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Memories Of Strong Educator Cherished

Rev. Amos Sims delivers the closing prayer during the celebration of Dr. Carol Gary’s life. The celebration was held at Davidson Elementary School last Thursday. School was out Friday for Gary’s visitation. She was laid to rest Saturday in a joint funeral with her son, Patrick Gary. – Photos by Jack Gurner

Students line the gymnasium floor at Davidson Elementary School during a celebration of Dr. Carol Gary’s life.

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – A celebration of the life of Dr. Carol Gary was held last Thursday at one of the places close to her heart, Davidson Elementary School.
“We want this time to celebrate Dr. Gary’s life and all the things she meant to us as a leader and a friend,” said DES Assistant Principal Grace Dickerson as she opened the program.
She asked for the school’s staff members to stand and recite the DES vision statement that ends with, “Where students can decide everyday to succeed,” a play on the schools initials.
Dr. Randy Bain, pastor of First Baptist Church, said, “We are very sorrowful in our hearts. But, spiritually, because of our faith, we can rejoice because we know where Dr. Gary is today. In the presence of the Lord in the place He has prepared for her.”
Following a song by Eric Fearing of First Baptist Church, Minister Terri Barnes said, “We are here today to celebrate a woman who has had a special place in our hearts and we shall never forget her.”
“Her story is not over; her legacy is not gone,” she continued. “The vision she had for Davidson Elementary is still here today. It’s up to us to continue on her work.”
Each grade made a presentation represented by one student or a group. Sixth grader Coulter Clement speaking for his class said, “We all are really going to miss Dr. Gary. She was only here for a few months, but made a huge impact on DES.”
Several teachers presented their reflections on Dr. Gary’s life including Mary Freeman who told one of her favorite stories about creating the character program at DES. Freeman said that when there was some concern over the program taking time out of the classroom, she told Dr. Gary that maybe they should rethink it.
Dr. Gary told Freeman that she wanted DES to have the program and she should please continue with it. “Please with sugar on top,” Dr. Gary told Freeman.
“Here is a lady with a doctorate degree,” Freeman said about the please with sugar on top statement. “Which told you no matter how much she knew or how smart she was, she was a person and she related to us as a regular person like us.”
George Rogers sang “Up Where We Belong” followed by a group of fifth grade students singing “Still In My Heart.”
Pastor Amos Sims of Bayson Chapel Church gave the closing thoughts and prayer. “Go forward. Be all you can be,” Sims said. “And, remember these words. She wanted you to smile because she smiled. She wanted you to love because she loved.”
“As you journey through life never forget that what you give will be given back to you.”

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