2005 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Jordan, Thomas, Simmons, Butler, Walls, Jackson (11th), Horhn, Frazier, Harden, Dawkins

Senate Resolution 36

(As Adopted by Senate)


     WHEREAS, Rogers Howard "R.H." Bearden, outstanding professional educator and administrator and World War II and Korean War Veteran from Sumner, Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, departed this life on March 3, 2005; and

     WHEREAS, Rogers Howard "R.H." Bearden was born March 26, 1918, in the Pilgrim-Blue Slough area of Sawyer Plantation near Web, Mississippi.  He was the oldest of eleven living children born to the union of Oscar and Everlean (Moore) Bearden; and

     WHEREAS, he joined New Pilgrim Baptist Church at ten years of age, and became increasingly active in the church as he grew older.  He later joined the Old Antioch Baptist Church where he served as Superintendent and Adult Sunday School Teacher, Church Clerk, and Chairman of the Deacon Board; and

     WHEREAS, at 16 and in the sixth grade, his parents enrolled him in Johnson High School, a private school operated by the AME Zion Church near Brazil, Mississippi.  In the Fall of 1937, his family moved to Charleston, Mississippi, where he attended Tallahatchie County Training School.  Here he served in a number of offices including Class President and graduated as Salutatorian in May 1941, at the age of 23; and

     WHEREAS, upon completion of high school, he was drafted into the Army and reported to Camp Shelby, Mississippi on July 16, 1941.  He underwent basic training at Camp Wheeler near Macon, Georgia.  In March 1942, he was transferred to Camp Benning, Georgia, where he joined the Officer Candidate Class and graduated a Second Lieutenant of Infantry on March 29, 1942, later joining Company "K" 369th, 93rd Infantry Division, Fort Huachuca, Arizona in June 1942.  His unit later sailed to Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, South Pacific Theater under the command of General Douglas McArthur.  He also served on the Islands of Emariau, New Georgia, Morotai and Mindanao in the Philippines.  He commanded Company "I" 369th Infantry in Mindanao as Captain where he engaged in "mopping up" operations in Morotai and his unit was responsible for the capture of an Ouchi General.  He returned to active duty in 1951 to serve during the Korean War.  He was assigned to Company "A" of the 102nd Infantry Regiment in Augsburg, Germany.  He was later transferred to the Intelligence "Order of Battle" G-2 section of the 43rd Infantry Division in 1952.  In June 1954, he was promoted to the rank of Major in the Army Reserve; and

     WHEREAS, he returned to the states in May 1946 entering Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in June 1946 under the G.I. Bill and matriculated as an Agricultural student in Agronomy.  He graduated from Tuskegee Institute in 1949 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture.  He continued graduate study at Tuskegee and received a Masters of Science Degree in Agriculture in 1950, and a Masters of Education Degree in 1958.  While at Tuskegee, he met and married Lela W. James of Lisman, Alabama, on November 13, 1948; and

     WHEREAS, in the Fall of 1954, he became Principal of the Solomon Chapel Elementary School in Phillip, Mississippi.  After two years, he was made Principal of Tutwiler High School, and when West District High School opened with an enrollment of 1300 in grades one through twelve on October 16, 1957, Bearden was its first Principal.  One of the most notable events in his tenure as Principal was April 23, 1973, when parts of the building were devastated by a strong tornado.  He served at West District through its many transitions until his retirement on July 1, 1982; and

     WHEREAS, his professional honors and affiliations include:  Personalities of the South, Twelfth Edition; Tallahatchie County Retired Teachers Association; State Health Planning Advisory Council; Girl Scouts of America supporter; West Tallahatchie Association of Educators; Mississippi State Teachers Association; R.H. Bearden Junior High School, named in July 23, 1995; Gamma Phi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; Habitat for Humanity Advisory Board; and Tallahatchie County Board of Education; and

     WHEREAS, living to celebrate his life are:  his wife of 56 years, Lela James Bearden; three daughters, Cynthia Bearden McAdory (John Thomas) of Miami, Florida, Marilyn Bearden Robinson (Lloyd) of Memphis, Tennessee and Faye Bearden Walker (Charles) of New Orleans, Louisiana; grandchildren, Jocelynne Patrice McAdory, Columbia, Missouri, John Bearden McAdory, Atlanta, Georgia, Donna Lynette Neely, New Orleans, Louisiana, Jillian Alexandria McAdory, Atlanta, Georgia, and Meredith Alicia Robinson, Memphis, Tennessee; his surviving siblings, Tanzil Bearden, Charleston, Mississippi, Evelyn Tensley, Detroit, Michigan, Navois Bearden, Topeka, Kansas, and Bennie J. Gooden, Detroit, Michigan; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, students, church members and friends; and

     WHEREAS, it is with sadness that we note the passing of this respected Mississippian:

     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 Rogers Howard "R.H." Bearden, outstanding professional educator, administrator and World War II and Korean War Veteran and extend to his surviving family the sympathy of the Legislature on his passing.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the family of Rogers Howard "R.H." Bearden, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.