by Brandon Darrow
Christmas and New Year are on the horizon but it seems as though 2017 has just begun. I can’t believe we are only a few weeks away from 2018. Looking back there have been many changes in our world and in our community throughout the year. Some good and some bad but most of the changes in MG are for the good…like getting a new elementary school, athletic teams going to state tournaments, and success at local FFA events.
It is with much regret that I report the passing of one of my favorite cousins, Johnny Ferguson. He was my cousin, my neighbor for my entire life, and my friend. After a short illness with lung cancer he passed away on Nov. 29, at his residence. He was born in Miller Grove to Clyde Curtis Ferguson and Lera Maude (Darrow) Ferguson, on Mar. 12, 1932. He graduated from MGHS in 1949 and served 2 years in the US Army during the Korean conflict. He married Mary Lynn McKeever on Sept. 22, 1962, in Union, Hopkins County, TX. He is survived by his wife; sisters, Mary Lou Akins, Ruby Long, and Bonnie Callan (and husband George). He was preceded in death by one brother, Jack Ferguson, and three sisters, Vallie McElvy, Dorothy Nell Milner, and an infant sister. Funeral services were held Saturday, Dec. 2, at Miller Grove United Methodist Church with interment following in Miller Grove Cemetery. Both, Rev. Howard Strickland and Rev. Paul Bailey, did a fantastic job officiating the services. Johnny’s niece, Anna Ferguson, and Monty Tipps each performed songs for the service. Carol Dunn had some special words to share about her uncle as well. I will truly miss him – he was always so positive and uplifting in regards to anything I attempted to do (especially my garden and things I would cook). We also enjoyed talking about old times. I enjoy local and family history so we shared many laughs and maybe even a little gossip as we would talk about the “good old days” and all the people in and around Miller Grove over the years.
The ladies of the church and community prepared a great lunch for the family before the services that day. You know, the day of the funeral is always a hard time but I was proud that I was able to see so many of my relatives and friends there that day. Some I had not seen in several months. There was standing room only during the funeral. That, in it’s self, says a lot about the person and their family. Johnny was well loved by all who knew him.
Another person that has passed with a Miller Grove connection is Mary Juanita (Preston) Griffin. She was born in Miller Grove on April 13, 1924, the daughter of Robert Q. Preston and Maud Edna (Jones) Preston. Juanita married Roby Griffin on Jan. 5, 1946, in Greenville. Burial will be in Shirley Cemetery on Saturday, Dec. 9. She was preceded in death by sisters, Murriel (Preston) Renshaw and Jennie Maud (Preston) Bishop; brothers, Raymond C. Preston, Johnnie Lee Preston, and Alton Ray Preston. She is survived by son, Larry Griffin; sister, Martha (Preston) Collins; several grand children, great-grandchildren, and other family members. I regret to say that I never knew Juanita very well but have seen her a few times and I know she and my grandmother, Lela Darrow, were good friends as she was with all of the Preston family. I’ve heard from more than one person how close the Prestons were as a family and that they were some of the happiest and most jolly people you would ever want to know. My condolences go out to all of Juanita’s family.
The recent basketball tournament were successful from what I have heard. The chili cook-off also did well for the first year. I believe there were 15 entries.
Basketball games have started for the season. If you are interested in going to some of the home games just drop by the high school office and pick up a basketball schedule or go online at www.mgisd.net and look on the web calendar for the dates the Hornets will be playing at home and away.
Christmas break starts the 20th for the school and continues until Jan. 3rd. But, before Christmas break the PTO will have their annual Jingle Bell Shop for students to purchase gifts for family and friends. The PTO knows that a majority of the students can’t go shopping on their own so they bring the shopping to them. They set up a store on campus so that students can pick out and purchase gifts for the holiday season and all of the proceeds go to the PTO which in turn helps the school. For more information you can talk to your child’s teacher or reach out to Stacie Wilbur, PTO President.
As you travel the highways and byways, don’t forget that all roads lead back home and back to Miller Grove. Please send me any newsworthy information. My email address is [email protected].