JCJC remembers Anderson, dedicates legacy tree

JCJC remembers Anderson, dedicates legacy tree
Photo from: JCJC
Photo from: JCJC

ELLISVILLE, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from Jones County Junior College. 

The first “Legacy Tree” on the Jones County Junior College campus was dedicated in memory of Dick Anderson with many of his family and friends in attendance.  The 1943 Jones County Agricultural High School and 1956 JCJC alumnus was the 1993 Honor Alumnus of the Year.  As an active community member, he served as Mayor of Ellisville for 14 years and he was a Mississippi House of Representative for eight years. Current Ellisville Mayor, Tim Waldrup remembers Anderson and said he proudly continues his legacy of service.

“Many of the practices and procedures put into place during his tenure as mayor and the example he set, are still followed today,” said Waldrup. “Dick truly set an example that will be followed by everyone who will come behind him as mayor.”

Anderson also served two terms as the president of the Ellisville Jaycees, winning the National SPOKE Award twice. He was the General Manager of the Nehi Bottling Company in Ellisville, manager of Ellisville Custom Canners, he served on the executive committee for the National Soft Drink Association for eight years, he was a member of the Ellisville Masonic Lodge and he was a member of Ellisville’s First United Methodist Church.  His service on earth ended last January, but his legacy lives on today.

“We’re very proud of Dick,” said his step-son, Grant Hedgepeth at the memorial dedication.  “He never sought recognition; I think he would be embarrassed by this. But, he would also be very honored and proud inside.  We want to thank JCJC and The Foundation, Buck and Tom Anderson, and everyone else that helped to do this.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” 

JCJC Foundation Executive Director, Charlie Garretson shared he grew up around Dick Anderson on hunting trips near his home. After moving to Ellisville, Garretson said he became good friends with Dick, who was as an inspiration to him. In fact, Anderson’s legacy has impacted the lives of several generations of JCJC students, faculty and staff. Hedgepeth said he is one of about five generations in his family who are grateful to Anderson for inspiring them to come to JCJC.

“He served others his entire life because he loved Ellisville, Jones County and Mississippi and he truly loved JCJC. From my grandmother Vera Graves to my mother and Dick Anderson who went to JCAHS, and JCJC, to our generation, I think all of us went to JCJC and now our children are going to school here.  This is just such a wonderful campus, such a wonderful school.” 

JCJC Foundation Board President, Robin Robinson added, the live oak tree and plaque is only one way to honor his legacy at JCJC and abroad.

“Mr. Anderson was one who lived his life to learn and to love and because of you, to leave a legacy.  This is the first legacy tree we have and our vision is to have other trees in memory of, or in honor of great people like Mr. Anderson. So thank you (Anderson) family for this great honor and this great opportunity to leave the legacy that Mr. Anderson has created here in our area and statewide,” said Robinson.   

Anderson was 90 when he died last year on January 30, 2015, after decades of leading and serving his family and his community. He was the son of Amos Deason Anderson, Sr., and Laura Louise Lawrence Anderson. For more information about Legacy Trees at JCJC, contact the Alumni and Foundation Office at 601-477-4050.