1998 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Frazier

Senate Concurrent Resolution 639


WHEREAS, Serena B. Walton, a great educator and a well-respected woman, reaches her 90th birthday on March 21, 1998; and

WHEREAS, the values of a close family relationship, education, and respect for others have helped Serena Walton to become the strong person she is today; and

WHEREAS, Serena Walton grew up in a household that placed a strong emphasis on the importance of the family: Serena Walton was born on March 21, 1908, in Yazoo County, Mississippi; she was the second of six children of Warren L. and Sarah C. Brown; her parents were farmers who both died of tuberculosis and she was reared by her grandparents, the Rev. Silas and Serena Brown, the latter of whom she is named after; the family often worked together to provide their own essential items at home; Serena remembers the Great Depression during her late teenage years; and

WHEREAS, education has been an important part of her life from childhood to adulthood: getting an education was very hard because of all the segregation of the South; the Yazoo County Public Schools went up to only the tenth grade; Serena attended Alcorn College for the remainder of high school and for two years of college; she completed her undergraduate work at Jackson College in 1945; because education was so important to her, Serena pursued a career in teaching and was certified at Alcorn College to be a teacher; she taught elementary children in the Yazoo County school system; she later went to Indiana University to get her Master's degree in Elementary Education in 1958; while working in the education field, she met and married a science teacher at Jim Hill School, William H. Walton in 1937; William was also a very respected man and a well-known teacher and after his sudden death in July 1958, an elementary school was named in his honor, William Walton Elementary School, Bailey Avenue, Jackson, Mississippi;

WHEREAS, just as her parents instilled the values of respect, education, and family relations in her, she did the same for her family; throughout her lifetime, Serena has been through many difficult times which have helped her become the strong person she is today, including segregation, the Great Depression, the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War which was a difficult time for Serena because her son was heavily involved in it; and

WHEREAS, after a number of years teaching in elementary schools in Jackson, Serena retired in 1972 and began to enjoy family life, she is a devout Christian and attends New Hope Baptist Church; and now at age 90, she continues to live by the values that were instilled in her as a young child: hard work, perseverance, the love of family, pursuit of education, caring for others, and foremost, the love of God:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life of Mrs. Serena Brown Walton, a distinguished educator, on the occasion of her 90th birthday.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Mrs. Walton and her family and be made available to members of the Capitol Press Corps.