Allen W. Gary, III
Allen W. Gary III, 71, of Mendenhall, died Monday, Jan. 8, 2017, as the result of injuries sustained in a vehicle crash on Sunday, January 7th near Longview, Texas.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Colonial Chapel Funeral Home in Mendenhall. Visitation will be from 5:00pm – 8:00pm on Friday, January 12th at First Baptist Church of Mendenhall in Mendenhall and continues on Saturday from 9:00am – 11:00am until services at the church immediately following visitation. The Rev. Rodney Anderson and Dr. Wayne Barnes will officiate. Burial will be in Mendenhall Cemetery in Mendenhall, Mississippi.
Al was born December 18, 1946 in Vicksburg, Mississippi, the son of A.W. Jr. and Ursula “Sue” Gary.
He grew up and attended school in Mendenhall, graduating from Mendenhall High School in 1965. He attended the University of Mississippi, played football at Millsaps College, and graduated from Delta State University with a degree in math education. He also attended Belhaven College and later earned his designation as a Certified Public Accountant.
Al’s professional career began as a public school teacher. He taught and coached for several years across the state of Mississippi at school districts including North Pike School District, Coahoma County School System, and Simpson County School System.
Al later began a long career as a CPA and auditor. He was a member of the staff of the State Auditor’s Office, and later offered himself for further service as a candidate for the office of State Auditor.
After leaving the state auditor’s office, he moved to McComb where he became the first hired administrator for Pike County. He guided the county toward implementation of the county unit system of government. Al also worked as a partner in a CPA firm in McComb with his friend Al Dribben. He and his wife, the former Marjorie Jean “Jeannie” Fitzgerald of McComb, then moved to his hometown of Mendenhall. Al began a private CPA practice with Fred Bourn of Mendenhall and Jackson, conducting state government audits. In 1999, he took the position of business manager for Simpson County School District and continued in that position through 2009. In 2001, Al was elected mayor of Mendenhall, and completed his term in 2005. After a brief period of retirement, in 2011, Al took on another career position in his hometown as the CFO/COO at Simpson General Hospital, where he was working happily until the time of his death. Al also served on the Board of Directors at Peoples Bank, and he served as the chairman of the Rural Health Solutions Board for the Mississippi Rural Health Association. Additionally, he worked as a budget consultant for the City of Morton for many years.
Al had been a member of the Mississippi National Guard and was retired from the U.S. Army Reserves after 24 years of honorable service with the rank of Major.
Al was a true servant, a servant of the Lord, his family, his church, and of each community in which he resided. He was a member and deacon at First Baptist Church of Mendenhall. He had also served as a Gideon.
Al served in so many ways. He never sought recognition for himself, but any recognition he received was always well deserved. Al was honored by the Mendenhall Area Chamber of Commerce as Citizen of the Year in 2015.
Besides being interested in community work, Al loved all sports, especially Ole Miss football. He enjoyed spending weekends at his deer camp with his favorite hunting and fishing buddies, Charles Cockrell of Dauphin Island, Ala. and Don Crawford of Ocean Springs.
Above all else, Al’s love was for his family, his wife of 47 years Jeannie, his three daughters Jessica, Jamie, and Jenny. In the past ten years, Al especially enjoyed being “Papaw,” spending time with his precious granddaughters, Sunny and Rose Peden.
Al was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Jeannie Fitzgerald Gary of Mendenhall; three daughters, Jessica Wilson (Estus) of Dallas, Texas, Jamie Gary of Birmingham, Ala., and Jenny Gary Peden of Puckett; two grandchildren, Sunny Peden and Rose Peden; one brother, Howard Gary of McComb; and special friends, Randall and Patty Neely and Steven and Deborah Ammann, all of Mendenhall.
Al set an example for his family as a cheerful giver. In his memory, the family requests that charitable contributions be made to the Mendenhall Elementary School Library (814 N. East St., Mendenhall, MS 39114) and Puckett Elementary School Library (P.O. Box 307, Puckett, MS 39151) to provide for needy children’s books and school supplies or to Gideons International (www2.gideons.org/donate).