In Celebration of MHS Class of 1958

In Celebration of MHS Class of 1958

A Tribute and Celebration

We were the class of 1958, members of the Greatest Generation as well as children of the Greatest Generation. Born in 1940, we are also called members of the Traditional Generation.

Our childhood, post World War II, "was the best of times . . . it was the age of wisdom . . . it was the epoch of belief . . .it was the season of Light . . . it was the spring of hope . . . we had everything before us . . .we were all going direct to Heaven . . . ." (A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens.) At least, that's the way I felt about it. We were truly blessed.

- Ouida Tomlinson -

This blog is a place for 1958 graduates of Meridian, Mississippi, High School to stay in touch, post their news, items of interest and photographs.

CLASS OF 1958 MEMORIES (Click to read all posts relating to sports, honors, graduation and other memories of our class in 1957-58.)




Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Just want to share with you this photo of Japanese Magnolia blooms that son Peter took with his new camera equipment. He says that the blurred aesthetic background is called "bokeh." Have a happy spring!
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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Laura S. James, Mother of David James

JONESBORO, Ga. -- Services for Laura Swann James will be held Friday at 4:30 p.m. at the Pristine Chapel in Jonesboro, Ga.

Mrs. James, 88, of Jonesboro, formerly of Marion, Miss., died Wednesday, March. 24, 2010, in hospice care. She was born in Tunica, Miss., on Sept. 23, 1921. While in Meridian, Mrs. James served as a full-time volunteer for the American Red Cross for 20 years. She once brought several families displaced by Hurricane Camille into her home until satisfactory lodging could be obtained for them. Mrs. James was also a longtime employee of Dement Printing Company. In Marion, she was a member of the Marion Methodist Church.

Survivors include her children, David James and wife, Kathleen, of Dunwoody, Ga.; granddaughter, Mary James Strawn of Jonesboro; a son-in-law, William "Ralph" Setzer of Tulsa, Okla.; brother-in-law, Charles James and his wife, Marion, of Lancaster, Texas, and a sister-in-law, Mildred White of Phoenix, Ariz.; nine grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, William D. James, daughter, Leah James Setzer; son-in-law, Jackson B. (Jack) Strawn; her parents, Mr. Charles G. Swann and Leah H. Swann; and her brother, Raymond N. Swann.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tommy L. Ranager, Husband of Nancy Collier Ranager

Long-time Millsaps athletic coach Tommy Ranager, 68, passed away Monday, March 22, 2010 at the Brandon Court Nursing Home in Brandon. Visitation will be held today from 10am. until the 11am funeral service at Ott & Lee Funeral Home in Brandon. Graveside services are 3pm. today at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Meridian.

Born in Meridian, Mississippi on September 19, 1941, to Cecil L. Ranager and Annell Hansen, Tommy grew up in Meridian and attended Meridian public schools where he excelled in athletics.

He graduated from Mississippi State University where he was a starting offensive guard and defensive linebacker for the Bulldog football team. While at State he was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and MSU M Club.

He married Nancy Collier of Meridian and began his coaching career in Hazelhurst, Mississippi, where he coached football under Charles Calloway. His older son Cecil McKinley (Ken) was born in Hazlehurst and his younger son Thomas Clay was born soon after his move to Millsaps College.

In 1964 Tommy began a long, successful, happy career at Millsaps. For 25 years Tommy served as Coach Harper Davis' only assistant. Together they won games, broke records and touched the lives of hundreds of young men and women.

Coach Davis retired after 25 years, and Tommy became head football coach, concluding his career at Millsaps in 1996 after 32 years. His greatest joy was in knowing of the success and accomplishments of his former players and students.

During his tenure at Millsaps Coach Ranager taught health and physical education while also serving as the Majors' head baseball coach for nineteen years. He was succeeded by the current coach Jim Paige who was his former student and baseball player.

In 1975 Coach Ranager led the defensive unit to finish first in the nation in both scoring defense and total defense. In 1980 he led the defensive unit to set the Division III mark in scoring defense for a season by holding the opposition to 3.4 points per contest. In 1991 he led the football team in capturing its first Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship.

Coach Ranager was inducted into the Millsaps Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995. In 2005 he was honored when Millsaps named the field house The Tommy Ranager Field House. An academic scholarship was also established in his name.

After retirement Tommy worked for Rankin County School District Alternative School under principal Jamie McKlemurry.

Tommy treasured his friends from all areas of life. He loved the outdoors and all it had to offer. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and sharing stories about past adventures. He was a wonderful cook and could easily draw a crowd whenever he fired up the grill or got out his gumbo pot -- the longer it took, the better! He delighted in friends and family especially his six grandchildren.

He was a life-long Baptist and a charter member of Brandon Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by both parents. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Nancy Collier Ranager and his sons, Ken Ranager (Tana), Clay Ranager (Heather) and grandchildren Thomas Collier Ranager, Catherine McKinley Ranager, Cecil Hudson Ranager, Laura Preston Ranager, Mary Cecille Ranager and Jane Marie Ranager.

Other survivors include much loved stepmother, Helen Ranager; brothers, George Ranager (Beth) of Meridian, Ab Demoran and Louis Demoran of D'Iberville; and sisters, Cecilia Ranager Jackson of Meridian and Kandie Taylor (David) and Mary Scott of D'Iberville, Mississippi.

Memorials may be directed to Millsaps College for the Tommy Ranager Field House, Millsaps College Tommy Ranager Academic Scholarship or Brandon Baptist Church Building Fund.

The memory of a just man is a blessing." Proverb

Source: The Clarion Ledger

WHEEL FOR LILITH goes to Gadsden Cultural Arts

Here are pics from last week when Director Bobby Welch of Gadsden Cultural Arts picked up my donated sculpture for the trip to Gadsden. The sculpture is in honor of the Bird-Woman Goddess Lilith, who was maligned when the goddess religions were crushed. I want to give Lilith her due, as she represents all strong women. The birds are soul symbols on the wheel of life. It can be interpreted in many ways, but these were my thoughts when creating it. WFL has original cast iron and cast bronze parts, which I cast at Sloss Furnace in B'ham. During the period when I was making found-object sculpture and frequenting junk yards, I was having the most fun of my art career. Currently I am painting on shaped, 3D canvases.
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Tommy Ranager

We are sorry to learn that Tommy passed away this morning and ask your prayers for Nancy, their children and grandchildren during this time of sorrow.

I recall Nancy's writing for the class reunion booklet and ask the Good God to bless and comfort her during this time. Nancy wrote:

"This is what I had planned to write: Fifty years, one husband, two sons, six grandchildren, a career in education, and many happy memories with very few bumps in the road, built on the foundation of friendships and adventures of growing up with all of you;………..

"BUT, then we hit the really big bump in the road this summer. My husband, Tommy, (Class of ‘59) had a debilitating stroke. That, coupled with other health problems, has changed both of our lives forever. In 2005, Millsaps College, where Tommy taught and coached for 32 years, honored him by naming the field house the Tommy Ranager Field House. We were humbled by this lovely honor and very grateful."

Funeral Plans

Ott & Lee Funeral Home in Brandon (1360 West Government Street, Brandon 39042; phone 601-824-6018) are in charge of Tommy's funeral. Visitation is Tuesday March 23, 5 - 8 p.m. The funeral is at 11 a.m. March 24, with visitation one hour prior to the service. We understand that Nancy's church will be serving lunch to the family after the funeral, and then they will go to Meridian after lunch for the burial which will be at 3 p.m., Forest Lawn Cemetery on Hwy. 39 North.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Backaches, Heartbreak, and Hope in Mississippi : The Humane Society of the United States

Backaches, Heartbreak, and Hope in Mississippi : The Humane Society of the United States

PRESTON, Miss. — The Humane Society of the United States and the Mississippi Animal Rescue League assisted the Kemper County Sheriff's Department in the seizure of 165 dogs and cats who were found living in deplorable conditions in Preston, Miss. The animals were removed from Raven's Hope, a non-profit organization that claims to offer animals for adoption. The seizure is the largest known animal rescue in Kemper County. . . .

MERIDIAN — Raven's Hope Animal Sanctuary in Kemper County garnered statewide attention early last week as more than 150 dogs were taken from a labyrinth of outdoor cages surrounding an otherwise unassuming house. . . . "We found seven dogs deceased already when we arrived," said Jordan Crump, a spokesperson for the Humane Society of the United States. "There were an untold amount of skeletal remains all over the property." The remains were presumably of dogs, she said. "I've been on about 30 rescue missions," Crump said. "This is probably the worst I've seen. . . . (Read more here.)

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Seven Up Candy Bar

Okay folks, this goes WAY back. Does anyone remember this candy bar? It was my favorite. I remember when the price rose to 7 cents and then 10 cents. It was like a box of Russell Stover's or Whitman's in a candy bar. I would pay $5.00 for one of these today if they were available. I seem to remember them being sold at the Paragon Book Store. They sold all sorts of wonderful items there.

The Seven Up bar itself consisted of seven separated, filled sections connected by an outer chocolate shell. The shell was real milk chocolate, a bit thick on the edges, but thinner over the fillings, and had a good snap to it if bitten, and a smooth melt if left upon your tongue. The seven fillings were: Orange Jelly, Maple, Caramel, Brazil Nut, Fudge, Coconut, and Cherry; each was so distinct and different that no two bites were remotely alike. I loved the Seven Up bar for that reason especially, and, too, both the chocolate and the candy centers were really, really good.

I sent this to quite a few via e-mail and had some replies from those who remember this lost treasure.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Fay Shepard Walker