillie Lillie December 31, 2018

    Our prayers are with the family

  3. Sherry Gillmore Sherry Gillmore December 31, 2018

    Praying for her Family and friends and all who love and care about her.

  4. Jamie Latham Jamie Latham January 6, 2019

    Prayers for this entire family!

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