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.)




Sunday, December 23, 2012

May the Blessings of Christmas Be Yours

Song of the Angels 
Painted by William Bouguereau in 1881.
 Love & Prayers
for you and your family,

Merry Christmas

Payton Harwell and Santa
Meridian, MS

Happy Hanukkah

Hanukkah Facts for Children.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Painting chosen for "Bound," an Exhibition at Phoenix Gallery, NYC

"Corinthian White," shaped acrylic canvas on board, was chosen for the show "Bound" at Phoenix Gallery (210 11th Ave. at 25th St.)  in NYC by Cora Rosevear, Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MOMA.  The exhibition  runs from January 30 to February 23, with the opening reception on February 16, 6-9.  The covered objects evoke a mystery and suggestion of something hidden.  I am dealing with the questions "What is a painting?" and "How can I use paint in a minimal way, but with expression?"

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Look who I found on FaceBook!

Maxine Strickland & Turk
 Ouida Tomlinson

45 Lessons in Life

Sunday, November 18, 2012

In Memory of Bettie Lou White Ross

Bettie Lou White Ross
January 13, 1940 - December 28, 2011
We have just learned that one of our classmates, Bettie Lou White Ross, passed away on December 28, 2011.  Her obituary is below:
Bettie Lou White Ross, 71, died Wednesday December 28, 2011 at Hospice Ministries. Funeral services will be held at 12:00 noon Saturday December 31, 2011 from the chapel of Wright & Ferguson Funeral Home Ridgeland, MS. Visitation will be Saturday from 10:00am till 12:00noon. Burial will be in Lakewood Memorial Park.

Mrs. Ross was a native of Meridian, MS., where she graduated from Meridian High School with honors. She graduated from Gilfoy School of Nursing 1961 with honors and William Carrey College with a BS Degree; she was a Registered nurse for over 40 years. A member of First Baptist Church Jackson.

With her husband, they founded our Town for Youth at Brookhaven, MS (now known as Dickerson Place-Baptist Children's Village). A volunteer at Hospice Ministries, she provided over 50 years of dedicated people care including nursing at Kings Daughters Hospital, Brookhaven,MS, VA Medical Center, Jackson, MS and Miss Baptist Medical Center, Jackson.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert L. White and Katherine Reed White, and an Uncle, James White.

Survivors include her husband Thomas "Tommy" Lee Ross, son, Thomas "Tom" lee Ross Jr., Star, MS., daughter, Rebecca Ross Camp and husband Ronald of Calhoun, LA., son, Robert Timothy "Tim" Ross of Jackson, seven grandchildren, Trey, Sarah, and Grace Ann Ross, Katherine, Patrick, Rachael and John Ross Camp.

Memorials may be made to Bettie W. Ross Nursing Scholarship Fund, c/o Mississippi College Nursing School, Clinton, MS.

O God our Father, Creator of all the living,

we entrust to Your gentle care

all those we love who have gone before us;

and have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again. . . .

Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord,

and let perpetual light shine upon them.

May the souls of the faithful departed

through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Beautiful Daughter of Peggy Edwards

Lillian Barber

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Services for Annie Mitchell Abraham will be held Wednesday, at 11 a.m., at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Meridian, with The Rev. Brian Ponder officiating. Burial will be in Magnolia Cemetery with Robert Barham Family Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Abraham, 97, of Meridian, passed away quietly in her sleep on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, at Fisher House Personal Care Home. Mrs. Abraham was a hardworking, unselfish, loving person who welcomed everyone to her table. She is best remembered as a caterer. She founded and operated Annie Abraham Catering until she was 81.

Survivors include her sons: Dr. Woodie Abraham Jr. and his wife Helen of Meridian, and Dr. Ralph Abraham and his wife Mary of Hattiesburg; grandchildren: Debbie Pipes and her husband Derrick of West Monroe, La., Beverly Montgomery and her husband Jim of Memphis, Tenn., Cynthia Sanders and her husband Mark of Argyle, Texas, Susanna Mullen of Rome, Ga., Ralph Abraham Jr. and his wife Carla of Hattiesburg, and Jennifer Abraham of Los Angeles, Calif.; sister, Louise Seide of West Palm Beach, Fla.; 12 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and, numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Woodie Abraham Sr.; parents, Mr. and Mrs. E.J. Mitchell Sr.; and, siblings: George Mitchell (Nebbie), John Mitchell (Mann), E.J. Mitchell Jr. (Bilbo), Effie Nosser, Marie White and Rosie Mitchell.

The family would like to give special thanks to her wonderful caregivers: Felicia Marshall, Gwen Marshall, Evelyn McClelland and the staff at Fisher House.

Memorials may be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1116 23rd Ave., Meridian, MS. Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at Visitation will be Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., in the Parish Hall at the church.

(Source:  The Meridian Star)


O God our Father, Creator of all the living,

we entrust to Your gentle care

all those we love who have gone before us;

and have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again. . . .

Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord,

and let perpetual light shine upon them.

May the souls of the faithful departed

through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Funeral services will be held today [October 3, 2012] at 11 a.m. at First Christian Church, with Dr. Tom Sikes, the Rev. Lea McCracken and Dr. Raymon Leake officiating. Burial will be in Magnolia Cemetery with Robert Barham Family Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Shank, 89, of Meridian died Monday, October 1, 2012, at his residence. He was born February 10, 1923 in Meridian, Mississippi. He was a graduate of Meridian Public Schools and was Salutatorian of his high school graduating class of 1941. While in high school he served on the Wildcat paper staff. He was also managing editor of the Mississippi State newspaper, The Reflector.

He attended Meridian Junior College in 1942 and received his B.S. Degree from Mississippi State University in 1946. He later obtained his Masters Degree in History from Mississippi State University in 1961. He went on to further his education by studying Adult Education from Mississippi State University, Mississippi Southern and University of South Carolina.

After his first graduation from Mississippi State, he was a school administrator of Trades Training Institute, a branch of Mississippi State, in Prairie, Mississippi from 1947 until 1952. When the trade school closed Mr. Shank returned to Meridian to help his father, Kline Shank, a builder and craftsman, with his woodworking and refinishing business.

Jack taught history and social studies at Meridian High School from 1956 until 1962. He also did part-time work in Adult Education at Meridian Junior College. Mr. Shank retired in 1986 as Dean of Continuing Education and was honored for his Distinguished Service to Meridian Community College (MJC) from 1956 through 1986 from Alumni and friends. Under his leadership, he organized many credited and non-credited classes for vocational and academic students. He received an award from the Mississippi Adult Education Association for the year of 1974 through 1975. The Meridian Junior College Alumni Association recognized Shank for being the Outstanding Alumnus of the year for 1978.

Frank Charles Winstead of Magnolia, Texas established the Jack Shank History Scholarship at Meridian Community College in his honor. Shank was the sponsor of the Camera Club of which Winstead was a member at Meridian High School. Winstead said, “Mr. Shank looked beyond the wall of his classroom to impact the total school program. He worked to teach me the craft of photography. In order to pursue my first love, teaching, I had to find a second job to supplement my income. The seven years I worked as a classroom teacher, I made my living from a camera bag.”

On February 2, 2009, he was recognized for his induction into the MCC Hall of Fame. Each year an outstanding MCC history or social studies student is chose to serve as the Shank Scholar. At the present time, the scholarship amounts to $1000.00 yearly.

Mr. Shank was a weekly columnist for The Meridian Star in 1984. He published Volumes I, II, and III and revised Volume I “Meridian - The Queen with a Past.” He also, published “I Wrote My Way Out of a Foxhole.”

In 1979, the Meridian Exchange Club presented him with the Book of Golden Deeds Award for outstanding dedicated service. He was also recognized for Outstanding Leadership and Service from Mississippi Junior College Continuing Education Association I 1986.

Mr. Shank has been a member of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi F. & A. M., Walter W. Kimmel Lodge #32, Aberdeen, Mississippi since 1951 and received special recognition in 2201 for fifty years of continued service.

Mr. Shank served in the United States Army for three years. He was a Technician, and served in the Headquarters 84th Infantry in World War II. He served in the battles of Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe and later became a war correspondent. Little did he know that one day he would be called from the wet trenches to be a war correspondent for Uncle Sam.

The congregation of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) recognized Mr. Shank in 1980 in appreciation for his devoted service to Christian Education. He taught the Bethany School Class for many years. Jack was an Elder of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), long time member of Meridian Exchange Club, member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, life time member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, member of Veterans of Foreign Wars. He served many years on Meridian’s Preservation Commission.

Mr. Shank leaves his wife of sixty-five years, Dorothy Donald Shank; daughter, Jacquelyn S. Longmeier and her husband Michael of Meridian; son, Gilbert K. Shank of New Orleans, LA; and granddaughter, Meagan E. Scott of Poplarville, MS.

He was preceded in death by his parents Maude E. Shamburger Shank and G.K. Shank, Sr.

Pallbearers will be: Scott Morgan, David Gilmore, Charles Downey, Bill Drinkwater, Joe Johnson and Pete Willis. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Meridian Exchange Club.

The family requests memorials be made to First Christian Church, The Jack Shank History Scholarship at Meridian Community College or a charity of one’s choice.

Friends and family may sign the online guest book at

SOURCE:  Barham Funeral Home


O God our Father, Creator of all the living,

we entrust to Your gentle care

all those we love who have gone before us;

and have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again. . . .

Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord,

and let perpetual light shine upon them.

May the souls of the faithful departed

through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Best of Times


Friday, August 24, 2012

"Contemporary Women Artists," St. Louis Univ. Museum of Art

I am very pleased to have a painting in this international exhibition.

Women' s Caucus for Art
St. Louis Chapter
Celebrating the 40th anniversary
of the
Women's Caucus for Art
Contemporary Women Artists XVI - Longevity
features work in a variety of media
from women artists from around the globe,
as chosen by acclaimed sculptor Beverly Buchanan.
Opening reception
 5:00-9:00pm Friday August 24
St. Louis University Museum of Art
3663 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis MO 63108
Museum hours 11:00am-4:00pm
Womens Caucus for Art- St. Louis

In the gallery:

DJ Berard, Grace Benedict, Marie Bergstedt, Suzanne Beutler, Tracy Brown, Kacey Cowdery, Janet Culbertson, Mary Lou Dauray, Barbara Decker, Virginia Dragschutz , Anne Dushanko Dobek, Alicia Eggert, Clairan Ferrono, Amy Firestone Rosen, Marcia Freedman, Katherine Freeman, Christine Giancola, Barb Holmes, Karen Hyams, Claire Hyman, Christine Ilewski, Sue Katz, Dyann Kramer, Beth LaKamp, Helena M. Langley, Martha Markline Hopkins, Mary Mello-Nee, Barbara Melnik Carson, Carol Morris, Janice Nesser, Sarah Nguyen, Gabrielle Pescador, Roxanne Phillips and Pat Owoc, Jane Reed, Judith Repke, Evie Shucart, Patricia Terrell O'Neal, Teresa Wang, Charlotte Riley-Webb, Naomi Runtz, Jeane Vogel, Jennifer Weigel, Chelsey Wood, Kathleen Yorba, Patricia Zalisko
In the catalog only:
Donna Birdwell, Linda Friedman Schmidt, Elena Horowitz Brookes, Pattie Porter Firestone, Jamy Kahn, Casey Lowry, Lorraine Peltz, Sandra Perlow, Erica Popp, Manda Remmen, Jane Rieso, Sally Ruddy, Andrea Vadner, Gail Vollrath, Nava Waxman 

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Story of a Different Kind by Maxine

Plan B

The month of August 2012 has been a lifetime for me. Up until this month, I have had a few bumps in the road, hit a few dead ends and even drove off the road a few times, but I have always managed to get back on the right path and make the best of things. The first of this month, I found a small lump in my right breast, and told my doctor about it. He ordered several tests including a biopsy. It came back "suspicious abnormality," so he did a lumpectomy. That revealed he didn't get it all, because it had tripled in size very quickly. He did a nuclear dye test on me and discovered it had advanced to stage 3 because it had gotten into my lymph glands and "took off." On the 7th of this month, August, I had a mastectomy with drainage tubes for 8 days. This is where plan A changes.

I had the tubes removed on Wednesday, August 15th. Everything seemed to be on schedule. For some strange reason, I told Bill that if I ever woke him up in the middle of the night and could only say "HOSPITAL" I would need him to move FAST. He asked me why I would even be thinking of something like that. I told him, I didn't know, it just came to me to say that to him!

Thursday night I ate supper early, so at 9:00 I ate a small helping of applesauce to take my final pills with and went to bed. At 1:30 I woke up and went to the bathroom to tinkle, and everything was as normal as could be. I went back to bed and to sleep. At 5:15, I woke up with my tongue tingling. I got up and looked in the mirror, and it was twice as big as it was supposed to be. I went back to the bedroom, turned on the overhead light and tried to speak, but all I could say was "HOSPITAL!" It was more like HA-PIT-AL! Bill jumped up and we left for the hospital, 3 miles away.

I grabbed a pencil and a piece of paper and started writing my name, what I had eaten last, and the date of my surgery. We went to the emergency entrance, and I handed them this paper. My tongue was so big I couldn't get it back into my mouth. I couldn't speak, spit, or swallow. I was drooling slick slime into a red solo cup.

They went to work on me and started to put a tube into my throat, but I finally got through to them that I COULD BREATHE through my nose at this point. My eyes must have been as big as my tongue! I was hooked up to several pieces of hospital equipment to run tests. I could only grunt yes and no!

They were convinced I had eaten something about 4:00 or had gone outside and was bitten by something. NO! I didn't! NO!

An Internist, medical investigator came in to go over me from head to toe and check every square inch of my body. He didn't even smile while he was going over me. Now I'll admit, I was NOT a pretty sight laying there with a tongue hanging out of my mouth, missing a boob, still black and blue from the surgery, and I had intended to shave my legs that morning, but he could have at least smiled at me, don't you think?

He was looking for an insect bite somewhere. He even took off my socks and looked between my toes. Nothing was left untouched. I deserved a smile!!

After several IV's and injections, and about 4 hours, my tongue went down, and I could talk. They kept me overnight to observe me, and the diagnosis was IDIOPATHIC ANGIOEDEMA! So for someone who doesn't know what that means, it stands for "THEY DON'T KNOW". It was just severe swelling for some idiotic reason. It scared the bejeepers out of us.

So now I'm attempting to follow Plan C and see if that is a better path.

I am doing great again this morning. I always manage to bounce back quickly after an ordeal, and I am in good spirits again. I will start chemo next week. Things might change again, but for now I am fine. Just had a different kind of story to write about. No snakes were involved.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Links to MHS Class Websites

MHS Class of ‘54 Reverie photos

MHS Class of ‘54 various reunions

MHS Class of ‘57 Reverie photos

MHS Class of ‘58 blog

MHS Class of ‘58 Reverie photos

MHS Class of ‘59 Reverie photos

MHS Class of ‘60 blog

MHS Class of ‘60 Reverie photos and reunions

MHS Class of ‘61 blog and photos

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Frances Weinstein Davidson, Mother of Marty Davidson

A Graveside service for Frances Weinstein Davidson will be held Sunday, July 22, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at Beth Israel Orthodox Jewish Cemetery with Rabbi David Goldstein officiating. Robert Barham Family Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Davidson, age 90, of Houston, TX, died Wednesday, July 18, 2012 in Houston, TX. Survivors include her son, Marty Davidson and wife, Linda of Meridian; daughter, Maureen Wittels and husband, Ellison of Houston, TX; grandchildren, Jay Davidson and wife, Sheryl of Meridian, MS, Melanie Newman and husband, Lou of Jackson, MS, Harris Wittels of Los Angeles, CA, and Stephanie Wittels of Houston, TX; great-grandchildren, Jake Davidson of Meridian, MS, Wyatt Davidson of Meridian, MS, and Sloan Bancroft of Jackson, MS; sisters, Doris Rosen and husband, Howard of New Orleans, LA, and Ann Zitler of New Orleans, LA; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Meyer Davidson; and daughter, Marsha Davidson.

The family request memorials be sent to Congregation Beth Israel P.O. Box 3456 Meridian, MS 39303 or the Frances Davidson Scholarship Fund /Jewish Children’s Regional Service P.O. Box 7368, Metairie, LA 70010-7368.

God full of mercy who dwells on high

Grant perfect rest on the wings of Your Divine Presence

among the holy and the pure

who shine in the brightness of the firmament

to the soul of Frances Weinstein Davidson

who has gone to her eternal rest

as all her family and friends

pray for the elevation of her soul.

Her resting place shall be in the Garden of Eden.

Therefore, the Master of mercy will care for her

under the protection of His wings for all time

And bind her soul in the bond of everlasting life.

God is her inheritance and she will rest in peace

and let us say Amen.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

FaceBook Pages on Meridian

Remember When In Meridian, MS

Meridian, MS - The Way We Remember It!

If you are on FaceBook, click the links above to visit fun pages and reminisce.

Poor and Rich Friends

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hey all,
We should get this blog going again.  We're only one year away from our 55th reunion.  We really don't need to wait for the 60th.   No reason to be fancy.  We've been there, done that and enjoyed it immensely.  It's the visiting with classmates that is important.  How about some input and ideas.  I could keep going like the EverReady Bunny as I can't find my way out of here!!!!!!!!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

510 University Avenue

This was the home for my family in 1946 in Oxford, MS.  510 University Avenue.  It is for sale now for $640,000.00.  I cannot believe it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


 Fearless: The Heroic Story of One Navy SEAL's Sacrifice in the Hunt for Osama Bin Laden and the Unwavering Devotion of the Woman Who Loved Him

Fearless The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown.  I finished reading this book tonight, weeping profusely during the last couple of chapters, although I already knew what was going to happen.  As soon as I finished, I drove to my church, Annunciation Catholic Church.  I had a great need to be physically as close to God as I could be and, for me, that meant the adoration chapel at my church where I stayed for almost 2 hours, praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, crying and reading the Epilogue to the book. 

In the Epilogue, I read about two other important events which followed the death of Adam Brown of SEAL Team SIX on March 17, 2010.  SEAL Team SIX is the team which took out Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011, and this was the team which lost so many members in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011, when a grenade struck their helicopter.  Killed that day were 30 U. S. forces and seven Afghan soldiers, including seven of the ten men interviewed by the author of Fearless.  These seven were from SEAL Team SIX and were friends of Adam Brown.

Tomorrow I shall begin reading this book again.  I rarely reread a book, but rarely is a book a life changer for me.  This one is.  I cannot begin to explain.  It is too soon.  I just know I am not the same person tonight as I was when I first opened Fearless and began to learn about Adam Brown, this great warrior who was FEARLESS, this Christian man of deep faith and this kind and gentle husband, father, son and brother.

As you might guess, I do recommend this book to you and hope you will read soon.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Tribute to Adam Brown

For you, Adam. Added Wednesday, June 6, 2012.  The body of Chief Petty Officer Adam Brown returned home to Hot Springs, Arkansas, after being killed in combat in Afghanistan.

Friday, June 1, 2012

We Didn't Start The Fire

To watch this video in full quality, sound and video, go to this link:

Thanks to Peggy Edwards for sending.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Weight of the Nation

If you missed watching this documentary on HBO TV, here is the first segment. All four segments may be watched online here:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Memories of Special Moms in Our Class on Mother's Day

Rita Tillman with her son, Jim

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Come And Toot Your Horn - One More Time

April 27, 2012

Come and toot your horn — one more time

By Anne McKee / guest columnist

The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Yes, the Meridian High School Band Reunion is planned for Thursday, May 3, 6:30 PM, Briarwood Country Club. The reunion is primarily for band members during the years of the 1950s and 1960s that were under the direction of band directors Lane, Jenks and Pacetti and assistant band directors, Dowdy and Wendling.

Come and toot your horn one more time!

In 1959, under the direction of E. L. Pacetti, Meridian High School Band was named Mississippi’s Greatest Show Band primarily due to the precision maneuvers introduced by Director Pacetti. Meridian High School Band was a Double AA Band, a great distinction. During the 50s/60s, the band was always the last to perform during the Mississippi State Band Contest in Jackson and the stands would fill with band directors from around the state to witness and appreciate the greatest show band in the state at the time. Over one hundred band members filled three Greyhound Charter Buses that motored to all out of town football games in addition to state competitions.

The first year Director Pacetti took MHS Band to State Competition; the band marched on to the field and formed in the end zone as usual, but there was nothing usual about the remaining show. The fanfare that introduced the band was the March of the Gladiators from the movie, Ben Hur– thus began the double half steps, turn-round’s, and diamond formations that brought the stands to their feet. They remained on their feet during the entire show; such was the amazement and appreciation by the attendees of a high school band that performed intricate maneuvers on the level of a college band – never seen before during the Mississippi High School Band Competition.

May 1960 found Meridian High School Band in Enid, Oklahoma as part of the Tri-State Band Festival. This was a competition of 115 high school bands. Meridian High School Band placed Number One in Marching Parade and Number Two in Concert. These were the glory days of Meridian High School Band!

These accomplishments represented many hard years of work, hard years of building a band to perform smoothly and competently on the field and in concert. Band Directors, Lane, Jenks, and Pacetti, each contributed a vital part that brought Meridian High School Band to the top of its game.

George Shannon from WTOK TV announced local football games and band presentations. It was Mr. Shannon that first suggested the nickname – Greatest Band in All the Land. And indeed it was!

Who can forget the “M” formation while the Wildcat Fight Song was played at the end of each half time show? Or, I’m a Little Tea Pot Short and Stout – when the band formed an outline of a tea pot and the stanza played, Tip me over and pour me out, mysteriously smoke poured forth from the spout (accomplished by a band member with a C0-2 fire extinguisher). Talk about an attention-grabber!

During the 1959-1960 school terms, several Meridian High School Band members formed The Continental’s. They featured big band music reminiscent of the Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, and Glen Miller swing style. This group was formed because of their love of the big band era music which was not popular with the young set at that time. They found themselves in demand for local engagements – locations such as the Knights of Columbus Hall, the Old Officers Club, Key Field, and Temple Theatre Ballroom plus other area venues including East Mississippi/West Alabama. In 1961, the band won the Distributive Education Talent Show – what excitement for twelve young instrumentalists.

Band Boosters – the driving force of any high school band. It was this group of enthusiastic supporters that helped to accomplish funds needed for the Enid OK trip in 1960. One of the most dedicated of this group was Mrs. Lena Scalco.

Any Meridian happening of distinction found Meridian High School Band as a participant. One of the best remembered was in May 1955, the band was on hand for the Third Annual Jimmie Rodgers Parade that featured Elvis and Hank Snow.

Today old photos of Meridian High School Band during the 1950s and 60s can be found around town in local restaurants and department stores, but none of these catch the spirit and excitement of the time. It was a time of dedication – marching, marching, marching. It was a time of accomplishment – Mississippi’s Greatest High School Show Band! It was a time of declaration – We are the Meridian High School Wildcat Band! It was a time of comradely and preparation – concerts, field maneuvers, student conductors, sight reading. It was a time of great fun, hard work, and pride of those things accomplished – all in the name of The Meridian High School Band.

So, all of you Wildcat Band members, come out and toot your horn one more time!

What: Meridian High School Band Reunion – 1950s and 60s

When: Thursday, May 3 at 6:30 PM

Where: Briarwood Country Club

For more info: Noel Evans, 601-485-9729


Friday, April 20, 2012

Rosalie Leigh Lovett Coats (Mother of Tommy Coats)

Rosalie Leigh Lovett Coats
January 20, 1920 - April 10, 2012
Services for Rosalie Leigh Lovett Coats will be held Saturday [April 14, 2012], at 10 a.m., at Webb Chapel with Pastor Jack White and Father Frank Cosgrove officiating. Burial will be in Magnolia Cemetery with James F. Webb Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Coats, 92, of Meridian, went to be face to face with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, at Poplar Springs Nursing Center. She was a lifelong member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Mrs. Coats attended St. Aloysius School and Meridian High School. She and her husband were active members of the Utopian Club, where they enjoyed dancing and traveling, First Nighters of the MLT, and members of the Northwood Country Club. She was an avid bridge player. She worked with her husband in their business, Coats and Coats Personnel Consultants, where she helped many people find good jobs. Mrs. Coats was also a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Descendants of the American Revolution. Our heartfelt thanks and prayers are extended to the Management and staff of Poplar Springs Nursing Center for their love and care for Mrs. Coats.

She is survived by her son, David Lewis Coats and his children: Sherry, Denise, David, Kim and Gene; son, G.C.”Tom” Coats III, his wife Genie and their children: Elizabeth Leigh, Graham, Ninette and Lela; 20 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; and was a gracious and loving “Mamaw” to all.

She was preceded in death by her husband, G.C. “Jiggs” Coats Jr.; her father, James Lovett; mother, Aileen Lovett Morton; sister, Elizabeth Blanchard; and her aunt, Ninetta Park.

Pallbearers will be Bubba Buchanan, Stu Bosarge, Wendell Cook, Jere Skelton, Richard Gough, Ronny Pfeifer and Jimmy Hoffer.

Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at

Visitation will be today, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the funeral home.

SOURCE:  James F. Webb Funeral Home

O God our Father, Creator of all the living,
we entrust to Your gentle care
all those we love who have gone before us;
and have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again. . . .

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

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Town Hall Meeting in Meridian - Historic Neighborhoods







MICHELLE JONES – Coordinator for the State Archives & History

BO SMITH – Mortgage Broker, Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc. Explaining NEW 203(K) Rehab Loans Available for Property Owners

IN ATTENDENCE: City Council Planning Depart., Mayor’s Office

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mathilda's Solo

Another Vignette by Maxine (It's another snake story, y'all.)

Never a day goes by that something exciting doesn't happen, but I just don't have time to write it down. This was almost another day, but I will tell you about what happened. I wish I had a video to send to AFV. I am sure I would win something.

Use your visual eye to see this picture unfold.

I have a sewing room in the corner of our shop which is across the driveway. This shop has all of "MY" woodworking tools in it, along with 4-wheelers, and "Junk" and "Stuff". Above this 24 X 72 feet shop is an apartment where my older brother lives. We use this shop daily. It has a full bathroom, and one of our hens prefers to lay her daily egg in one of the corners. A lot goes on in this shop, but nothing like what happened yesterday to me.

I went over there to do some mending in my sewing room. I keep it locked because I have my entire collection of scissors, patterns, cloth, quilting odds and ends, ironing board, cutting table, and just my stuff in this room. It is air conditioned and has a comfortable office chair with rolling wheels and a telephone. So it is a quiet place to get away to, and I love to sew.

"Quiet" can change in a split second. I turned on my magnifying lamp so I could see how to thread my Singer sewing machine. I had set up the ironing board to press the hem I was about to sew. I was looking forward to some quiet time, when I heard a crinkling noise behind my sewing machine and a wicker basket to the right. I listened quietly and decided it could be a mouse or a lizard or snake. It was only about a foot from where I was sitting, so I stood up and leaned over to see if I could tell what it was. I saw about 4 inches of a rat snake. I could tell that he was big because he was bigger than a wiener, but not as big as a hot dog bun. I know how to gauge things this way. Ha Ha.

I concluded he was about 5 feet, and I decided he was looking for a mouse, because I also saw mouse droppings back there. I didn't want this snake to get into my bag of fiber fill stuff which was right there also, so I watched the snake to see which way he was moving. I wanted to catch his tail to pull him out.

At the exact split second that I touched this snake, the telephone rang! I jumped, hit my head on the magnifying lamp, fell back into my chair with rolling wheels, scooted across the room into the ironing board, knocked it over and hit the cutting table. My sewing room was turned upside down, and I'm not even afraid of snakes.

The telephone almost killed me! My brother came down and asked "What Happened!" We had a good laugh, and I spent the next hour cleaning up my sewing room.

What happened to the snake, you ask???? He is probably telling his story somewhere in the next county. Somehow he managed to get away and survive. I put out mothballs to stop any more activity in my quiet peaceful sewing room. 

This morning, all is calm in The Garden of Eatin' but things can change in a split second.

Maxine's Vignette (A Story About Snakes)

Tonight I was sitting out by my lily pond with family, watching a thunder storm roll in with lightening against a dark sky. In the distance we could hear the whippoorwills singing their haunting song, warning others of rain. And right at our feet came the loud bellowing of a big bullfrog sitting on a lotus blossom lily pad. We sat there listening to the most magnificent chorus that nature could provide, and we didn't have to pay a cent to attend this orchestra. The wind was blowing ever so softly, just enough to blow your hair across your face, and you had to wonder if it was a bug.

We shined the flashlight across the top of the water and began to count the sets of white eyes, which were frogs. Each one would swell up and release his air into his own personal sound. We wondered what the messages were. After a few minutes we were able to see a wavy pattern in the water that told us there was another critter making his way to the cafeteria dinner table and frogs were on the menu. You guessed it, a water snake. They are not poisonous so we weren't worried. He wasn't looking at us; he had dinner on his mind. Frogs with a side order of lotus blossoms and cattails. Yum! After a few more minutes the pesky mosquitoes began to buzz around us, so we left the feast to the critters and came in.

My Creator gives me so much more than I ask for, and it is such a blessing when I realize this was another present from Him. 

How blessed I am to have you for a friend.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Regrets of the Dying

On this Good Friday and Passover tomorrow, along with our religious meditations and observances, let us consider the following article I read on the internet this morning.  Notice No. 4.  Let us stay in touch and not have this regret.

As I reflect upon all of these five items, I realize what has brought order and established priorities in my life so that none of these regrets are significant at this point in my life.  The words and melody of a song float through my mind, one often sung in church or even Girl Scout campouts (at least in my day):

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God/and His righteousness/and all these things shall be added unto you/Allelu, alleluia./Man does not live by bread alone/But by every word/That proceeds from the mouth of God/Allelu, alleluia."   Click here for words and music. 

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone's capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn't work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.


Based on this article, Bronnie has now released a full length book titled The Top Five Regrets of the Dying - A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing. It is a memoir of her own life and how it was transformed through the regrets of the dying people she cared for. This inspiring book is available internationally through Hay House.



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Passover & Easter

You all know I am very serious about spiritual matters; however, I could not resist this playful image (which I stole from my daughter-in-law's FaceBook page).

Seriously, God bless you each and everyone and your families and friends during special time of Passover and Easter. 

Love & Prayers,

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Moss Point woman’s business cleaning up - Business -

Moss Point woman’s business cleaning up - Business -

Posted on Sat, Mar. 24, 2012

Moss Point woman’s business cleaning up


MOSS POINT -- Beth Singley started a commercial floor cleaning business in 2010 that last year generated $1.4 million in revenue.

“We started with nothing,” she said, standing outside the store of a new client, Petland in D’Iberville.

Most of her clients are in Mobile. But she has managers in Mary Ester, Fla., Gulf Shores, Ala., Gulfport and Louisiana to coordinate a staff of 45 to 50 part-time and full-time workers. And she has expanded the company’s repertoire to post-construction cleanup and a certain level of facilities management.

With technology, she’s able to work out of her home on Griffin Street in Moss Point and rarely needs the business office in Mobile.

What has helped her succeed is the reputation of her employees. They are good with floors.

And word of mouth has been one of the biggest ways she has connected with the work. A Yellow Pages ad, her husband’s old cleaning business telephone number and some exquisite timing also were crucial.

She’s got one of the best wax men in the business. But he came to her, not the other way around, and encouraged her to start on the journey that has established Gulf Professional Services and garnered Singley a National Association of Professional Women “Woman of the Year” nod for 2011 and 2012.

The journey

Singley’s husband, Leon Raines, died in 2007 and left a cleaning business he had built during 27 years in Mobile.

He had an extensive client list that included 120 buildings. After his death, the family was offered $2 million for it but she did not sell, because her stepson wanted it. He gave it a shot, but soon walked away because it was a difficult, time-consuming job and he had a young family.

One of the managers at the old cleaning business created a business of his own and picked up most of the clients.

There were no hard feelings, she said.

She went back to her job as a paralegal with a Mobile law firm. However, there was a group of long-time employees who had been dedicated to her husband’s company and wanted their old jobs back. Among them was Furman Brown, known as the best floor man in the business because he knows the chemicals and his work is meticulous.

Furman had a hip replaced and was on crutches.

Singley started looking at a way she might help this group of about five pick up floor jobs in the area, a way to keep them busy.

She saw that her husband’s former company, Gulf Services Inc., still had a Yellow Pages ad and a land line number available. So she had the number transferred to her cell to see if anyone called. After all, many of the jobs they did were done annually.

The first call that came in was a floor job at Bishop State Community College’s auditorium in Mobile, she said.

“I bought a floor machine, mops and buckets and the chemicals,” she said. They did the job and when she was paid, she used the profit to pay herself back. Other jobs came. They picked up some residential work and a church.

“I wasn’t really going after work,” she said. Her crews specialized in some work that no one else wanted. They handled resurfacing brick floors that requires intensive work on hands and knees.

She was managing the jobs from her desk at the law firm.

“They’d walk in and I’d be on the phone talking to someone about their floors,” she said. “But the lawyers were proud of me.”

That was early 2010.

Then the BP oil spill hit and JESCO Inc., a major construction company, called the number and business, as she knew it, changed.

‘Perpetual motion’

The law firm was in the middle of a big suit when she got the call to look at the floors in a 52,000-square-foot building that was going to be renovated. She was torn.

But when she told the attorneys which building she needed to go look at, she said they told her, “You’d better go now. BP just bought that building.”

Turns out it was the one BP remodeled for the oil spill mobile Command Center in nine days.

It was whirlwind, but she hung on, and they stayed with her.

She hired 30 people in one day and kept expanding.

From that came the seed money she needed to really grow a business on the scale of her husband’s former one.

“I had a crew in perpetual motion,” she said as she explained how she kept up with the work.

She has since expanded into property management and post-construction cleanup, big work in the region.

She manages janitors, but there are times when she is hands-on.

She’s married to Dr. Thomas Singley, who’s retired, and she has her family and part of his family involved in different aspects of the business at times.

Her husband likes her business spunk and encourages her.

She likes the fact that her business has created jobs that have saved families in these tough economic times.

Two of her employees were in bankruptcy and one family was about to lose its home when they started, she said.

“Most janitors work at minimum wage, they’re the bottom of the totem pole,” she said. “But BP paid more and wanted more. I was able to start some people at $12 to $15 an hour. And they made overtime initially.

“They were able to save their home and to get back on their feet.”

Her workers have varied backgrounds. Some have an education and some from good families were unable to find work.

Because one was working on his master’s degree, Beth Singley was able to use his expertise to set up a tutoring program for her employees and their children. She has acted like a bank at times.

“I learned that a lot of small businesses work like that,” she said. “And it made me feel good. I could help when they didn’t have anywhere else to turn.”

Married to a doctor with a son in medical school herself, she saw another side of life.

“I know a lot of people look down at janitors,” she said. “But these people work hard.”

And so does Beth Singley.

Managing the company, going to the new job sites, overseeing it all and ultimately taking responsibility, it’s demanding work, she said. She’s known as the boss who will wear a hard hat with her high heels.

“It’s like digging ditches sometimes,” she said. “But I enjoy what I do.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Paul Jetson Tatum, Brother of William (Bill) Tatum

Paul Jetson Tatum, 64, of Memphis, passed away on Saturday, March 3, 2012. He was a graduate of Ole Miss and received a master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Memphis. He enjoyed camping, woodworking, and was an avid reader. Paul leaves his son Elliotte Tatum, his sister Harriet Brown of Augusta, MO, and his brother William Tatum (Lyn) of Atlanta, GA. The family will receive friends from 2-4:30 p.m., on Saturday, March 10, 2012, at Family Funeral Care. Family Funeral Care (901)761-8000

Published in The Commercial Appeal on March 8, 2012
O God our Father, Creator of all the living,
we entrust to Your gentle care
all those we love who have gone before us;
and have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again. . . .

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

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shingles Vaccination

If you had chickenpox as a child, you should get to your doctor and get a shingles vaccination.

To be honest, I had never thought that much about shingles. About 10 days back I woke up with five or six small red bumps on my chest. I figured I had encountered some insect that had left its mark. The next day there were a few more spots and by the fourth day, there was a streak extending from my chest to my back. I did an internet search and was fairly sure that the bumps were shingles. A trip to the doctor confirmed it. The doctor half way joking said, "I've got good news and bad news. It is shingles which is generally not to serious but to treat it, you should have come in earlier. To be effective, the treatment should be started within 48 hours of the first outbreak." The doctor said I would be very uncomfortable for a couple of weeks and could be given something for pain if necessary.

I have a rather high tolerance for pain so I declined any pain pills.

I now know more about shingles than I ever thought I would. If you had chickenpox as a child, the virus stays in your body. It can break out at any time but most often happens after the age of 60. For most people it is extremely uncomfortable, but not serious. There is very little good treatment.

It generally does not make you feel bad enough to be confined to bed but you sure don't feel in top form. I tend to be very active so I noticed I did not have the energy or desire to engage in lots of my normal activities.

So all this is for two things. First, if you have not gotten a shingles vaccination, get one right away. The old adage is true - "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." If you suspect you are having a shingles attack, get to your doctor or urgent care facility that day. Get on treatment immediately. You will save yourself a lot of discomfort.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Scott Francis Hubert, Father of Edwina Hubert

Scott Francis Hubert
(Died February 13, 2012)

Scott Francis Hubert Services for Scott Francis Hubert will be held Friday, February 18, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church, with Father Frank Cosgrove officiating. Burial will be in Magnolia Cemetery with Robert Barham Family Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. Mr. Hubert, 103, of Meridian died Monday, February 13, 2012, at Rush Hospital. Survivors include two daughters Edwina Elizabeth Hubert and Robin Marie Hubert both of Albuquerque, New Mexico; nephews Alison T. “Pooley” Hubert, Jr. of Roswell, Georgia, Tom Hubert of Birmingham, Alabama, and Scott Eidt of Houston, Texas, nieces Pat Naughton, Virginia Beach, Virginia and Sister Bernice Eidt of San Antonio, Texas. He was preceded in death by his wife Edwina Cunningham Hubert; son Scott Harold Hubert; brother A. T. “Pooley” Hubert and sister Evangeline Eidt. Pallbearers will be the Knights of Columbus members and Mark Porter. Honorary pallbearers will be Mike Longmeier, Henry Sterdivant and Dr. Harry Gibson. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to St. Patrick Catholic Church or First Presbyterian Church Family and friends may sign the online guest book at Visitation will be held thirty minutes prior to the service at St. Patrick Catholic Church.
O God our Father, Creator of all the living,
we entrust to Your gentle care
all those we love who have gone before us;
and have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again. . . .

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

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Post from Poppy's Mom

A Post from Poppy's Mom

Update on my life with the dogs.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Joyce Thompson Rogers Obituary

January 29, 2012
Joyce “Sister” Rogers

Services for Joyce Rogers will be held Friday, February 3, 2012 at 10 am at Webb Chapel with Rev. Wayne Edwards and Rev. Gerald Chaney officiating. Burial will be in Cokers Chapel UMC Cemetery with James F. Webb Funeral Home in charge of the arrangements.

Mrs. Rogers, 71, of Meridian, died Sunday, January 29, 2012 at Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. She was a member of Midway Baptist Church. She worked at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center as a Registered Nurse for 28 years until her retirement in 2003.

She is survived by her children, Melanie Rogers Clark and her significant other Dave Williams of Asheville, North Carolina and Elvin Kyle Rogers of Meridian; sisters, Gail Henson, Betty Clark and her husband John, and Jan Fisher and her husband Gary; nieces and nephews: Karen Fisher and husband Randy, Steve Gressett and wife Carrie, Connie Rigdon, Ty Clark and wife Cindy, Kim Brackeen and husband Mike, Jason Clark and wife Jennifer, Kerry Henson, Amy Gentry and husband Freddie, and Gary Fisher, Jr.; several great nieces and nephews; and special friend, Milo Beesley.

She is preceded in death by her parents, A.B. and Jean Thompson; and her former husband, Elvin “Bo” Rogers.

Pallbearers will be Steve Gressett, Jason Clark, Kerry Henson, Randy Fisher, Freddie Gentry, and Mike Brackeen.

Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at

Visitation will be Thursday from 5-8 pm at the funeral home.


O God our Father, Creator of all the living,
we entrust to Your gentle care
all those we love who have gone before us;
and have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again.

Eternal rest, grant unto Joyce, 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.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Thank you

Thank You
Dear Ones -

When evening pulls the curtain to
And pins it with a star,
Remember you have  a friend
No matter where you are. *

Ouida Tomlinson

(*Amen Brother Ben, A Mississippi Collection of Children’s Rhymes by Maurice C. Brown.)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Norma Rawlings Webb (Sister of Gay Rawlings Elliott)

January 29, 2012

Norma Rawlings Webb


 Services for Norma Rawlings Webb will be Monday, January 30, 2012 at 2 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Meridian, Mississippi with Reverend Eric Stelle and Reverend Brian Ponder officiating . Burial will be at Magnolia Cemetery with Robert Barham Family Funeral Home in charge of the arrangements.

Norma Rawlings Webb, 76, of Birmingham, died, Thursday, January 26, 2012, at her home after battling a lung disease.

Norma was born on February 5, 1935, in Meridian, the daughter of the late (C.B.) Dough Rawlings and Alice Rawlings. She has spent the last 18 years in Birmingham, Alabama.

A generous, faithful and active member of the Episcopal Church, Norma graduated from the Education for Ministry program, an intensive study of theology and Christian tradition. She also dedicated much of her time and energy to Love’s Kitchen while living in Meridian and provided philanthropic support to Meridian Community College, St. Paul’s and All Saints Episcopal Church in Homewood, Alabama.

Professionally, Norma worked for Sears, Roebuck and Company, USF&G and Employment Services of Mississippi. Personally, she enjoyed the beach, family, friends and travel. Collectively, she was known as a gracious, fair, and loving person with lifelong and rewarding relationships with God, high school friends and her family.

Wife of the late Tommy H. Webb of Meridian, she is survived by her son Lamar Gidden III (Laura); her daughter Fonda Shaia (Ken); her sister Gay Rawlings Elliott (David III); grandchildren Elliott Brown, L.A. Gidden IV, and Zanie Love Shaia; and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.

The family would like to express special thanks to Tasha Roberts, Minnie Powell, and clergy Eric Stelle and Glenda Curry for their compassion, care and support throughout Norma’s illness.

Pall bearers: grandchildren—Elliott Brown and L.A. Gidden IV; nephews—David A. Elliott IV, D.A. Elliott V, Duncan R. Elliott, W. Michael Elliott, and Ethan Payne.

The family also request that memorials be made to Meridian Community College, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Meridian) and All Saints Episcopal Church (Homewood).

Visitation will be held from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. at St. Paul’s.

Family and friends may sign the online guest book at


O God our Father, Creator of all the living,
we entrust to Your gentle care
all those we love who have gone before us;
and have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again. . . .

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

Joyce Thompson Rogers

Joyce returned to God about 2:20 this afternoon.  Now she lives in perpetual light, healed and free of pain, tasting the eternal joy and love that will be hers forever.  We will miss her and remember her always.

Joyce Thompson Rogers
October 31, 1940 - January 29, 2012

O God our Father, Creator of all the living,
we entrust to Your gentle care
all those we love who have gone before us;
and have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again. . . .

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

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year