by Hunter Dawkins
Upon review of what word refers to a person of outstanding interest or importance in the community, I found the term LION. Undoubtedly, this word referred to both men that Pass Christian lost this weekend, George Watson and Homer Jenkins.
George T. Watson was unquestionably a LION in the field of education. After serving in the Marines during World War II, Watson completed his education with a Masters degree from the University of California-Berkeley. Returning to Mississippi in the 1950’s, he was appointed Principal of the Randolph School in Pass Christian; which was his alma mater, 1961.
Despite harsh times through segregation, Watson served on the Park Commission for the city, was a civil defense shelter coordinator during hurricanes, and a long time member of the United Way and Heart Fund Campaigns.
Even with all of these other positions, Watson remained focused on where he was a LION: the field of education. Following his appointment as assistant superintendent of Pass Christian School District in 1972, Mississippi Governor William Winter selected Watson to the State Board of Trustees for Institutions of Higher Learning In 1981.
Although I did not know Watson well; his reputation as a dominant educator ran across the state, as he received numerous achievement and scholarship award from several Mississippi universities.
Homer Jenkins was a LION in the small business community, not only in Pass Christian, but throughout the state. Jenkins and his wife; Connie, started Southern Printing and Silk screening in 1972.
While producing more materials each day, the small town family business has multiplied in sales. From novelties, signs, t-shirts, different styles of print, and numerous additional apparel, Jenkins developed a small business that takes care of the community needs.
In one final note, there are not many that loved all levels of athletics as Homer. From middle school baseball to professional football, Jenkins supported as much as possible in the community. A former University of Colorado football player, Homer Jenkins showed up at every Friday night football game held at Pass Christian High School.
The legacy these two LIONS leave behind in their fields is insurmountable, but the memories and examples of actions throughout this community will never be forgotten.