Forest News

Happy Birthday:

Oct. 9: Alicia McIntire, Lewis Whitacre, Pat Foreman, James Autry, Henry Glaze, Willa McClennahan, Lee Crimm, Adam O. Thomas, Jr., Christopher Thomas.

Oct. 10: Ralph Brown, Sr., Connie Gordin, Jeff Gaddis, Lodena Horne, Linda Corinne Hollingsworth, Carolyn Jones, Mrs. Lyda Mayo, Paul Watkins, Lee Holifield, Nathan Sharp, Jarrod Hill.

Oct. 11: Jennifer Wolverton, Terry Harvey, Maudine Hall, Bertha Crimm, Pat Waldrip, Mrs. Joe Warren, Sarah Hamm.

Oct. 12: Alex McCrory, Melissa Marveggio, Pequita Tadlock Bobo, Jimmy Pryor, Jim Copeland,  Jackie Phillips, Terry Miller, Mark Westberry, Allen Breland, Greg Mangum, Brandon Green, Carol Franklin, Christopher “Tate” Rushing, Ann Myers.

Oct. 13: Shelley Lynn Gunn, Kelly Hodges, Jr., Jerry Cleveland, W. C. Spence, Kay Barton, Pat Frechette, Rickey Evans, Doug Ware, Shane Gray, Dontavic Body.

Oct. 14: Ty Corban, Kenny Anderson, Carol Johnston Lindley, Doug Roby, Charles Fairchilds, Shawn Harris, Wayne Franklin, Jay Lushina, Horace Barton, Walker Martin Lindley, Kimberly Shirley Jones.

Oct. 15: Ruth Stewart, David Alexander, Chuck Watkins, (Betty Sigrest Bustin,) Allen Taylor, Cole Pope, Thomas Williams, Charlie Sherman, Sherri Wilbourne, Margaret Beatty.

Forest mourns the loss of one of their own, Martha Noble Lee Hassell, who passed away following a long illness. A Bearcat sports star, cheerleader and former Miss Hospitality for the city, Martha Noble’s leadership skills and popularity followed her to Mississippi College, where she was president of her social club, Kissimmee, and a varsity cheerleader. She married her college sweetheart and taught school in Clinton following graduation, before moving to Laurel. In Laurel, she was active in her church as well civic, service, and social organizations and events.

She was the older daughter of former Chief Justice Roy Noble Lee and Sue Epting Lee of Forest. In addition to her parents, Martha Noble was preceded in death by her brother, Steve Lee. She is survived by her husband of 51 years, Dr. John Francis Hassell, of Laurel; daughter, Jenny and Coleman Cummins, of Brandon; son, Jay and Emily Hassell  of Madison; and grandchildren: Davis Cummins, Emilee Cummins, Brooks Hassell, and Lee Alston Hassell. She is also survived by her sister, Susie and Zach Hederman, and brothers, Tommy and Gail Lee, Noble and Paula Lee, sister-in-law, Tammy Lee; uncle, Judge Tom and Norma Ruth Lee and many loving nieces, nephews and cousins.

Visitation was on Sunday and again prior to the funeral service on Monday at First Baptist Church of Laurel with Dr. Randy Turner officiating. Interment was in Lake Park Hills Cemetery in Laurel. Our deepest sympathy to her family and friends.

We continue to think about Beverly Rhodes who underwent surgery at Mississippi Baptist Hospital in Jackson over three weeks ago.  We understand she has suffered several setbacks following surgery.  We wish her a speedy and complete recovery!

We are proud of Mike Joyner, President of the Florida Fruits and Vegetables Association and husband of former Forest resident, Alicia Gatewood Joyner. Mike was recently honored by his alma mater, the University of Florida, with their most prestigious award, CALS Award of Distinction.  Mike, son-in-law of Barbara and Lamar Gatewood, received this latest recognition at the annual UF Dinner of Distinction in Gainesville, Florida. He was a member of the first graduating class of The UF Wedgeworth Leadership Institute for Arts and Natural Resources. He is a graduate of the University of Florida‘s Agricultural and Life Sciences, and holds a variety of board appointments pertaining to public policy making at the city, state and national levels. Congratulations, Mike!

Charles Hall was presented unexpected birthday wishes by fellow Forest United Methodist Church Chancel Choir members at a recent choir practice.  “Charlie, ” who is known and respected by many in this area, just turned 84, and was happily surprised by the greetings and a delicious home-baked (by Deborah Slaughter) chocolate cake. Charlie is still hard working daily at his job with Nu-Way Cleaners, and although has slowed a bit, still picks up his beloved tennis racket occasionally, and is a long-time member of the choir.

Bill and Sandra Lovett recently enjoyed a visit with long-time friends B. J. “Buddy” Mardis and wife Pat at their home in Yazoo City. Bill and Buddy were fraternity brothers while students at University of Southern Mississippi, and later served in the same U. S. Navy aviation squadron in Norfolk, V.  The Lovetts met Pat, from Pittsburgh,  later  married to Buddy, during their time in Norfolk.  The couples have maintained contact after the guys retired from service and returned to Mississippi. Pat’s brother,  Bill Kinnard, also served in the same squadron, and was paying a visit with the Mardis’s. Everyone enjoyed a delicious meal, and the guys recalled and shared many stories from their squadron experiences. 

Wish they would write a book!! Bill, we thank each of you for your service.

It takes a village...

Tom and Stewart Lee attended the Madison Central game last week, while Michael and Norma Ruth spent some special time together. At the same time, Heather Lee and son Steven were in South Haven at a baseball tournament.  Claudia Maron had a cross country meet last week at Mississippi College, also attended by Norma Ruth Lee.  Hope to have further reports soon!!

Congratulations to Cade Shaw, son of Stephanie and Brian Shaw of Madison, who played one of the lead roles in Madison Central’s recent production of “The Music Man.” Cade played Winthrop Paroo in the production last weekend.  He is the grandson of George and Jo Taylor and Royce and Maggie Shaw of Madison.

Barbara and Lamar Gatewood enjoyed  a weekend visit from their granddaughter, Aubrey Joyner, who now lives in Birmingham.

Thanks to those who shared items for this week’s column. Please send me your news to at  We want to hear from you!