2002 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Burton
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE LIFE AND PUBLIC SERVICE LEGACY OF REVERED SCOTT COUNTY BUSINESSMAN AND FORMER FOREST MAYOR FRED L. GADDIS, SR., AND EXPRESSING THE SYMPATHY OF THE LEGISLATURE.
WHEREAS, Fred L. Gaddis, Sr., 79, a former Mayor of Forest and a retired businessman, died on Sunday, December 9, 2001; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Gaddis was a Springfield community, Scott County native. He attended Mississippi State University at the age of 16 where he worked as a custodian in the cafeteria. He also attended the University of Southern Mississippi before entering the Navy and becoming a pilot. He returned to Scott County in 1947, he was a pioneer in the poultry industry and he started the Mississippi Broiler Festival. Mr. Gaddis started his first poultry plant with only $1,664.63. He built Gaddis Industries, which included Gaddis Packing Company, Gaddis Farms, Inc., Gaddis Hatcheries, Inc., Gaddis Feed Mill, Little Princess Packing Plant, Scott Equity Company and 38 poultry farms. He also organized and built Central By-Products, Ltd. and Farm Fish, Inc., in Belzoni; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Gaddis served as Mayor of Forest for 32 years. While he was Mayor his mission was always serving the people. One of his first goals as Mayor was to see that all city streets were paved and lighted. He was instrumental in encouraging the growth of industry in Forest. While serving as Mayor, a new city sewage treatment facility, community center, library, fire station, airport, Scott County/Forest Coliseum (a leading venue in the state for equine activities) and City Hall were built. One of the city parks is named for him. During construction, Mr. Gaddis volunteered his time, equipment and expense to build the tennis facility; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Gaddis had been recognized on state, national and world levels. He served as the President of the Mississippi Poultry Organization. He represented the U.S. government at the World's Food Fair in Tokyo and Hong Kong. His portrait now hangs in the Mississippi State University Poultry Hall of Fame and in the Mississippi Agricultural Museum for his contributions to agriculture. He was a patron of excellence at Mississippi State University. He furnished the first herd of Charolais cattle for Mississippi State Experiment Station. He and his wife were guests of the French government in 1968 at the French Charolais Show; and
WHEREAS, before there was a federal lunch program established, Mr. Gaddis personally paid for the lunches for the needy Forest schools. In 1952, there was not a busing system for the children living within the city limits, so he purchasing a bus and donated it to the school system; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Gaddis served on the Board of Directors for the Baptist Children's Village for 30 years. He sponsored the building and furnishing of a cottage for the Children's Village, which housed 14 boys. He served as a Deacon at Forest Baptist Church. He received the Silver Beaver award for the Boy Scouts, one of the most coveted awards. In 1969, the Eagle Scout Class was named in his honor. He was a Mason in Forest and a past President of the Lions Club; and
WHEREAS, survivors include: his wife of 58 years, Mary Francis Tweency Gaddis; sons, Michael C. Gaddis and David E. Gaddis; daughter, Beverly Gaddis Woods; two sisters, Wilma Rose Coil and Zula Crosby; 12 grandchildren, Memrie Gaddis, Michelle Gaddis Wilson, Carter Gaddis, Lea Ann Gaddis Ellis, Tracy Gaddis, Matthew Woods, Melissa Gaddis, Hilary Gaddis Craddock, Preston Woods, Leighton Gaddis, Freddie Woods and Elizabeth Woods; four great-grandchildren, Dean Wilson, Colby Gaddis, Katelyn Gaddis and Maggie Ellis. He was preceded in death by Fred Gaddis, Jr.; and
WHEREAS, Fred Gaddis offered stability and long-term leadership in Forest and Scott Counties, built a strong foundation for economic activity that will stand for years to come, and was a true public servant that will be missed:
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 and public service legacy of revered Scott County businessman and former Forest Mayor Fred L. Gaddis, Sr., and express the sympathy of the Legislature to his family on his passing.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of Mayor Gaddis and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.