Sidney was a 1952 graduate of Hayti High School and went to the University of Mississippi, where he was inducted as a Knight of the Alpha Order and graduated with honors in 1956. At Ole Miss, he was a member of the Army R.O.T.C., and following graduation, was stationed at Fort Knox, Ky., in active service, achieving the rank of Second Lieutenant. He completed his education at the University of Missouri School of Law, graduating with honors in 1959.
Sidney and Barbara Ruth Smith Chaffin were married in July 21, 1957, in Oxford, Miss., and celebrated their golden 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends in 2007.
Following private law practice at Vickery & Chaffin in Caruthersville, Sidney spent 42 years in public service, serving two terms as prosecuting attorney of Pemiscot County, Mo., from 1960-1966 until his appointment as probate judge in 1966. Sidney served on the judicial bench as probate, magistrate and associate circuit judge of the 34th Judicial Circuit until his retirement in 2002, at which time he was the longest serving active judge in the state. Although an elected position, Sidney never had an opponent, which is a testament to the high regard and esteem in which he was held by the bench, bar and public. Although retried, Sidney continued to preside over cases by designation.
Sidney was an avid fisherman, fan of Ole Miss football and St. Louis Cardinal Baseball and a car enthusiast. He was a member of Eastwood Memorial United Methodist Church. He was a generous and a devoted family man who doted on his children, Julie Eileen Chaffin and Sherry Chaffin White, and especially his grandchildren, Schley Houston White and Alexandra Eileen White.
He is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren, son-in-law, James Kevin White; two aunts, Mary Oates and Edna Posey Chaffin and many, many friends. He also left behind his ever faithful Scottish Terrier, Hard Times.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, June 25, 2008, in the John W. German Funeral Home Chapel in Hayti, Mo., with Mr. Ed Reeves officiating.
Burial with military honors was in the Woodlawn Cemetery at Hayti.
Pallbearers were Roye Richardson, Schley White, Tommy Greenwell, Jim DeReign, Mike Hazel and Jim Stewart.
Honorary pallbearers were Jim Ed Reeves, Ronnie Sims and Keith Currie.
John W. German Funeral Home of Hayti was in charge of arrangements.