JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - Fred Blackledge and Frank Lucas were two Glade school faculty members who left a big mark on their students.
“They were both Christian men with high values," said former Glade student Ann Tucker. "They loved their country and fellow man. Good citizens. They were great.”
Both men were honored Thursday at Glade Elementary by having part of MS Highway 15 south renamed to “Glade Memorial Highway."
“It took a while, but it came together and we are so excited about the response that we’ve had," said former Glade student Mary Ellen Scrimpshire.
“My father has been dead 50 years and coach Lucas has been dead 20 years," said Blackledge’s son, Fred Blackledge Jr. "It’s really unusual to see someone memorialized after that length of time. We really consider it an honor.”
Blackledge spent 19 years as Glade School superintendent and Lucas spent 15 years teaching and coaching at Glade High School.
Their family and former students say both men left a lasting impression on everyone they taught.
“They were like fatherly figures to us," Scrimpshire said. "Everybody at Glade loved Mr. Blackledge and Coach Lucas. They were more than just our teachers and our coaches.”
“Coach Lucas was like a father to me.," said former student Lee Everett Sonny Walters.
“They did love us as students," Tucker said. "They work with us. They were our coaches, they were our teachers and they were our mentors. They did all sorts of things for us that looking back, they loved us. They really loved us.”
The memorial highway starts at the southernmost intersection of Highway 15 in the city of Laurel and goes south to the intersection of Triangle Drive and Country Circle.