Class of 1954

Site Index:History—Class List—Class Location Map—School Groups—Athletics—Candid Photos



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Class History:  Many of us in the class of 1954 started to school together in the Fall of 1942.  We attended the little green schoolhouse next door to the Opperman home a short distance from the present school site, up Oak Ridge Road(sometimes called Mildale Road after the community that once occupied the area where the swimming pool was).  Mrs. Larche was our teacher.  During that fall the class walked down several times to see the new school we would be attending.  I suspect we moved to the new school sometime before the Christmas break.  The high school students continued to transfer to buses at Redwood and proceed on to Oak Ridge School.  In 1945 they moved down to the new school.  Our elementary teachers, seen below, L to R, were: 1st Grade- Mrs. J. F. Larch, 2nd Grade-Mrs. Holliday (daughter-in-law of Mrs Aubin Holiday), 3rd Grade-Mrs. Sanford, 4th Grade-Ms. Mignonne McCandles, 5th Grade-Mrs Aubin Holiday, 6th Grade-Ms. Ella Roberts

Junior High and High School Teachers included Vera Opperman, Mrs. Lee V. Russell, Patricia Garnett, Mr. John B. Crews, Maud and Floyd Franklin, Sharp Banks, J. C. Dorman, Mrs. Mary M. Sheridan(later became a Vicksburg librarian.), Kerna Mae Hester, Helen Neal, Mrs. Ethel Sims, Ralph Wells,

Members of the class participated in a Junior High and a Senior Play.

Several tragedies occurred during our years at Redwood.  During our senior year one of our classmates, Robbie Jean Gilliland, was killed in a terrible auto accident.  Robbie was a cheerleader and liked by all.  The boys in the class served as pallbearers. (See obituary at end of this page).  Another event which caused much sadness was the paralyzing game injury received by Jett running back Leo Puckett in 1953.  A benefit football game was schedule in December of
1953 to raise funds for his medical bills. That night, a few hours before the game was to be played, Vicksburg was hit by a major tornado which killed many and destroyed homes and businesses in the city.  Many players spent that night on the chaotic streets of downtown Vicksburg searching for and helping the injured instead of playing for this worthy cause.  The game was played subsequently for a number of years.


Over the ensuing years Jane Keen Griffin, with husband Johnny, has tirelessly worked to maintain contact with class members.  She and Johnny have held many class reunions at their home in Redwood.  I am sure we all greatly appreciate their generosity and loyal devotion to our class.  She has and will be an important resource for this web site.

Bob Hollowell provided the following comments about some who were in this class.  About Wilson Brent, “He was one of thoe who are just naturally likeable.  Don’t ever recall him doing anything that wasn’t kind and thoughtful.  Just a first class guy.”  James Earl Worthy, “ He was a rather quiet, unobtrusive and humble little fellow.  They were very poor and lived about 1/2 mile beyond Jack Worthy, down the old dummy line at Valley Park. He was one of my pals and I liked him a great deal.  After a short period at Redwood they disappeared and were seen no more.”  J. D. Crawford, “ He lived across the creek from the old oscillating light tower that was across Highway 61, in front of Cain”s Store.  He was another of my close friends.  He had a sister whose name I do not recall.  Another short timer who just disappeared like smoke.”  Esker Sample, “Strange that you mention him as it had been a short time he had come to mind.  He was another of one of my good friends at school.  I spent the night with him a time or two.  He live down on the end of Kings Crossing Road.  Another short timer.”  Eugenia Sumerall, “she lived on the alley that ran back of Cain’s Store about half way to the railroad.  That was when the M-System was a big deal.”  Jerry Marshal. “ Jerry lived in the same area.  He later lived upon Standard Hill road across from the old garbage dump.  He is buried near his home and his family still lives there.  He had three brothers, that I can recall, Marshall, Lamar and Norris.  Marshall worked as a city policeman and Lamar was Chief of Police for awhile.  Marshall has died. Lamar moved to Branson to be part of the Branson Police Department.”  James Hicks, “ one of my good friends, lives in Yazoo City.”  Robert Norman,” had a sister named Fern, another short timer.” Billy Harrison, “ Had a sister named ‘Dee’. Short timers.”  Jimmy Walker, “Lived on the old Twin Lake Road in the old Railroad Bridge house that was high off the ground.  They moved to Memphis when railroad discontinued his job.  He later came on the bus and spent several weeks with me.”  Frank Cousins and Christine Rogers were living in Wilson Brent’s old house until last year.  He is in a nursing home.”  Emerson twins, “I believe they were Early and Anderson, one refused to let Miss Roberts spank him, he did agree to have his hand spanked.  One was more rowdy than the other.  Short timers also.”

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Click Google Maps Icon at left for map of class members’ locations.

Ad from 1947 Annual

Kerna Mae (Hester) Faris, 2008, Richmond, VA, Home Economics

Mignonne McCandless, 4th Grade

Miss. Southern College

Aubin Holiday, 5th Grade

Miss. Southern College

Ella Roberts, 6th Grade

Miss. Southern College

Mrs. J. F. Larch, 1st Grade,

North Texas Teachers College

Mary M. Sherard, English

Miss. State College for Woman

Senior Play Class of 1954
For Pete’s Sake
Copyright (1934)
by Jay Tobias

A Comedy in Three Acts
Presented by The Senior Class of Redwood High School

April 9, 1954

Mrs. F. S. Franklin, Director


Miss Sarah Pepperdine Peter’s aunt--Georgia Burton
Jamine Jackson Aunt Sarah’s cook--Darrel Fuller
Cicero Murglethorpe the Dean of Elwood College--Wilson Brent
Peter Pepperdine--always in hot water--Earl Martin
Bill Bradshaw, Peter’s pal--Johnny Griffin
Thorndyke Murglethorpe (Mugsy)-A college grind--Melvin Oakes
Mrs. Georgiaa Clarkston, a social climber--Hermanell Hearn
Nadine Clarkston, Peter’s sweetheart--Ann Huskey
Peggy Clarkston, Bill’s sweetheart--Jane Keen
Malvina Potts, Mugsy’s goddess--Dorothy Sadler
John Bolivar, a wealthy banker--Claudius Bourgoyne
Dupont Darby, the poet of Elwood College--Bob Hollowell

Time -June, 
Place-Small College Town

Backstage Crew

Light and Sound Effects--Dean Cole & George Brown
Stage Managers--John Taylor & Harold Alexander
Curtain--Harold Alexander
Ushers--Dean Cole, Dorothy Sadler, Jack Worthy
Publicity Chairman--Hermanell Hearn
Eighth Grade Play
People Are Funny
Copyright (1938)
by James F. Stone

A Farce in Three Acts
Presented by The Eighth Grade Class of Redwood High School

8:00 PM, May 12, 1950

Unknown, Director


Jussie Budd--ambitious mother--Eugenia Sumrall
Kenny Budd--her only son--Allen Earl Martin
John (Pop) Budd--only her husband--Bob Hollowell
Hellene Budd--her older daughter--Laverne Oakes
Betty Budd--her younger daughter-Jane Keen
Winnie Wehle--the girl next door--France Lovett
Elmer Wehle--the father next door--Delbert Huskey
Jack Whitman--a young man from Chicago--Johnny Griffin
Arthur Fairchild--a friend of Jack’s--Melvin Oakes
Florence Fairchild--a social queen--Bonnie Marshall
Gladys Bliss--her secretary--Ann Huskey
Olga Oguspanfy--her traveling companion--Georgia Burton
Prudence Paine--an aunt from the country--Mabel Bliss
Pamela Paine--her darling daughter--Dorothy Sadler

Place-Living Room of a Small Town in Eastern City

Backstage Crew

Business Manager--Claudius Burgoyne
Assistant Manager--George Brown
Properties--Jack Worthy, John Taylor and Richard Cousins
Promoter--Angeline Champion
Eighth Grade Play
People Are Funny
The Story

Pop Budd, an insurance sales man who is writing a novel as a hobby, is very anxious to impress his neighbor in an attempt to get a large policy from him.  But the whole family seem to conspire to be as un-helpful as possible.

Kenny, his son, wants the car for a heavy date with Winnie, the girl next door;  Helene brings home to dinner unexpectedly two young men whom she had met once in Chicago; Mother, in an effort to impress the young men does everything possible to develop just the opposite impression; Betty, the younger daughter, upsets Mother and Helene by upsetting their matrimonial plans on the young men.  In fact, the entire evening becomes a nightmare of misunderstanding, false impression, and necessary explanations, further complicated by the arrival of relatives from the country, Aunt Prudence and her awful Pamela.

Of course, everything turns out for the best in the end, even though Kenny has to go to jail to get engaged to the girl-friend, and Betty has to drag a proposal of marriage from her own boy-friend almost by main force.  Even Pop gets what he wants when it is finally disclosed that Betty has finished the unfinished novel on her own initiative and sent it off to a publisher, who...surprise of surprises...accepts it, just when Pop’s financial position is at its lowest ebb.
Commencement Exercises
Redwood High School
May 28, 1954, 8 o’clock p. m.
Processional-Second Regiment---                Eighth Grade
Processional-The Priest’s March--                         Seniors
Invocation--                                              Rev. Ace McVay
Welcome Address--Salutory--                      Melvin Oakes
Class History--                                                  Jane Keen
Class Prophecy--                                           Wilson Brent
Class Will--                                                     Ann Huskey
Farewell Address-Valedictory--               Hermanell Hearn
Presentation of Eighth Grade Certificates--  F. S. Franklin
Presentation of Medal--                                 F. S. Franklin
Presentation of High School Diplomas--       F. S. Franklin
Benediction--                                            Rev. Ace McVay
Recessional-March by Mendelssohn --                  Seniors
Baccalaureate Exercises
Redwood High School
May 23, 1954, 11 o’clock a. m.
Processional--              Seniors
Invocation --                 Rev. James Holiday
Hymn No. 6--               Congregation
Scripture Reading--      Rev. James Holiday
Solo--                            Vera Lee McBroome
Sermon--                       Rev. James Holiday
Benedicttion--                Rev. James Holiday
Recessional--                Seniors

Mrs. L. V. Russell, Social Studies

Mississippi College

Mrs.E. F. Opperman, Jr. High English, Grenada College

Ralph L. Wells, Agriculture & Shop, Mississippi State

Miss McCandless was a consummate teacher, truly devoted to her classes, demanding of their best.  Her classes were organized and and well disciplined, we learned much from her and owe her much.

Class of 1954 Senior Prom

Cutt Barfield Orchestra

L to R: Pickett Cummings, Matt Palmer, Ed Cummings,  Cutt Barfield (trumpet), Eva Dot Ryan Barfield (Piano) and in back Jess Hester(Drums). Not visible John Martin(Bass)

4H Achievement Card, Frt & Back, many will remember Mr. Smith, the County Agent.

                                                     Class of 1954 at 1988 Redwood High School Reunion.

Front Row: Clement Hearn, Claudius Bourgoyne, Jane (Keen) Griffin, Bonnie (Marshall) Stokes, Georgia (Burton) Downs, Ann (Huskey) Lott, Angelina (Champion) Smith, Hermanell (Hearn) Barnett, Darrell (Fuller) Pierson, Allen Earl Martin

Back Row: John Robert Griffin, Wilson H. Brent, Harold Alexander, Bob Hollowell, Dorothy (Sadler) Barfield, Melvin Oakes

Melvin Oakes,

1st Grade,

Redwood School

Dorothy Sadler,

1st Grade,

Redwood School

Rockets Class Pictures. Photos from any year that  includes any member of the 1954 Class

                                                     Class of 1954 at 1990 Redwood High School Reunion.

Front Row: Clement Hearn, Beth (Darrell) Fuller Pierson, Billy Harrison, Melvin Oakes,  Claudius Bourgoyne, Jane (Keen) Griffin, Ann (Huskey) Lott, Wilson Brent, Hermanell (Hearn) Barnett, Johnny Griffin (Back), Harold Alexander, Allen Earl Martin.

Wilson Brent,

1st Grade,

Redwood School

Click for Jane Keen’s Autograph BookKeens_Autograph_Book.html

Wilson Brent,

4th Grade,

Redwood School

Angeline Champion,

5th Grade,

Redwood School

Angeline Champion,

8th Grade,

Redwood School

Angeline Champion,

10th Grade,

Redwood School

Todd Huskey

Class of 1954 Third Grade Class, 1945.  Teacher Mrs Sanford.

0. Wayne Stinson, 1. Roger Smith, 2. ?, 3. Earl Martin 4. Claudius Bourgoyne, 5. Davidson, 6. Mrs. Sanford, 7. Mel Oakes, 8. Johnny Griffin, 9. Bob Hollowell,

10. ?, 11. ?, 12. ?, 13. Christine Rogers, 14. Eddie Compton, 15. Jane Keen, 16. Mabel Bliss, 17. Wilson Brent, 18. ?, 19. Thomas Boone, 20. ?, 21 George Brown, 22. Lonnie Mallett, 23. ?, 24. ?, 25. ?, 26. ? Maybe Angeline Champion, 27. Maybe Dorothy Sadler 28. ? Maybe Angeline Champion






























 Fourth Grade Class in 1946
Back Row: Johnny Griffin, Lois Wootton, Clement Hearn, Roger Smith, Bob Hollowell, Allen Earl Martin, ?, Ms Mignonne McCandless
2nd Row: Melvin Oakes, Jane Keen, Mabel Bliss, Wilson Brent, Georgiann Burton, George Brown, Thomas Boone
Frt Row: Claudius Bourgoyne, Wayne Stinson, John Taylor, Lonnie Mallett, Angeline Champion, Dorothy Sadler, Christine Rogers, James Earl Worthy
 Fifth Grade Class in 1947
Back Row: Wilson Brent, J. D. Crawford, Mrs. Bishop(for Mrs Holiday), William Smith?, Melvin Oakes, John Taylor
2nd Row:  Jane Keen, Kimble Pugh, Bob Hollowell, Clement Hearn, Johnny Griffin, Allen Earl Martin, George Brown
Frt Row: Lonnie Mallett, Dorothy Sadler, Mabel Bliss, Christine Rogers, Georgiann Burton, Claudius Bourgoyne,  Angeline Champion
Not Pictured: Billy Lovett, Roger Smith, James Hicks, Charles Askins, Harold Warnock, Frances Lovett
  Sixth Grade Class in 1948
 Seventh Grade Class in 1949
 Eighth Grade Class in 1950
 Freshman Class in 1951
 Sophomore Class in 1952


Rockets Individual Class Pictures.

Georgiann Burton Downs

John Robert Griffin

Jane Keen, 1948, age 12

Jane Keen, 1950, age 14

John Robert Griffin, 1951

Jane Keen, 1947, age 11

Jane Keen, 1954

Claudius Bourgoyne, 1954

John Robert Griffin, 1954

Wilson Hemingway Brent, 1950

Wayne Stinson

Sherman Cody Hull, 1948-49,

Mable Bliss, ca 1950s

                                                     1953-54 Redwood High School Football Team.

Back Row: Harold Tinnim, Wayne Summerall, Wilson H. Brent, Johnny Brewer, Melvin Oakes, John Robert Griffin, Ted Porter, Floyd Oakes, Coach J. C. Dorman Harold Alexander, Bob Hollowell, Dorothy (Sadler) Barfield, Melvin Oakes

Second Row: Aubrey (Possum) Scarber, Donny Weaver, George Brown, Todd Huskey, Earl Martin, Leonard Pugh, Jack Copper, James Wright, Curtis Hedrick

Front Row: George Gray, Talmadge Walley, Sydney Sanderson, Billy Rae Brock, Tinker Huskey, D. Brewer, Clayton Wright, Chrisler Fuller, Paul Alderman

                                           1951-52 Redwood High School Baseball Team.

Back Row: Coach J. C. Dorman, Otis Sheffield, Billy Wayne Bishop, Norman Oakes,, Charles Wells, W. C. Alderman, Melvin Oakes

Front Row: Bill Porter, Phares Griffin, Todd Huskey, Allen Earl Martin, James Porter, Johnny Griffin

                        Redwood High School Baseball, 1952-53 

Back Row:  Chrisler Fuller, Clayton Wright, Bill Porter, Tom Dye, Todd Huskey, Bob Dye, Donnie Weaver

Front Row: Phares Griffin, Allen Earl Martin, Melvin Oakes, Johnny Griffin, Ted Porter, Billy Wayne Bishop, George Brown,  Billy Gene Weaver

                Redwood High School Girls Junior High Basketball Girls, 1949-50 

Back Row:  Manager Ann Harlan, Faye Hancock, Betty Jean Alderman, Faye Hicks, Levern Oakes, Eugenia Sumrall, Coach J. C. Dorman

Front Row: Kathleen Hays, Peggy Sue Allison, Jane Keen, Yvonne Sumrall, Georgia Burton

                Redwood High School Boys Junior High Basketball Girls, 1949-50 

Back Row:  Floyd Oakes,Ted Porter, Todd Huskey, Wilson Brent, Orville Hart, Thomas Powell,  Coach J. C. Dorman

Front Row: Johnny Griffin, Melvin Oakes, Allen Earl Martin

                                                     1953-54 Redwood High School Baseball Team.

Back Row: Jimmy Allison, George Grey, James Wright, Johnny Brewer, Charles Hinson, Talmadge Walley, Leon Stevens, Richard Allen, Floyd Oakes

Second Row: Aubrey (Possum) Scarber, Jack Cooper, Leonard Pugh,  Paul Alderman, Donald Oakes, Clayton Wright, Crissler Fuller, Lavon Jefferies, Raymond Allen, Ted Porter.

Front Row: Coach J. C. Dorman, Sydney Sanderson,  Billy Rae Brock, Allen Earl Martin, Todd Huskey, Johnny Griffin, Melvin Oakes, Tinker Huskey, Cecil Fonville

Rockets Athletic Pictures. Photos from any year that  includes any member of the 1954 Class

                              Redwood High School Girls Basketball, 1953-54 

Back Row:  Manager Ann Huskey, Florence Hearn, Faye Alderman, Jimmie Faye Biedenharn, Sally Holcomb, Carolyn Brent, Carol Jean Smith, Betty Jean Porter, Coach J. C. Dorman

Front Row: Georgia Burton, Jane Keen, Hermanell Hearn, Jean Redditt, Katherine Brewer, Peggy Sue Allison

                        Redwood High School Boys Basketball, 1953-54

                                             Regional Champions

Back Row:  Tinker Huskey, Leon Stevens, Jack Cooper, Donald Oakes, Johnny Brewer, Donnie Weaver, Wayne Summerall, Cecil Fonville, Lavon Jeffers

Front Row: Paul Alderman, Allen Earl Martin, Melvin Oakes, Ted Porter, Floyd Oakes, Johnny Griffin, Coach J. C. Dorman

  1. Bullet Football Pictures. Photos from any year that  includes any member of the 1954 Class

  1. Bullet Basketball Pictures. Photos from any year that  includes any member of the 1954 Class

Boys basketball had a banner year during 53-54.  The team won 27 consecutive victories then played Madison in the B-BB District Tournament Quarter-Finals.  Madison also had a perfect season winning all 27 of their games.  The shootout was played in Pearl with the team enjoying the Robert E. Lee hotel as their quarters.  Redwood won the game 55-45.(Ted Porter-16, Earl Martin-12, Melvin Oakes 15, Johnny Griffin-3,  Floyd Oakes-7 and Leon Stevens-2) and moved on to Semi-finals where they defeated Pearl 88-61, (Earl Martin-10, Ted Porter-2, Melvin Oakes-12, Johnny Griffin-12, Floyd Oakes-8, Donald Oakes-0)   The finals were moved to the Jackson City Coliseum where Redwood defeated Utica 44-33,(Earl Martin-15, Ted Porter-20, Melvin Oakes-26, Johnny Griffin-17, Floyd Oakes-10, Donald Oakes-0).  On February 25, 1954 Redwood went to the B-BB Southern tournament at Brookhaven ranked first.  Their first round opponent, Stratton, was ranked last.  Someone forgot to tell this to the Stratton players who “exploded” in the second half and defeated Redwood 53-38 in what Coach Dorman told the press the next morning “Redwood’s worst game of the season.”  This ended Redwood’s bid for a State title with a 29-1 record

  1. Bullet Baseball Pictures. Photos from any year that  includes any member of the 1954 Class

  1. Bullet Track Pictures. Photos from any year that  includes any member of the 1954 Class

1953-54 Season Record

4 Wins(Bentonia, Raymond, Satartia, Lexington)

3 Losses(Utica, Benton, Culkin)

2 ties (Jett, Port Gibson)

                                           1953-54 Girls Track Team.

Back Row: Katherine Brewer, Coach Ralph Well, Betty Jean Alderman

Front Row: Peggy Sue Allison, Jane Keen, Georgia Burton

Not Pictured: Marie Champion

                                           1954 Girls Relay Team.

Left to Right:  Jane Keen, Georgia Burton, Katherine Brewer, Peggy Sue Allison,

                                           1953-54 Girls Track Team.

  1. Bullet The Girls Track team was the B-BB and A-AA Champions for 1953.

Peggy Allison-50 & 75 yd. Dash, Relay Team

Georgia Burton-Broad Jump and Relay Team

Katherine Brewer-Relay Team

Jane Keen-50 & 75 yd. Dash, Relay Team

Betty Alderman-Baseball Throw

Marie Champion-Baseball Throw

                                    Redwood High School Football 1952-53 

Back Row:  Floyd Oakes, Norton Slayton, Melvin Oakes, Johnny Griffin, Billy Wayne Bishop, Tom Dye, Billy GeneWeaver, Wilson Brent, Gene Huskey, Bill Porter, Will Breland,  Coach J. C. Dorman

Front Row:, Paul Alderman, Earl Martin, Todd Huskey, James Wright, Marvin Robbins, Billy Ray Brock, Clayton Wright, ?, Phares Griffin, Bob Dye, Donnie Weaver, Crissler Fuller

                                                Boys Basketball 1952

L to R: Allen Earl Martin, Billy Young, Otis Sheffield, Charles Wells, W. C. Alderman, James Porter, Melvin Oakes, Dean Cole, Will Breland, Floyd Oakes, Johnny Griffin, Bill Porter,

Back: Todd Huskey, Coach J. C. Dorman

Jane Keen & Johnny Griffin

Not Sure of What This Group Was, All Boys, maybe Jr. 4-H.  Is the Sponsor Ms Sanford or Ms Harris?

Back Row: Melvin Oakes, Kenny Stephenson, Clement Hearn, Wilson Brent, Billy Davidson,

Front Row: Charles Askins?, J. D. Crawford?, Allen Earl Martin, Carl Curtiss, George Brown


Rockets Organizations Pictures. Photos from any year that  includes any member of the 1954 Class

                                                           Redwood High School 4-H Club  1950 

Back Row:  James Keen, Smily Smith, Jimmie Gaines, Charles McBroome, Charles Wells, Max Evans, Bennie Fuller, Wilson Brent

Front Row: Bobby Jernigan, Lamar Thomas, Melvin Oakes, Allen Earl Martin, Johnny Griffin, George Brown

Rockets School Selections Photos of members of the 1954 Class

Boy Scouts

Back Row: Will Breland, Tom Warnock, Bernard Fuller, Raymond Sanderson, Clint Sadler, Clarence Triplett, Charles Wells, Bob Hardin, Jimmy Gaines, James Coley, J. C. Trusty, Raymond Hunt

3rd Row: Harold Barker, Lamar Thomas, Kenneth Evans, Raymond Baker, Benny Fuller,Jesse Wyatt?, Everett Burton, Selby Parker

2nd Row: Leroy Evans, Frank Cousins

Frt Row: John Harmon, Melvin Oakes, Allen Earl Martin, Johnny Griffin, Raymond Evans, Wilson Brent, Johnny Brewer, Orville Hart, Floyd Oakes, G. W. Roberts

Rockets Senior Trip Gulf Coast

Jane Keen & Johnny Griffin

Dorothy Sadler

George Brown & Wilson Brent

Angeline Champion

Georgia Burton

George Brown

Maybe Bob Hollowell and Methodist Camp Dorm

Methodist Camp Dorm

Dorothy Sadler

Dorothy Sadler

Unknown, Darrell Fuller, Pat Garnett, Georgia Burton, Angeline Champion

Georgia Burton

Georgia Burton

George Brown

Allen Earl Martin

Unknown & Pat Garnett

Angeline Champion

Hermanell Hearn

Angeline Champion, Todd Huskey Unknown

Unknown, Pat Garnett, Angeline Champion, Darrell Fuller, Georgia Burton

Claudius Bourgyne & Johnny Griffin

Johnny Griffin & Jane Keen

Unknown. Class Sponsor Husband

Ann Huskey & Jane Griffin

Dorothy Sadler & Georgia Burton

Jane Keen

Angeline Champion & Wilson Brent

Front to Back: Harold Alexander, Dorothy Sadler, Angeline Champion, George Brown

Georgia Burton, Jane Keen, ?

Johnny Griffin & Claudius Bourgoyne

Unknown, George Brown, Wilson Brent

Unknown & Tom Dye

Ann Huskey & Jane Keen

Coach J. C. Dorman, Hermanell Hearn Barnett, Mel Oakes, 1988

Charlotte & Wilson Brent, Mel Oakes,1988

Pat & Mel Oakes, Jane (Keen) & Johnny Griffin, Earl & Dimple Martin


Jane (Keen) Griffin, 1988

Rockets Candid Pictures. Photos of members of the 1954 Class

Donald and Floyd Oakes, Ted Porter, Johnny Griffin, Mel Oakes, Phares Griffin, Seated, Dot and J.C. Dorman, Jane Griffin, Sally Porter, 2004

Dimple Martin, Nona Griffin, Ann Huskey Lott, Jane Keen Griffin 1990

Melvin Oakes & Ann Huskey Lott, 1990 & 1954

Jane Keen & Johnny  Griffin, Mel and Pat Oakes,  Dimple & Earl Martin, 1990

Johnny  Griffin, Mel Oakes, & Earl Martin, 1990

Redwood class of 1954, 2004 Reunion

Back row, Wilson Brent, Harold Alexander, Mel Oakes, Joann Dillon Beavers, Ann Lott Huskey, Dorothy Sadler, Johnny Griffin, Hermanell Hearn Barnett,  George Brown, Bob Hollowell, 

Seated--J.C. Dorman, Beth (Darrell) Fuller Pierson,  Pat Garnett, Angeline Champion, Mary Hartley Wood, Seated on floor--Jane Keen Griffin, Bobo Burgoyne

Minnie & Claudius (Bobo) Burgoyne, 2004

Ann Huskey Lott and Jane Keen Griffin, 2004

Hermanell Hearn Barnett, Pat Garnett, Mel Oakes, 2004

Dot and J. C. Dorman, 2004

J. C. Dorman & Mel Oakes at Computer, 2004

Billy Wayne Bishop, Earl Martin, Wilson Brent & Melvin Oakes,  2004

Ann Huskey Lott

Redwood Class of 1954, 2004 Reunion

Back row, Bob Hollowell, Floyd Oakes, Donald Oakes, Melvin Oakes, Wilson Brent, Billy Wayne Bishop, 

First Standing Row: Joann Dillon Beavers, Joyce Cockrell Huskey, Claudius Burgoyne,  Bettye Oakes, Pat Oakes, Gerry Brent, Jane Keen Griffin, Phares Griffin, Harold Alexander, Vera Brown

Seated: ?, Beth Darrell Fuller Pierson, Pat Garnett, Mary Hartley Wood, Angeline Champion, J. C. Dorman, Dot Griffin, Hermanell Hearn Barnett, George Brown, Betty Oakes On Floor: Minnie Bourgoyne, Johnny Griffin Ann Huskey Lott, Dorothy Sadler Barfield, Betty Bishop

Rockets Reunion Pictures.

Harold Alexander, Bob Hollowell, Dean Cole, Todd Huskey, Johnny Griffin, Earl Martin, Wilson Brent, Dimple Martin

Wilson Brent & Melvin Oakes

Wife of Bob Hollowell, Leola Cole, Angeline Champion, ?, Vera Brown, George Brown, Harold Alexander & Bob Hollowell

  1. J.C. Dorman, Dot Dorman, Maud Franklin, Floyd Franklin,

Pat Oakes(foreground)

Wilson Brent, Melvin Oakes & J. C. Dorman

Unknown, Vera Brown, George Brown, Harold Alexander

Pat Oakes , Maud & Floyd Franklin

Wife of Bob Hollowell, Alice Hicks Dunn, Leola Cole, Angeline Champion, Unknown

Claudius Bourgoyne & Wilson Brent

Leola Cole, Angeline Champion, Unknown

Leoloa Cole, Angeline Champion, Unknown, Vera Brown, George Brown, Harold Alexander

Wilson Brent

Earl Martin, Todd Huskey & Johnny Griffin

Dean and Leola Cole

Harold Alexander, Leola Cole, ? & Bob Hollowell

Melvin Oakes, J. C. Dorman, Dot Dorman, Maud & Floyd Franklin

George & Vera Brown, Angeline Champion, Dorothy Sadler

Melvin Oakes, J. C. & Dot Dorman, Pat Oakes(in green)

Front: Unknown(Bob Hollowell’s wife), Leola & Daan Cole

Facing: Harold & Alice Hicks Alexander, Joyce Cockrel & husband Todd Huskey, Claudius Bourgoyne

LtoR: Morgan Warren(back), George & Vera Brown, Angeline Champion Bob & ? Hollowell,  Harold & Alice Hicks Alexander, Leola Cole(pink)

Harold Alexander, Dean Cole & Bob Hollowell

Harold & Alice Hicks Alexander, Joyce Cockrel & husband Todd Huskey

Earl & Dimple Martin, Melvin Oakes, Ann Huskey(Blue & White Blouse)

Bob & ? Hollowell, Leola & Dean Cole, Alice Alexander  and Todd Huskey facing camera

Earl  Martin, Wilson Brent & Melvin Oakes

Bob Hollowell, Alice Alexander & Joyce Cockrell Huskey

Pat Oakes, J. C. Dorman, Dot Dorman, Maud and Floyd Franklin. Maybe Charlotte Brent( in pink)

Vera & George Brown, Harold Alexander, Claudius Bourgoyne, Bob Hollowell, Todd Huskey, Phares Griffin

Dimple and Earl Martin, Ann Huskey, ?

Dot Dorman & Maud Franklin

Maud  & Floyd Franklin

Maud Franklin & Wilson Brent

Dean Cole, Todd Huskey, Johnny Griffin & Earl Martin

Johnny and Jane Keen Griffin- First Christmas, 1955

L to R: George Brown, ?,?, Orvis Hart, Floyd Oakes

Hinds Women Basketball, Back Row, L to R:  Coach Ann Gookin, Betty Berryhill, Bobbie Jean Matthews, Sybil Beasley, Georgia Burton, Frances Barker, Alice Walton, JoAnn Worley, Hermanell Hearn Barnett.

1st Row, L to R:  Emma Rowland, Gwen Post, Dot Gill, Ruth Martin, Frances Bliss, Sylvia McWilliams, Frances Barker, Jane Pickett.

Georgia Ann Burton

Georgia Ann Burton Downs

Georgia Ann Burton Downs

Phares and Johnny Griffin, in front of their home at the Head Mill, Highway 61

Johnny Griffin, 1954

Jane Keen, c. 1940

Jane Keen, c. 1938

Jane, Karl & Joann Keen, c. 1938

Tom(1927-2009) and Darrell Elizabeth (Fuller) Pierson

Wilson & Gerry Brent, Pat and Mel Oakes

Dorothy “Dot” Sadler Barfield and daughter Karla

Dot, Frank Jr., Erma and Mildred,  Sadler Siblings

Poem by Wilson Brent, Poem written -July 7, 2007 - Summer Writing Residency, Peace College, Raleigh, NC


I am from the rich soil of the Mississippi Delta

I am from hell fire and damnation preaching

I am from menopausal parents

I am from too many siblings and too few playmates

I am from soft dirt for wood block cars

I am from dumb ass chickens to tend

I am from a horse with her own head

I am from my dog I had to kill

I am from too many dropped baseballs

I am from timid football playing

I am from grapevine swings

I am from deserted, creepy, haunted houses

I am from early morning dew draped webs

I am from wrong paths taken to scary places

I am from a gentle, caring father

I am from a high strung, angry, determined mother

I am from a guilty conscience fed by sexual fantasy

I am from high expectations and wanting to please

I am from Southern pride that held on to injuries from the War between the States

I am from being proud of your name

I am from steep hills and open fields

I am from hot summer plunges into cold creeks

I am from scary dark woods creeping up on me

I am from yapping dogs giving chase

I am from a prized Schwinn bicycle

I am from a missing person episode

I am from long trips and lively conversations

I am from the Discovery Channel to me.



I am from the rich soil of the Mississippi Delta

(Redwood, MS)

I am from hell fire and damnation preaching

(Brother-in-law, Jimmy, an Evangelist)

I am from menopausal parents (above)

(Father, Jesse Emanuel(1884-1955) age 52, Mother, Ludye Hemingway(1890-1967) age 46)

I am from too many siblings and too few playmates

(Brothers -5, Sisters -2, nearest one 12 years, oldest one -28 year difference in age to me)

I am from soft dirt for wood block cars

(Soft dirt under my house as a child.  The house was raised up on pillars on a hillside)

I am from dumb ass chickens to tend

(It was like herding cats, you couldn't get them to go where you wanted them to go.  Father's lively hood was– selling eggs and chickens mostly to families – not stores)

I am from a horse with her own head

(Very stubborn horse)

I am from my dog I had to kill

(Wilson 12 years old.  You couldn't have a dog that killed chickens.  Spot killed more than one chicken so my father made me shoot my dog)

I am from too many dropped baseballs

(Outfielder in Junior High/Middle School)

I am from timid football playing

(Two years I played football in High School.  My heart wasn't in it.  I wasn't mean enough.  I was called “Bulldog” because I furrowed my brow and looked like one when I played football.)

I am from grapevine swings

(Out in the woods and over creeks)

I am from deserted, creepy, haunted houses

(One house in particular , we -Charlton, Marvin, me  and sometime Howard- camped out and would go to the house and scare ourselves)

I am from early morning dew draped webs

(Out in the country where I lived)

I am from wrong paths taken to scary places

(No particular places)

I am from a gentle, caring father

(Jesse Emmanuel Brent)

I am from a high strung, angry, determined mother

(Ludie Hemingway Brent)

I am from a guilty conscience fed by sexual fantasy

(There you go – I am a male)

I am from high expectations and wanting to please

(Parents dropped me off at Liz and Charltons(my brother) to babysit.  Liz gave me magazines and I sat and looked at them until my parents came back.  Liz always commented “how good I was, no trouble”.  Wilson was 7 or 8 years old)

I am from Southern pride that held on to injuries from the War between the States

(Especially Grandfather Hemingway.  Vicksburg, MS ,didn't celebrate the 4th of July until 1946.  Vicksburg fell on the 4th of July during the Civil War-The Great Oppression”)

I am from being proud of your name

(A family tradition – be proud of your name, don't ever disgrace it)

I am from steep hills and open fields

(My surroundings as a boy)

I am from hot summer plunges into cold creeks

(Explains itself)

I am from scary dark woods creeping up on me

(The woods around my home as  a boy)

I am from yapping dogs giving chase

(When I rode my bicycle down the dirt roads)

I am from a prized Schwinn bicycle

(My brother George-12 years older than me-when we were adults told me he was hurt when I got the bicycle because he had never had one)

I am from a missing person episode

(The one and only trip I worked on my brother's tow boat.  When they docked I went to see Charlotte and didn't tell anyone.  They thought I had fallen over board.)

I am from long trips and lively conversations

(Gerry and I  - our travels and discussions)

I am from the Discovery Channel to me.

(Discovery of self, joy and so much more.)

In your showers may you be aware of God grace giving you what you need.  Gerry and Wilson


Larry & Mabel Debolt and Lavern Oakes & Douglas Jernigan

Johnny Griffin, Oakes Auto Parts Team

L to R: Mardie, Sarah, Beth, Mel Oakes & Miss Mignonne McCandless, Redwood Fourth Grade Teacher, Outside her assisted living facility in Vicksburg.  July 1974.

Hermanell Hearn Barnett

Johnny & Jane Griffin, Bob Hollowell, Claudius Bougoyne

Johnny & Jane Griffin, Bob Hollowell, Claudius Bougoyne

Bob Hollowell

Claudius & Minnie Bougoyne

Claudius Bougoyne

Johnny & Jane Griffin

Jane Keen Griffin and actor Morgan Freeman

Mel & Pat Oakes

Floyd&Betty Oaked, Dot&Phares Griffin, Jane Griffin, Sally Porter, Bettye Oakes, Back: Mel Oakes, Johnny Griffin, Ted Porter, Donald Oakes

Mel Oakes(1954), Barbara McDuff Guttery(1952), Roni & Jack Jones(1949), Pete Guttery, Austin, TX,  2011

Gerry & Wilson Brent

Mel Oakes, Hermanell Hearn, Georgia Burton, Wilson Brent, Hinds Junior College Graduation, 1956

Angeline Champion & Jim Perry at Branson

Angeline Champion & Jim Perry Wedding, 2009

Christine Rodgers Cousins and half-brother Jesse Rodgers

Christine Rodgers Cousins and half-brother Jesse Rodgers

Dot Sadler Barfield and son Dale

Valda Livingston(left) Lowell Livingston(2nd from left) Suber Livingston(father) Annie Edwards Livingston (mother) Emma Mae Livingston(just in front of mother) LaCelle Livingston(youngest in front), ca 1947 (picture from Ralph

Don Adams & Eugenia Sumerall

Mable Bliss Tharrington

Maybe Culkin Teachers:  L to R: ?,  Virgil O’Neill(first principal of Redwood School at its present location, ?, ?, ?,?,?, Mrs. Aubin Holiday(was 5th grade teacher at Redwood HS, ?,?,?,?,?

Rockets Candid Pictures.

Johnny Griffin

Back: Johnny Griffin, Billy Bishop, Earl Martin, ?

Front: ?, ?, George “Sonny” Girard, Phares Griffin

Back: ?,  Katherine Griffin Crouse

Middle:: Earl Martin, Billy Bishop, Johnny Griffin

Front: Phares Griffin, ?, George “Sonny” Girard

Phares Griffin, Earl Martin, Johnny Griffin

Earl Martin, Johnny Griffin, Red Oakes(bK)

J C. Dorman

Earl Martin, Billy Bishop, Johnny Griffin

Johnny Griffin, Earl Martin

Johnny Griffin

Hermanell Hearn, Jane Keen, Betty Jean Alderman

Johnny Griffin, Billy Bishop

Earl Martin, Johnny Griffin

Johnny Griffin, Billy Bishop

Johnny Griffin

Betty Jean Alderman, Todd Huskey, Lola Mae Powell, Rosalie “Bobbie” Fore

Billy Bishop, Phares Griffin, Earl Martin, Clyde Segue(back)

Johnny Griffin

Track Meet, Clinton, MS

Track Meet

Tommy Bishop, Johnny Griffin

Will Breland, Earl Martin, Johnny Griffin, Melvin Oakes

Jane Keen & Johnny Griffin Track Meet

Jane Keen,Track Meet

Earl Martin, Todd Huskey, Johnny Griffin

Johnny Griffin

Vera Lee McBroome, Joyce Boozer, Kay Roland, Ann Huskey, Jane Keen, Jean Raines, Betty Jean Alderman, 

Betty Jean Alderman, Maud Franklin, Ann Huskey, Hermanell Hearn

Front: Dorothy Hall, Mildred Sadler

Wilson Brent, Johnny Griffin, Earl Martin, Todd Huskey

Ann Huskey, Jane Keen, Hermanell Hearn. Aubrey “Possum” Scarberough(on ladder)

Hermanell Hearn, Jane Keen

Hermanell Hearn, Betty Jean Alderman

Betty Jean Alderman, Jane Keen

Earl Martin, Hermanell Hearn, Todd Huskey, Betty Jean Alderman, Ann Huskey

Melvin Oakes, Wilson Brent, Ann Huskey, Tom Dye, Hermanell Hearn, Jane Keen

J. C. Dorman

Jane Keen, Johnny Griffin, Tom Dye(Front)

Todd Huskey

Johnny Griffin, Jane Keen

Earl Martin, Melvin Oakes

Claudius Bourgoyne, Dean Cole

Billy Wayne Bishop, John Robert Griffin

Phares Griffin, Billy Bishop, Johnny Griffin, Earl Martin

The End

Rockets Obituaries of deceased members of Class of 1954 and their teachers.

                                                   Gone but not forgotton

Joseph Dean Cole Sr.

January 18, 1935-March 3, 2002

Joseph Dean Cole Sr. died Sunday, March 3, 2002, at River Region Medical Center. He was 67.

Born in Redwood, Mr. Cole was a graduate of Redwood High School. He was a self-employed contractor. He was a member of First Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by a son, William Russell Cole; a daughter, Linda Katherine Harrison; his parents, Russell Graham and Addie Hackler Cole; and a brother, James Russell Cole.

He is survived by his wife, Lois Leola Phelps Cole of Vicksburg; two sons, Joseph Dean Cole Jr. and Steven Allan Cole, both of Vicksburg; a daughter, Addie Jane Barnett of Brandon; two brothers, Zane Grey Cole of Prescott, Ark., and John Scott Cole-Hazel of Green, Ala.; two sisters, Catherine Bufkin and Isabel Smith, both of Vicksburg; 10 grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Glenwood Funeral Home with Dr. John G. McCall officiating. Burial will follow at Hackler Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 5 until 8 tonight at the funeral home.

Pallbearers will be Rickey Hancock, Anthony Hancock, Bobby Dean Culbertson, Robert Mark Culbertson, Jamie Cole, Keith Keen, Joe Redditt and Robert Griffin.

Honorary pallbearers will be Richard Hancock, Charles Thomas, Elbert Redditt, Robert King, Kenneth Ricks, Joe Durst, Leon Henry, Sherwood Lyons Sr., J.W. Hearn, Fred Owens, Dr. Gerhand Mundingey Jr., Dr. Yosshinobu Namihara, Dr. Chester W. Masterson and Dr. Lamar Weems.

Harold Dunn Alexander

October 13, 1935-May 10, 2005

Harold Dunn Alexander. died May 10, 2005. He was 69.

Born in Redwood, Harold attended Redwood High School.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Harold and Zella Ruth Alexander.

He is survived by two sons, Keith and Kelly Alexander,  both of Vicksburg; 3 grandchildren; one brother, Robert Clyde Alexander and three sisters, Margaret Griffith and Martha Alexander, both of Oak Ridge, MS and Ann Windham of Monroe, LA.  He is buried in Green Acres Memorial Park.

Clement O. Hearn

1935-April 5, 1992

Clement O. Hearn died at his home, April 5, 1992.  He was 57.

Mr. Hearn was born in Warren County and was a graduate of Redwood High School. He was employed  with Cedar Chemical Company and a former employee of Mississippi Valley Portland Cement Company.

He was a veteran, serving in the Army, and a member of the Bovina Baptist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Mildred Corbin Hearn of Vicksburg; a daughter, Ami Hearn Chase of Lexington KY.,: father, Clifford Hearn of Vicksburg; a brother, Caswell Hearn of Houston, Texas; and numerous other relatives including Donnie Lewis of Vicksburg..

He was preceded in death by mother, Mamie M. Hearn and a sister, Laverne Keen.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Fisher-Riles Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. James Busby,pastor of Bovina Baptist Church officiating.  Burial will follow at Green Acres Memorial Park.  Visitation will be 5-8 tonight.

Memorials may be made to the Baptist Children’s Village at P. O. Box 27, Clinton, 39060-0027

Pallbearers will be his cousins, O’Neal Roberts, Benjamin Hearn, Wilford Cockrell, Jack Hearn Jr., Ordell Douglas, Alfred Hearn, Wayne Hearn, and James Hearn.

Honorary pallbearers will be Bill Alexander, S. T. Barnes, Alonzo Dunn, Glen Carraway, Tom Embry, Robert Smith, Roy Stanley, Allen Ohrt, Jim Vines and employees of Cedar Chemical Company.

Delbert “Todd” Huskey

1935-September  14, 1993

Delbert “Todd” Huskey died Tuesday September 14, 1993.  He was 58.

Mr. Huskey was native of Caraway, Ark.  He had lived in Vicksburg for most of his life.  He was veteran of the Army and was an instructor at Hinds Vo-Tech Center.

He was preceded in death by his father, Homer L. Huskey.

He was a member of the Bovina Baptist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Joyce Ann Huskey of Vicksburg; five sons, Perry, Douglas L., William Todd, Barney and Jessy, all of Vicksburg; his mother, Callie Huskey of Vicksburg; one sister, Ann Lott of Clinton; four brothers, Robert “Bob” Huskey of Kalamazoo, MI, Gerald Huskey of Utica, Jimmy D. Huskey of Kosciusko and Jerry Huskey of Jackson; seven grandchildren and a number of nieces and nephews.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at GlenwoodFuneral Home Chapel with Rev. James Busby and Rev Chaz Bosarge officiating.  Burial will follow at Green Acres Memorial Park.  Visitation will be from 4-8 pm Thursday.

Pallbearers will be Joe Loviza, Jimmy Lee, John Lee, Michael Lee, Chuck Snyder, Darrel Hale, Albert Hossley and Calvin Ashley.

Honorary pallbearers will be Victor Lee, Floyd Phelps, Johnny Griffin, Phares Griffin, A. L. Tanner, Doug Tanner, Harry Cockrell, Guy Creekmore, Joey Cooper, and Chuck Gardner.

Glenwood Funeral Home is charge of arrangements.

Allen Earl Martin

May 27, 1936-February 16, 1993

Longview, Texas—Allen Earl Martin of Longview, Texas, formerly of Vicksburg, died Tuesday, Feb. 16, 1993.   died at his home, April 5, 1992.  He was 56.

Mr. Martin was born in Thomasville, Alabama.  He had lived in Longview for the past 18 years.  He was director of services at LeTourneau University and was a member of Mobberly Baptist Church.  He was also an Army veteran of the Korean War, (a paratrooper).

He was preceded in death by his parents, Judson Eugene and Mary Peters Martin, and a brother, Eugene Martin.

Survivors include his wife, Dimple Martin of Longview; two sons, Allen Martin Jr. of Baton Rouge an Damon Martin of Alamosa, Colorada; two brothers, Lamar Martin of Lakeland, FL and Pete Martin of Baton Rouge, two sisters, Louise Williams of Plaquemine, LA and Martha Parker of Vicksburg; two grandchildren, Jessica Rae Martin and Lauren Olive Martin; one daughter-in-la, Konnie Martin of Alamosa and a number of nieces and nephews..

Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at Mobberly Baptist Church with Dr. Laney Johnson and Dr. Alvin O. Austin officiating.  Burial will follow at Memory Park Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 6-8 tonight at the funeral home chapel.

Memorials may be made to the Allen Earl Martin Scholarship Fund at LeTourneau University.

Robbie Jean Gilliland

1935-October 5, 1953

Funeral services will be held at the Fisher Funeral Chapel Tuesday afternoon at 4 o’clock for Miss Robbie Jean Gilliland, 18 year-old Redwood High School senior who died yesterday of injuries received in an automobile accident eight days earlier.

Members of her class at Redwood will serve as pallbearers and burial will be in the City Cemetery

Miss Glliland, who was a senior and high school cheerleader, was fatally injured when a pickup truck in which she and two other Redwood students were riding left the highway and overturned  The accident occurred on Saturday night, September 26 on Highway 61 north of the Yazoo River bridge, and Miss Gilliland never regained consciousness.  Slightly injured in the accident were James C. Hintson and Cecil Fonville

Born in Indianola, Miss Gilliland lived there until about a year abo when her family moved to Valley Park.  She leaves her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Elmer Gilliland of Valley Park; four sisters , Miss Jacqueline Gilliland of Jackson, Miss Mattie Sue Gilliland of Valley Park;  Mrs. W. T. Hancock of Indianola, and Mrs. Hale Norwood of Clarksdale; three brothers, James, Oscar and Bobby Gilliland, all of Valley Park.

The Reverend Jack Butler, pastor of the Valley Park Baptist Church will officiate, assisted by the Rev. L. L. Nicholson, a former pastor, the Rev. Grady Guntharp and the Rev. L. P. Anders, the latter pastor of Gibson Memorial Methodist Church.

Burial will be in City Cemetery.  Pallbearers, six members of the Redwood Senior Class will be John Robert Griffin, Earl Martin, Wilson Brent, Melvin Oakes, Todd Huskey and Claudius Bourgoyne.

Georgia Ann Burton Downs

December 19, 1936-July 21, 2009

Richland, MS

Georgia Ann Burton Downs, 72, died Tuesday, July 21, 2009 in Jackson. Visitation services were held from 9:00-11:00 am Saturday, July 25, 2009 at Baldwin-Lee Funeral Home in Pearl. Funeral services followed at 11 am in the funeral home chapel. Graveside services were held at 2:00pm at Green Acres Memorial Park in Vicksburg.

Ms. Downs retired at the age of 70 from Bell South after 51 years of dedicated service.

Survivors include daughter Cynthia J. Fearon; son J.B. Downs; sister Shirley Cauthen; brothers Everett Burton, John Burton and Robert Burton; 3 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.


Jean Cogan Hambright

1936-Jan 23, 1994

Vicksburg, MS

Jean Cogan Hambright died Sunday at Methodist Medical Center in Jackson.  She was 58.  Mrs. Hambright was a lifelong resident of Vicksburg and daughter of the late Robert W. Cogan Jr. and Louise Bliss Cogan.

She was employed as a meat wrapper for County Market Food Store for many years and was a member of Wilderness Missionary Baptist Church.

She is survived by her husband Wiley E. Hambright,  one son, Wiley G. Hambright, two daughters, Beverly H. Clark and Donna H. Henson all of Vicksburg: two brothers, Bob Cogan of Houston, TX  and Bill Cogan of Vicksburg: two sisters Faye Huskey and Mary Murray Adams, both of Vicksburg; and six grandchildren.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Wilderness M. B. Church with the Rev. Ashford Conrad, pastor, officiating.  Burial will be at Green Acres Memorial Park with Fisher-Riles Funeral Home in charge.  Visitation will be from 5 until 8 tonight at the funeral home.

Pallbearers will be Gary Adams, David Murray, Daniel Murray, John Pelligren, Wiley P Tedder and Estrell “Red” Hambright.

Honorary pallbearers will be deacons of Wilderness M. B. Church.  Memorials may be made to Wilderness M. B. Church, 5415 Gibson Road, Vicksburg, MS, 39180, or to The American Cancer Society, 1380 Livingston Lane, Jackson, MS, 39213.

Wilson Hemingway Brent

March 29, 1936-June 8, 2010

The Reverend Wilson Hemingway Brent died peacefully on June 8, 2010, at his home in Cary, North Carolina. He was a Methodist minister, a marriage and family counselor, and a college staff member who in his long and distinguished career served congregations, clients, and students in Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, Louisiana, and North Carolina.

Wilson was born on March 29, 1936, in Vicksburg, Mississippi, the youngest of eight children born to Ludye Hemingway Brent and Jesse Emanual Brent. (Ernest Hemingway was a distant cousin.) He was raised through his high school years in Redwood, MS, a rural community 12 miles north of Vicksburg, and attended Hinds Junior College and Mississippi College, majoring in mathematics. After he graduated, he taught math for one year at Peeples Junior High School in Jackson, MS. Then he heard the call to ministry and enrolled at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, where he earned an M.Div. degree. His ordination as an elder in the Methodist Church followed within three years. He subsequently did graduate study in the sociology of religion at Emory University in Atlanta and earned an M.A. in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA. Besides his pastoral and counseling positions, he served for nine years on the staff of the School of Church Careers at Centenary College in Shreveport, LA., providing program leadership and counseling services. His students from that period remembered him fondly for years after they graduated and continued to be a source of joy to him for the rest of his life.

Wilson married Charlotte Treadway of Jackson, MS, with whom he had one child, Claudia Rebecca. Charlotte also became an ordained Methodist minister and served her own churches in Louisiana, and she also copresented workshops with Wilson on marriage enrichment and on death and grief. Their marriage lasted for 45 years until her death parted them in 2000. Wilson temporarily filled her position at the church she was serving in Welsh, LA, and served there until a permanent replacement was appointed. Not long afterwards he moved to Cary, NC, to be near his daughter and son-in-law. He joined the congregation of St. Francis United Methodist Church in Cary, did some occasional preaching there, and voluntarily took the position of visitation ministry associate which he maintained until he became ill. At St. Francis he met Gerry Weiss and married her in 2002, and with her led several Griefshare workshops in the church.

While that narrative sounds like a fairly ordinary life journey for one who follows the path of ministry, Wilson Brent was anything but ordinary. He grew up deep in the rural South, immersed in a culture of religious and racial prejudice, and yet came to develop a deeply rooted conviction in the fundamental role of interfaith and interracial cooperation in the Christian faith. He carried this conviction into the rural southern churches he served in the 1960s and 1970s and preached it, sometimes in the face of intense hostility from some of his congregants. He developed a plan for prison ministry for the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church and took part in its implementation; was actively involved in hospital ministry for many years; participated in the development of lay witness missions and a variety of educational programs in the Mississippi and Louisiana Conferences; and was part of a church task force promoting AIDS education in the 1980s.

Wilson’s Christian faith and adherence to his principles were strong and unshakeable, and at the same time he was unfailingly kind, gentle, funny, and infinitely generous of spirit. He wrote poetry throughout his adult life, and in 2003 published a volume of his poetry entitled Life Well Lived, a phrase that characterizes his own life perfectly. Serving others in death as he did in life, he donated his body to the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Wilson is survived by his wife Gerry, her three daughters and son and their spouses Laura and Hamilton LaForge, Sue and James Brewer, Shelly Weiss, and Todd and Dawn Weiss; his daughter Rebecca Brent and her husband Richard Felder; his eight grandchildren Wade, Nicole, Jessica, Alex, Todd Jr., Kenneth, Elena, and Gary; his seven great-grandchildren Mary, Benjamin, Jacob, Shannon, Jonathan, James, and Cecelia; his sister Catherine; and many nieces and nephews and their offspring.

A memorial service celebrating Wilson’s life will be held at 3:00 p.m. Monday, June 14, 2010, at St. Francis United Methodist Church on Kildaire Farm Rd. near Penny Rd. in Cary, with a reception following the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Wilson H. Brent to the Charlotte Brent Memorial Scholarship Fund (United Methodist Foundation of Louisiana, 8337 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge, LA 70809), the St. Francis United Methodist Church (2965 Kildaire Farm Rd., Cary, NC 27518), or the Cary Page Rotary Club (P.O. Box 836, Cary, NC 27512).

Eulogy for Wilson H. Brent

Delivered by Rebecca Brent (daughter) at the Memorial Service St. Francis United Methodist Church, Cary, NC

Monday, June 14, 2010

The poem Gary read beautifully sums up impressions of my father’s early years in rural Mississippi. I came on the scene a little over a year after he had married my mother, Charlotte, when he was 20 years old, going to school full time and driving a school bus to makes ends meet. I was quite the night owl and he loved to tell about trying to get me to sleep by gently holding my eyelids shut in hopes that I’d drift off. After graduating from college, he felt the call to preach. My mother, not having signed on for the life of a preacher’s wife, asked him to wait a year during which he taught junior high school math. If anything would send you directly into God’s work, it’s trying to teach remedial math to a room full of 13 year olds. He served a small church outside of Jackson with a wood-burning stove that he occasionally had to stop his sermons to stoke!

After that challenging year, he packed up his wife and three-year-old and headed to Wilmore Kentucky and Asbury Seminary. That was three years of intense growth and lots of snow, and surviving changing a light bulb on our back porch while standing ankle deep in water, and having a car plunge down a steep hill from the parking lot behind our home and land in the bedroom. He also served a church in Appalachia and routinely picked up young people for Methodist Youth Fellowship. He was quite proud of once getting nine young folks into our car…a Volkswagon beetle! That must be some kind of record!

We all returned to Mississippi where my Dad served churches in Kingston, Natchez, and Satartia. Remember this was the 1960’s when tensions were high as the civil rights movement was in full swing. Dad strongly believed in racial equality and interfaith communication and cooperation, a conviction he came to when in seminary with classmates from around the world.  He stood up for what he believed in the face of hostility from many of his parishioners and at considerable personal risk.

I didn’t realize any of this until much later, of course. To me he was just Daddy, who tucked me in each night with songs and long talks, and in whose love, I was always certain. He had a spirit of fun and called each move an adventure. He could do a mean Elvis impersonation of “Hound Dog” complete with shaking legs and twitching hips that always made me laugh.

When I was 12, we moved to Atlanta where my Dad studied sociology of religion at Emory and was associate pastor in a large church. It was on a youth retreat there that the boys in his cabin put a frog in his pillow as a prank and his collecting of frogs began. After three years, we came back to Mississippi to churches in Bonita, Jackson, Biloxi and Pearl. During this period, Dad developed plans for a prison ministry for the Mississippi Conference and took part in its implementation, participated in the development of Lay Witness Missions, and later was part of a task force promoting AIDS education. In every church he served, Dad had a tremendous impact on the lives of his people, especially with his ministry to them in times of crisis—deaths, sickness, divorce. He started to feel that perhaps he could serve better in that capacity, as a counselor, than in regular pastoral ministry.

He and my mom set off in the summer of 1978 to California to a marriage and family therapy program he had been accepted to with no job, no place to live, and an old Ford Pinto held together with bailing wire to make the cross-country journey—life was an adventure, remember! Somehow they made it and he experienced a coming into his own. He began to write free verse poetry after years of writing constricted haiku; he discovered the joy of wine and hot tubs; and in counseling he found a calling that he would continue for the rest of his life.

The work he considered his most rewarding was a nine-year period in the School of Church Careers at Centenary College in Shreveport. He worked with young people as a spiritual advisor, mentor and pastor during their four years in college. Many of those students went on to become ministers, deacons, and church musicians—a fact of which he was most proud. When he left the college, the students planted a tree in his honor…a fitting tribute since his entire life was all about growth. In fact, the tree was one of the things he showed Gerry when he took her back to Louisiana to meet his colleagues and friends and he was quite proud that it endured and had grown taller than the building.

When my mother felt the call to ministry later in life, Dad supported her through a master’s degree in Christian education, diaconal ministry, seminary and ordination as an elder. He followed her to two appointments in southern Louisiana and was a loving caretaker as she battled liver disease. After her death in 2000 he finished out her appointment because he thought the congregation would benefit from having time to grieve her loss before a new minister came in. A little over a week after her death, Dad and I first visited St. Francis where we were warmly welcomed and Dad received one of those legendary Rick Clayton hugs, after which he declared “THIS will be my church.” He moved to Cary in 2001, declaring that he was sure he’d never marry again and would possibly join a monastery. Then he met Gerry.

He came to tell my husband and me about her shortly after they met at Prime Timers perhaps to be sure we were okay with his calling her. Right after he left our house, we turned to each other and said, “Well, so much for the monastery!” They married in 2002 and had a wonderful life together, traveling and relishing the company of friends, but also continuing to help each other to grow and expand their worlds and experiences. From the first days, Dad talked about how warm and open Gerry’s family was to him and he loved the laughter and fun. He embraced Wade, Nicole, Jessica, Alex and TJ as his own grandchildren along with Rich’s and my grandkids Mary, Ben, Jacob, Shannon, Johnny, James, and Cecelia, and lovingly attended recitals, concerts, plays, and birthday parties, showering the next generation with his love, hugs, and support. Continuing his commitment and active participation for many years in Rotary International, he joined the Cary Page Club. Shortly before his death, he was honored with a Paul Harris Fellow medal. He became more and more involved in the church here, facilitating groups with Gerry on grief, leading services including an appearance of Boxcar Willie, his clown persona, visiting, mentoring, and even singing in the choir for a brief time. He loved the people of St. Francis, the wonderful music and dramatic productions, and its ministers. This truly was HIS church home.

Even when dying, Dad continued to give service and maintained a loving spirit and faith. He made a point to speak with many people in his life to give them (and him) closure. He took communion and studied the lectionary. He said over and over, “God is with us.”

I’d like to share one final story. One of Dad’s nieces, April, wrote me a couple of days ago reporting about the musings of her daughter Luci, age 5. She wrote, “The day of and the day after Uncle Wilson's passing Luci thought about Uncle Wilson a lot. She thought about heaven a lot and what it must be like and she asked, just to make sure, if Uncle Wilson knew Jesus. She later proclaimed, with a broad smile, that she could imagine Uncle Wilson sharing a ‘ginormous’ piece of chocolate with Jesus. How wonderful it is when we look on this through the eyes of a child. Uncle Wilson is indeed with His Savior.”

While I will miss my Dad, I know that he is at peace now. And I take great comfort knowing that he’ll live on in Luci, in each of us, and in all the lives he touched.

Noel Nutt

1907-January 5, 1997

Noel Nutt died Sunday, Jan. 5, 1997, at Heritage House Nursing Home.  He was 90.

Mr. Nutt was born in Ludlow, Miss., and had lived in Vicksburg for the past 65 years.  A graduate of Mississippi College, he taught and coached basketball at Hinds Junior College.  He also taught in the Warren County School System and served as Superintendent of Education for Warren County.

In 1962, he was elected as Warren County Circuit Clerk, retiring in 1971.  He was a member of the First Baptist Church and was preceded in death by his wife, Marie Brichetto Nutt in 1988.

Survivors include four daughters, Judy Owen and Mary Noel Brooks, both of Jackson, Jo Anne Jones of St. Louis, Mo., and Patty Baldwin of Memphis; 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Service will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Glenwood Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Gordon Sansing officiating.  Burial will follow in Green Acres Memorial Park.  Visitation will be from 5 until 7 tonight.

Pallbearers will be Brad Odon, Scott Baldwin, Lee Owen, Layden Owen, Steve Marcus and Miles Marcus.

Comments on Wilson Brent

by Gerry Weiss Brent, Wife

at the Memorial Service

St. Francis United Methodist Church, Cary, NC

Monday, June 14, 2010

I knew Wilson 8 years and 8 plus months of his 74 years of life.


-we both had been married

-raised our children

-had our careers

-had grieved the death of our spouses

-were in our retirement

-we were soul mates as well as playmates

-we played with our families, friends and in our community

-we had a good, fun and fulfilling life together


-God blessed us with the love of each others family

-Wilson's love for Rebecca was expressed in his face with delight,

        whenever he saw her

-he loved Rich like a son

-he opened his heart and loved my children and their families completely

-the grandchildren/great-grandchildren brought Wilson joy seeing them

        grow and develop their unique individual personalities


-most accepting person I have ever known, as he often told me “they have

     their own good reason”

-he was affirming – he would say “you have within you everything that you


-when he smiled at you with the twinkle in his eyes- you knew you were 


-his hug was an embrace

-intuitively he knew what to say and do

-he was compassionate, sensitive and gentle


-ready to do it all

-go new places

-try new things

-meet new people

-he loved learning and growing


-it was quiet and easy to miss unless he was dressed in costume

     proposed to me, in a restaurant, with my family, dressed as the

     silent clown, Box Car Willie, he mimed the proposal

-he saw a tall green leprechaun hat when we were in New Orleans.   Wilson

     bought it for Fat Tuesday celebration at church and to wear for

     Tricks or Treating at Halloween

-neighbors still laugh when they talk about Wilson coming to a Halloween

     Party dressed in a grass skirt, coconut bra and blonde wig


-move to Cary for retirement

-taking the risk of getting married again

-his health issues

     -heart bi-pass surgery

     -eye surgery

     -prostrate cancer

     -surgery for fluid around his lung


     -ablation  procedure

     -his esophagus quitting

     -and coming home from the hospital with hospice care

During these times, Wilson called on God, overcame his fears and embraced life again– even in his dying.


-The last four months we have been grieving together the-

     -loss of his health

     -loss of our life together

     -loss of family times together

     -loss of travel

     -loss of being active in our community

     -loss of all our plans and dreams

You made a difference in our grieving -



-in your prayers and love

-your visits

-the wheel chair walks

-all the music

-your emails and phone calls

-your listening, listening, listening

-your cards- Wilson's received cards every day but one for 4 months.  That

     one day he reread all the cards he had received and commented “I am

     amazed at all the love I feel.”


-honoring Wilson with the Rotary's – Paul Harris Award

-making and giving him prayer quilts

-celebrating communion with us

-anointing us with oil

-dedicating the new oil holders in honor of Wilson

-giving him gentle and efficient care as caregivers


-in your affirmation of Wilson's poems

-celebrating his birthday

-doing energy work

-video taping this service

-video taping Wilson's history

-sharing your photos

-drawing and coloring pictures for him

-planning, preparing and serving the meal today after this service of


You touched us as the hands of God, loving us on this journey. 

Thank you from both of us.


On June 8th, around 8:30AM.  Debra and Sherry, his faithful caregivers, and I were gathered around Wilson's bed sharing our love with him as he peacefully took his last breath

He was free to go to his eternal home.

Wilson's “Life Well Lived” continues in eternity with his Lord God Almighty!


Emma Mae Livingston Sharp

April 5, 1936-November 8, 2008

COLUMBIA - Emma Mae Livingston Sharp, 72 of Columbia, SC, wife of the late MAJ James L. Sharp, USA, died peacefully the morning of November 8, 2008, at the Hospice Center of Charleston with the company of her daughter and son. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the funeral service at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, November 10, 2008, at Dunbar Funeral Home, 3926 Devine Street. Burial will follow in Elmwood Cemetery, to be followed by a reception at North Trenholm Baptist Church. Visitation will be et the funeral home Sunday, November9 from 3:00 until 6:00 p.m.

Mrs. Sharp was born April 5, 1936, In Newellton, LA, daughter of the late Burley Suber and Annle Mae Livingston. She was a 1950 graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi and received a Masters Degree in Special Education from the University of South Carolina in 1974. She was a teacher for Richland County School District 2 from 1975 until her retirement in 1998 and taught at Dent Middle School and Richland Northeast High School In Columbia.

A 1954 graduate of Moorhead High School In Moorhead, MS, she was a member of the National Honor Society and the cheerleading squad and was the school|'s 1954 Homecoming Queen. Mrs. Sharp met her future husband while she was a student at Sunflower Junior College where she was e member of the cheerleading squad and sang with the Chorallers.

Alter graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree In Elementary Education, she began her career as a third grade teacher at E.M. Boyd Elementary School In Greenville, MS. When her husband's military career led them to locations in the United States and Germany, Mrs. Sharp provided a loving and cheerful home as they raised their three children. Mrs. Sharp ls remembered by friends and family for her love of children, her lively sense of humor and for the kindness and patience that sprang from her generous spirit. She devised many inventive gems for her children and grandchildren and enjoyed, playing the plane, working crossword puzzles and visiting with family and friends. In recent years, she joined the Joyful Seekers Sunday School Class of North Trenholm Baptist Church and enjoyed providing pre-game meals for the Richland Northeast High School football players at the church.

Affectionately known as Mlml throughout her life, she was preceded In death by her husband, her parents and her older brother Lowell Livingston. She ls survived by her daughter, Leslie Sharp of Charleston, SC; her sons Lt Col Kenneth Sharp, USAF (Ret) and wife Paula of Niceville, FL, and LTC James L. Sharp, USA, and wife Wendy of Ft. Mlll, SC.

Also surviving are six grandchildren: Alex Sharp, Mark Sharp, Melissa Sharp, Christin Sharp, Forrest Sharp, and Andrew Sharp, and two sisters: Mrs. Vaida Brown of Shalimar, FL and Mrs. LaCeIe Bowen of Jackson, MS.

The family would like to thank the caring, professional staff of Hospice of Charleston for their support In Miml's final days. In Iieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to Hospice of Charleston Foundation, 676 Wando Park Blvd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 or North Trenholm Baptist Church, 6515 North Trenholm Road, Columbia, SC 29206.


Darrell Beth Fuller Pierson

Feb. 25, 1936-June 11, 2013

Darrell “Beth” Fuller Pierson started her life in Yazoo City, Mississippi. Her parents were Albert (1903-)and Susie(1903-) Fuller. Albert was a farmer.  Darrell was the youngest of four children, Albert Jr. Hilton Lamar, Audrey and Darrell.  She was survived by her sister Audrey Cummings.  After graduation from Redwood High School, Beth enlisted in  the US Army and served for nearly 16 years.  She met her husband, Tom, in Germany.  They were married for 50 years and raised four children, Robert, Rita, Renee and Ronald.  Beth’s greatest joy was her six grandchildren, Tanya, John, Melissa, Nathan, Sherry and Nicholas.

Beth leaves behind friends and family, colleagues and bowling partners, gardens, and flowers and memories of a life lived well. She joins her husband, family and friends in a better place, for the Lord has prepared a room for her.  She is free of pain and able to plant flowers and cook and dance with beloved husband. Beth lovingly cared for Tom during his illness with Parkinson‘s disease.  Ironically she develop the same disease following Tom’s death.

Beth touched the lives of many and she will live on in the hearts, minds and souls of those who met her. A service was held to celebrate her life at Liberty Grove United Methodist Church, Burtonsville, MD, on June 23, 2013.