2023 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative Robinson

House Resolution 99


     WHEREAS, it is written in Ecclesiastes 3:1 that "To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under the Heaven," and as such, on April 15, 2022, the immaculate author and finisher of our soul's destiny summoned the mortal presence of dearly beloved, Mrs. Mary Jo Wedgeworth, to eternal rest, rendering great sorrow and loss to her family and friends; and

     WHEREAS, the State of Mississippi and the City of Laurel lost a wonderful friend, loving mother and grandmother and dedicated community leader with the passing of Mrs. Wedgeworth, who was born on December 30, 1924, to the late Thomas and Emmie Jo Meeks Morgan, and there is now a hush in our hearts as we come together to pay our respects to the memory of one who has been called to join that innumerable heavenly caravan; and

     WHEREAS, Mary Jo Wedgeworth was a woman of uncompromised faith and a member of First Baptist Church, where she was active in women's programs and Sunday School and enjoyed providing beautiful flower arrangements with cuttings from her garden for church events, and she now enjoys the eternal peace described in Luke 2:29, "Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word"; and

     WHEREAS, Mrs. Wedgeworth exchanged the vows of holy matrimony with her beloved, Mr. Hilman Wedgeworth, and they completed their family unit with the addition of three beautiful children and remained devoted to one another for 67 years until Mr. Wedgeworth's passing in 2013; and

     WHEREAS, during her youth, Mrs. Wedgeworth was the 1944 Winner of the National 4-H Club Girl Achievement Award and the President's trophy, which was awarded to her at the National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago, Illinois, and throughout her life, she continued to be an active participant in Mississippi 4-H Club programs, serving in numerous leadership roles and always serving as a local 4-H Club leader as well as serving on the Mississippi 4-H Club board and as president of the Mississippi Extension Service Homemakers and FCE Club; and

     WHEREAS, in addition to the 4-H Club, Mrs. Wedgeworth was active in the Waynesboro Drive Garden Club, the Mississippi Council of Garden Clubs serving as president, the Deep South Garden Club Council, and as a nationally accredited flower show judge, as she was known for her entertaining and educational programs on flower arranging, gardening and recycling; and

     WHEREAS, in 1967, she was honored by Keep America Beautiful with their lifetime achievement award for her exceptional efforts to keep our nation beautiful, which included working to develop the Avenue of Magnolias at each of Mississippi's interstate state line entrances and also the garden club wildflower program, and in 1976, Mrs. Wedgeworth was honored with the Mississippi Volunteer Activist award for the thousands of hours she gave in volunteer service to her community; and

     WHEREAS, Mrs. Wedgeworth's desire to leave things better than she found them and her community activism began when she was young and she would organize victory gardens to support America's effort during World War II, and her lengthy volunteer service also included numerous positions with the Jones County Republican Party, chairmanships of both the Jones County Republican Women and the Mississippi Republican Women; and

     WHEREAS, when she was not tending to her garden or volunteering in her community, Mrs. Wedgeworth was a docent for the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, where she very much enjoyed giving tours and teaching children about the collections held at the museum, and for decades, she served on the board of the Red Cross and always had helping hands to assist victims of hurricanes and disasters who sought shelter from the storm, especially during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when she and Mr. Wedgeworth welcomed and served meals to hundreds who fled to the Red Cross shelter in Laurel; and

     WHEREAS, Mrs. Wedgeworth was a strong, loving and compassionate wife, mother, grandmother, confidante and friend who touched the lives of all those who crossed her sweet and charming path, and her warm hugs, positive energy, contagious laughter and bright smile will be forever cherished by her family, friends and others who knew her and experienced her greatness; and

     WHEREAS, the memory of Mrs. Wedgeworth, a woman held in the highest regard by friends and family as an inspiring and precious gift from God, will continue to refresh the hearts and memories of her beloved survivors:  children, James (Jane) Wedgeworth, Marsha (Chuck) Blackburn and Karen Miller; grandchildren, Mary Morgan (Paul) Ketchel, Chad (Hillary) Blackburn, Brandi Jane (Jason) Graham, Marsha (Drew) Hunter, Chip (Madalyn) Wedgeworth, David (Abbi) Wedgeworth and McKensie Miller; brothers, Howard (Eloise) Morgan, Roy (Barbara) Morgan, Marion (Elaine) Morgan; 16 great-grandchildren; and a host of beloved nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends; and

     WHEREAS, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to recognize and honor the lives of fine Mississippians, especially those such as Mrs. Mary Jo Morgan Wedgeworth, a gracious woman who loved her family and friends unconditionally and worshipped the Lord God Almighty with all her heart and soul, bringing glory and honor to the State of Mississippi:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby mourn the loss and commemorate the life and legacy of Mrs. Mary Jo Morgan Wedgeworth, and express deepest sympathy to her family and friends upon her passing.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the family of Mrs. Mary Jo Morgan Wedgeworth and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.