2003 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Gordon, Nunnelee
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE LIFE OF LEE COUNTY BUSINESS AND CIVIC LEADER FELIX BLACK AND EXPRESSING THE SYMPATHY OF THE LEGISLATURE ON HIS PASSING.
WHEREAS, Felix N. Black, a businessman at the vanguard of Lee County's rise to post-World War II prosperity, passed away on February 25, 2003; and
WHEREAS, returning from war as a medical unit sergeant, he opened Black's Department Store in 1946 in downtown Tupelo, which would remain a Tupelo institution for 55 years, and all the while, he led by example and service in civic endeavors that touched every part of Tupelo life, from the Boy Scouts of America to the Community Development Foundation to hospice and retirement home care; and
WHEREAS, he was born in 1917 in the Carolina community near Nettleton to the late Bunyan and Estelle Shumpert Black. He graduated from Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, Mississippi, in 1937, then moved to Tupelo. A Veteran of World War II, he served in the Army Medical Corps in the European Theater and participated in the Battle of the Bulge. After serving his country, he returned to Tupelo and opened his business. An active community leader, he supported the Boy Scouts of America and CREATE, Inc. In the early 1970s, he served on the community's biracial committee and served as Chairman of the Tupelo Housing Authority. He was Chairman of the Community Development Foundation, Chairman of the Board of the North Mississippi Medical Center and, most recently, Chairman of the fund-raising committee for the Sanctuary Hospice House. He was a past member of the Board of Directors of Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi. A charter member of St. Luke United Methodist Church, he was actively involved in church activities throughout his life. He was a member of the Tupelo Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. He had recently received his 50-year pin with the Tupelo Masonic Lodge; and
WHEREAS, his wife, Ruth Hussey Black, preceded him in death on September 20, 2001. Survivors include a daughter, Ellen Black Bailey, and husband, Harold, of Michigan City; a son, Lynn M. "Mike" Black, and wife, Betty, of Tupelo; and
WHEREAS, Black's effectiveness as a leader sprang from his extraordinary integrity and his guide that business competition never interfered with friendship or progress; and
WHEREAS, it is with sadness that we note the passing of this model citizen whose business, civic and charitable commitment has put Lee County and Northeast Mississippi on the business map:
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 Lee County business and civic leader, Felix Black, whose contributions to the civic projects of Tupelo and Lee County knew no boundaries, and express to his surviving family the sympathy of the Legislature on his passing.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of Mr. Black and be made available to the Tupelo Daily Journal and the Capitol Press Corps.