2003 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Huggins, Dearing, Gordon, Carlton, Smith
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE LIFE OF LONGTIME DELTA COUNCIL EXECUTIVE B.F. SMITH OF LELAND, MISSISSIPPI, AND EXPRESSING THE SYMPATHY OF THE LEGISLATURE ON HIS PASSING.
WHEREAS, longtime Chief Executive Officer of the Delta Council and World War II Veteran B.F. Smith of Leland, Mississippi, passed away on January 12, 2003; and
WHEREAS, a native of Greenwood, Mississippi, and a 1935 graduate of Greenwood High School, Mr. Smith was known for his efforts to improve the quality of life in the Delta. He was the longtime Chief Executive Officer for Delta Council, a Stoneville-based regional economic development and farm organization; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Smith was recognized throughout the state and country. His work impacted higher education, health care, flood control, highway development and national policies concerning agriculture; and
WHEREAS, he really took over Delta Council when it was relatively small and carried it on. He believed that the Delta was the best place to live and spent his entire life trying to improve the conditions of the area; and
WHEREAS, he established the industrial arm of the Delta Council and helped them bring industry into the Delta; and
WHEREAS, he received much recognition for his work. He was awarded the Harry Baker Leadership Award, the cotton industry's top recognition; the Silver Beaver Award for his record of longtime service to the Boy Scouts of America; and was inducted into the U.S. Cotton Industry Hall of Fame in 1982; and
WHEREAS, early in his career, he taught in Arcola and Jackson before entering World War II in 1942. He worked for the Veterans Administration in 1946, before being named as Assistant Manager for Delta Council on May 1, 1947. He was made executive vice president in 1948, and served as chief executive officer until 1982; and
WHEREAS, in 1988, the first $1 Million endowment ever made to Delta State University was established by Delta farmers and businesses in his honor; and
WHEREAS, upon his retirement, thousands of people, including politicians and ordinary citizens, gathered at the Walter Sillers Coliseum at Delta State University to pay tribute to his career with Delta Council; and
WHEREAS, his relationship with political powers that be in the national Congress and with Presidents over the years was remarkable; and
WHEREAS, he was a graduate of Sunflower Junior College and Delta State University. He was a member of Leland United Methodist Church, where he served as a Sunday School teacher for 40 years, church lay leader and past Chairman of the Administrative Council; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Smith is survived by his wife, Mary Alyce Smith of Leland; a daughter, Le'Laine Smith Weilenman of Stoneville; a son, James W. Smith of Greenville; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren; and
WHEREAS, it is with sadness that we note the passing of this highly respected man whose service to the Delta region has improved the economy and quality of life for the entire state of Mississippi:
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 longtime Delta Council Chief Executive Officer B.F. Smith of Leland, Mississippi, for his highly respected work to improve the economy and quality of life in the Delta, and express the sympathy of the Legislature to his surviving family on his passing.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Mr. Smith's wife, Mary Alyce Smith, and be forwarded to the Delta Council, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.