Sue Honea | Message from the Prez |

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Mary Joyce Walters and Betty Wade made a difference in the life of Magee/Simpson County residents.  These two ladies had a lot in common.  They loved Magee.  (No challenge  was too great for these two! ).  They loved their churches. (Mary Joyce life time member of First Baptist Church and Betty Wade a long time member of the First United Methodist Church.). They adored their families.  They each had a multitude of friends…from all walks of life.

Mary Joyce Walters and Betty Wade died this week…changing the dynamics of Magee.

Although the two ladies had much in common, they were each their own person.

Mary Joyce Walters

Mary Joyce spent her life in retail.  She was a business woman who knew what the people wanted.  She and her late husband Buddy brought the idea of Crazy Day back to Magee. What these two started years ago is still strong.  She was a visionary.  After working and managing her family business Stephens’ Store in Magee, she opened an additional store, “The Rose” and developed a strip mall near the business. (Where State Farm is located).

Mary Joyce was one of the “mothers.”  The mothers were our friends mothers who kept us all in line…and Mary Joyce sure tried to keep Joycelyn and me in line!

Her love for the Lord was never questioned.  She ministered to people of all ages and race.  She was probably the most Godly woman I ever knew.  She was a prayer warrior.  If Mary Joyce prayed, the Lord listened!

I almost thought of Mary Joyce as larger than life!  She was a true Southern Lady.  Her soft spoken voice carried a mighty sword.

Betty Wade

Betty Wade spent her life in caring for others.  She was a nurse among nurses for fifty years!  Everyone looked to her for advice.  She ran a tight ship.

When her husband, Dr. Frank Wade, Sr., died at a young age, Betty had four children to raise.  That lady plowed forward with grit and determination.  

For many years she worked at Millcreek…but eventually she went back to her “home”—Magee General Hospital.  The lives she touched as director of nursing are astronomical!  She either got you as a nurse…got you as a patient…got you as a worker…she got you…she took care of you.  There was no one she would not help.

Betty loved to play bridge.  She played for years with a close circle of friends.  (Probably bridge kept her sane all these years!)

She was a pillar of our community!

Betty was very active in her church.  She loved her church folks.

I thank the Lord I knew these two ladies .  They made a difference in my life.  They showed me the power of women in some of the toughest times.  Their ability to go forward following deep loss helped me through the times of my deep grief.  I will miss them.  I will miss their smiles.  They will always be in my heart.  Thank you for the lives you lived. is an online news source serving Simpson and surrounding counties as well as the State of Mississippi.


  1. Sue, this is so well written about two of Magee’s “best”. Mary Joyce Walters and Betty Wade were legends and made such a difference. Lives well lived.

  2. Sue, you are so very right about these two ladies changing Magee in such a positive way that few people fully understand unless they had the opportunity to have known them. Thank you for expressing your view in a manner that shows that you understood their value to our community and to each of us as individuals. They truly will be missed!


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