Community Prepares for Graduation Exercises

By CONSTANCE SLAUGHTER-HARVEY,

Our community is saddened by the death of Mrs. Jackie Lyles Denham who transitioned Friday, May 7th at the University Medical Center in Jackson. Mrs. Denham was a graduate of Forest High School and attended Hinds Junior College and Chicago Medical Institute.  She worked in several local businesses including Six Cees Superette and Sara Lee. Memorial services are scheduled for Saturday, May 18th at Wolf Funeral Services in Morton at 2:00 p.m.  Family hour is Friday, May 17th from 1-6 at Wolf.  Our prayers are with her family, especially her children, Justin, Chavon, and De’Aerial, and her mother, Mrs. Irene Lyles.  Please keep them in your prayers.

Our community is saddened by the death of Mrs. Vernoy Reynolds, widow of Dr. Kermit Reynolds, and a resident of Bee Hive in Forest. She transitioned Friday, May 10th and was memorialized Sunday, May 13th at the Forest Baptist Church. Former pastor Rev. Scott Fortenberry officiated and delivered her eulogy. Ott and Lee Funeral home was in charge of arrangements. Her services to our community will be missed and especially in the educational area.  She mentored many youth and coordinated tutoring sessions at the Forest Housing Authority, was a member of the Forest Elementary Reading Project, and one of the founders of the Forest Baptist Church Ministry’s Big A Bible Club.  Please keep her family in your prayers, especially her children, Ellen (John) Smith, Phyllis (Ricky) Dilly, Randy (Cindy) and Kevin (Patty).  

We are sorry to learn of the death of Mrs. Trevor Brady of New York.  She was the daughter of Mrs. Patsy Ruth Qualls Brady and granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clell (Lottie) Qualls. Memorial arrangements are incomplete.

Please continue to remember our readers who are facing health challenges.

Congratulations to Dr. Kelly A. Ellis, daughter of Dr. Cheryl Slaughter Ellis and granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. L. (Olivia) Slaughter. She is the mother of Naomi Baskins.  Dr. Ellis was honored and recognized May 2nd at Chicago State University for her commitment to transform lives for over 21 years. The presentation for Academic and Student Affairs Excellence was presented by Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Leslie Roundtree. Dr. Ellis has authored several books, including Tougaloo Blues, which is a collection of poems dedicated to her grandparents, W. L. and Olivia Kelley Slaughter. Congratulations Dr. Ellis, we are proud of you!

Congratulations to Kalyndzeyia Gray, daughter of Linda and James Burkes and Lerone Gray, on her graduation from the University of MS with a major in Exercise Science.  She received her degree Saturday, May 11th and expressed appreciation to her parents and other supporters.  She was the recipient of the 2015 Olivia Kelley Award and intends to attend nursing school.  We are proud of Kalyndzeya who is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 

Our readers are invited to attend the 2019 Spring Revival at the Greater Deliverance Church of God in Christ which starts May 14 and runs through May 16th.  The services start at 7:30 p.m. nightly. The guest speaker is Bishop Linwood Dillard, Jr., of the Citadel of Deliverance Church of God in Christ. Greater Deliverance COGIC is located at 110 Old Highway 21 North in Forest and the Pastor is Bishop Daniel Littleton.

We enjoyed celebrating the special day with Mrs. Helen Harris on May 1st.  She celebrated her 93rd birthday by dining with her daughter in Quitman and then returning to Forest to relax at home.  Please keep Mrs. Harris in your prayers as she continues to enjoy lending a helping hand to others. Happy Birthday Mrs. Helen!

Congratulations Scott County graduating seniors who will complete their high school education. We salute them by presenting scholarships during Senior Day Friday, May 17th.  Five students will receive Legacy Scholarships in memory of the late Alderman W. L. Slaughter, Mrs. Olivia Kelley Slaughter, Mr. Theaodis Gary, and Mrs. Aura Neely-Gary.  Students attending Forest High School, Scott Central Attendance Center and Morton High School are eligible for these honors. Winners will be announced in next week’s column.

Constance Slaughter-Harvey delivered the 2019 Law School Commencement Address at the University of Mississippi (Ole MS) Saturday, May 11th at the Olivia and Archie Manning Athletic Performance Center.  She was introduced by Associate Dean Ben Cooper who stood in for Dean Susan Duncan who had health challenges.  Other program participants included Forest native MS College School of Law Dean Patricia Bennett who represented the MS Bar as president, Katherine Farese, Sammy L. Brown, and law professors Antonia Eilason, Dr. Michele Alexandre, E. Farish Percy, and Larry Pittman. Her challenge to graduates was “Be the Change you wish to see in this world.” Her grandson, James, was her special guest.

Our readers are invited to Senior Honors Day Friday, May 17th at Morton High School (9:00 a.m.), Forest High School (10:00 a.m.), and Scott Central High School (1:30 p.m.)