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, June 3, 2015

Ginger Willis, Sister of Briggs Smith

Funeral services for Ginger Willis will be held Thursday, June 4, 2015, at 1:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church in Meridian, Mississippi. Doctor Rhett Payne will officiate. Burial will be at Magnolia Cemetery with Robert Barham Family Funeral Home in charge of the arrangements.

Flora Virginia (Ginger) Smith Willis of Meridian, Mississippi passed away on June 1, 2015. She was born to the late Daniel Briggs Smith, Sr. and Florence Imojean Murphy Smith.

Ginger was a graduate of Meridian High School before following her father’s footsteps to become a pharmacist. Ginger was one of the early pioneering women who attended the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy to receive a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy. While there, she was also a member of the Ole Miss Chorus.

Ginger returned home to Meridian to be one of the first female registered pharmacists and worked as a pharmacist and owner of her father’s store, Point Drug and Gifts. As a pharmacist, she was the first woman in Mississippi to receive the Bowl of Hygeia Award, presented by the American Pharmaceutical Association to recognize outstanding community service in the pharmaceutical field. This honor was featured in Time magazine. Ginger was a member of the Mississippi Pharmacy Association her entire professional career.

Ginger was an active member of our community serving as president of the Pilot Club, an association of professional women, and on the Meridian Little Theatre Board of Directors. As a member of the theatre, she served as President of the Meridian Little Theatre Guild and was recognized as an active member for more than 25 years. Ginger possessed a special love for children and served as a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader. Her devotion to both young children and her faith, flourished within First Presbyterian Church of Meridian, where she was a life-long, active member and taught the 4 and 5 year old Sunday school class for 37 years.

Family was the center of Ginger’s life and she believed that heritage was an important component of family. Study of her heritage led Ginger to become a Magna Charta Dames, and she followed her mother as a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She would witness history as a young girl, traveling to Great Britain to witness the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Ginger enjoyed dancing, cooking, and traveling with friends and family. She was a member of Northwood Country Club, the Utopian Club and Reveler’s Dance Club.

Ginger was a caregiver by nature and lived that calling through her profession, where she filled that role daily for her patients, through her community leadership, and through her family, for which she was always a stabilizing presence. She was at her best when she was caring for others and it is Ginger’s nurturing spirit that will be most missed.

Ginger was preceded in death by her parents Daniel Briggs Smith and Imojean Murphy Smith and her beloved grandmother and namesake, Flora Virginia Randolph Murphy.

Ginger is survived by her devoted husband of fifty-two years, James Kenneth Willis, Sr., her daughter Jeanna Willis White and her husband David Wilson White, Jr. (Bo), her son James Kenneth Willis, Jr. (Jay), her granddaughters, Virginia Sherrod White, Mary Grace Willis, and Sarah Madison Willis, her two brothers Daniel Briggs Smith, Jr. and his wife, Dot Fancher Smith , and John Robert Smith and her cousins Cathy McCullers Scarbrough, Cliff Smith and Candace Smith Beutell, nieces and nephews Randolph, Kennedy, Dan, Carter, Fancher, Ethan, Hayden, Hunter, Emma, , Sadie, Sophia, Havens, Caroline, Tate, and Harrison.

Pallbearers will be Randolph Smith, Dan Smith, Carter Smith, Fancher Smith, Pearce Dickson, William Hughes, Tyler Akers and Tim Grice. Honorary pallbearers will Jim Bass, Sam Forbert and Jim Luke.

Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at

Visitation will take place from 5:00pm until 7:00pm on June 3, 2015 at the Robert Barham Family 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 Ginger Willis,
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May the souls of the faithful departed
through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

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