Community bids farewell to Principal James Harper

By CONSTANCE SLAUGHTER-HARVEY,

A beautiful memorial homegoing celebration was held for former Hawkins Middle School principal, James W. Harper, Sunday, July 14th at the Forest Elementary School Auditorium.  It was a moving celebration of his life and his commitment to students and the educational system. Former students from Clarksdale, the University of MS, and Scott County expressed their appreciation for his support and mentoring. His pastor, Rev. Donald Keys, officiated and delivered the eulogy. Program participants, including Mrs. Aurvanette Campbell who served as mistress of ceremony, shared tributes, namely, Deacon  Ben Bradley (church), Rev. Louvene Robinson (neighbor), Atty. Constance Slaughter-Harvey (Hawkins High classmate), Eddie Cole (athletic mentee from Ole MS), Rev.  Leo Blount (Coahoma/ JSU classmate) and Apostle Robert Johnson. Beautiful music was provided by House of Prayer and Union Grove M. B. Church Choir.

Our prayers are with his family, especially his children, Marcus (Vanessa), Tonya (Derek) Davis, Donna, and Brian (Phalen); his grandchildren, and siblings Martha (Robert) Kincaid and John Curtis (Vernessia). Mapp Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Our community is saddened by the death of Mrs. Bonnie Odom who transitioned Friday, July 12 , 2019. Memorial services were scheduled for Tuesday, July 16th at Little Rock M. B. Church.  Mapp Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

We are sorry to learn of the death of Mr. Kenneth Bradford of the Little Rock community. Memorial arrangements are incomplete and Evans Memorial Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Our prayers are with the family of the late former Sheriff Pete Walls who served Scott County residents from 1976-1980.  He was a good public servant and served all without regard to diversity.  

We are sorry to learn of the death of Morton native, Mrs. Annie Lee Rhodes Ficklin, who transitioned Monday and was memorialized Saturday, July 13th at Farris Hill Baptist Church.  Rev. Mark Johnson officiated and delivered the eulogy. Mrs. Patricia Givens was the mistress of ceremony. Other program participants included relatives Sharon Bridges, Dr. James and Mrs. Vickie Lock, Walter Rhodes, Frank Boyd, Rev. Ava Harvey, J. P. Stapleton, Della Dunlap and Rev. Willie Earl Jones.  Our prayers continue to be with her family, especially her children, Vickie (James) Lock, Lillie (Danny) Hicks, Sharon (Bernard) Bridges,  Shirl (Anthony) Jasper and Booker T.

We enjoyed spending quality time with Mr. and Mrs. Albert (Lucy Verne) Moore.  Mr. Moore has great recall and continues to remain alert and focused on today’s events and happenings. Mrs. Moore continues to display that warming and beautiful  smile.  Please continue to remember this special couple in your prayers.

We enjoyed the Annual Special Needs Program held at Union Grove M. B. Church Sunday, July 7th and the Appreciation Day for Local Law Enforcement. Special needs recipients received gifts and monetary donations from church members and guests. Receiving gifts and love expressions were Beyonce McCoy, Tweety Benton, James “Buster” Daniels, Antoya Payton, T. J. Flowers, Zachery Lewis, Sasha Fortune and Jamie Gammage. It was a beautiful expression of love.  Thanks to M. C. Vicky Towner, coordinator Rita Parker, and other members of the Mission and Usher Board.

During this special program, Union Grove law enforcement officers were  also  recognized and honored, namely, Highway Patrolman D. Q. Qualls , Deputy Sheriff Julian Parker, District Attorney Investigator Carolyn Ford Jones, Department of Corrections Officer Vicky Patrick, and Deputy Sheriff Michael Townsend. We join in saluting and honoring these law enforcement officers and wish them well. 

Special birthday greetings to Legacy Board Member and Mentor, Shirley Sykes who celebrated her birthday Sunday, July 14th 

Belated birthday greetings to Mrs. Catherine Coleman Myers who celebrated her 90th birthday Saturday, July 13th at her home.  Her daughters, Linda, Carolyn Sue, and Mary and their families were present and showered her with love, prayers and gifts. In addition to other family members and friends, her pastor, Rev. Henry Patrick, and wife, Marquita Patrick, joined in the celebration. Happy birthday Mrs. Myers!!!

Congratulations to Pastor Shirley Wilder, Lynch Chapel United Methodist Church Pastor, who was honored July 7th by her Church family.  It was a special day for the church and pastor as they celebrated her One Year Anniversary. The celebration began following regular church services and during this event, delicious refreshments were served — cake, chips, hot dogs, sandwiches, ice cream and punch.   Special thanks to members assisting and coordinating this celebration and special kudos to the Kitchen/Hospitality Committee members. We wish Rev. Wilder many more years of leadership to our community.

We enjoyed the annual conference of the MS Central State Troopers Coalition held at the Scarlett Pearl in Biloxi. We especially enjoyed reports from their 2019 Summer Camp and Mentoring Programs. Local attorney Constance Slaughter-Harvey was honored and the work of the Legacy Foundation was highlighted by Change Agents Constance Olivia and James, III (Tre) Burwell. 

Scott County  voters and candidates (state-wide, district, county and city) enjoyed a delicious fried fish meal as they listened to candidates share and outline their platforms.  Special thanks to the Committee for a Progressive Scott County for sponsoring and coordinating this event where voters could meet their candidates and listen to their platforms prior to casting their ballots. Candidates for Ward I Alderperson of Forest were also present.  Let’s keep the momentum going and learn more about candidates prior to casting a ballot. Education and democracy are partners in making this a better community for our children.

Our readers are invited to join the New Friendship Baptist Church family as they celebrate their Pastor’s Ninth Year Anniversary.  The banquet will be held at the church Saturday, August 3rd starting at 6:00 p.m.  The invitation is extended by the Pastor’s Aide Committee.  Additional details will follow.

Answer to Quiz Teaser # 495:  The late James Wesley Harper was the first African American principal of Hawkins Middle School. Prior to integration, it was Hawkins High School.

Quiz Teaser # 496    Which native Scott County son is following in the footsteps of his father in seeking a county law enforcement office?  He is running for office in our neighboring Newton County.

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