Highway dedicated in honor of trooper

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 22, 2001

Emotions will be strong for Rosie Lee Stewart when she attends the 10 a.m. ceremony to dedicate a section of U.S. 84 in memory of her late son.

Delvru John Anthony Minor was 30 when he died in an automobile accident on Sept. 12, 1999. On Saturday he would have celebrated his 32nd birhday, his mother said.

&uot;My little boy had a big name,&uot; Stewart said, thinking back over the life that was cut short in that fatal accident that also took the life of a family friend, Kelvin Ellis, then a student at the University of Southern Mississippi. Ellis, 21, was the son of The Rev. and Mrs. Willie Ellis of Natchez.

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The dedication site will be on the westbound side of U.S. 84 about two miles from the intersection with U.S. 61 at Washington.

Minor had been a Mississippi State Trooper for five years before he died. He was in the process of relocating to Hattiesburg from Natchez when the accident occurred near McCall Creek between Meadville and Brookhaven on U.S. 84.

He loved being a trooper, his mother said. &uot;I used to tell him that when I grew up I wanted a job just like his,&uot; Stewart said, laughing at the poingnant memories. &uot;He loved it so much.&uot;

Minor always wanted to work in law enforcement, she said.

&uot;We just didn’t think it would be with the Highway Patrol. We always thought he was going to be a probation officer.&uot;

The trooper life suited him well, however. And having a section of the highway he knew so well named after him – that, Stewart said, is an honor fitting of the dedication he had for job.

&uot;It’s a beautiful honor,&uot; she said. &uot;I’m so proud of my baby. In this day and age, he could have been anything. He could have turned out so different. But he chose to serve. I’m so proud of that.&uot;

Stewart said she thinks of her son frequently. &uot;He’s gone, but his spirit is so alive and always will be,&uot; she said.

Now trips down the Trooper Delvru John Anthony Minor Memorial Highway will play a part in keeping the memories, and his spirit, alive for her.

Minor’s two brothers will attend the ceremony today. They are 11-year-old Dexter Minor and 30-year-old Derick Minor, who works with the narcotics bureau in Hattiesburg.

&uot;Derick and his wife, Deidre, and their daughters, Dana and Lacy, will come from Hattiesburg,&uot; Stewart said.

&uot;It will be a beautiful moment for us when they unveil the sign with my baby’s name on it.&uot;

The public is invited to attend the dedication ceremonies and unveiling of the sign, said Southern District Transportation Commissioner Wayne Brown.

&uot;During the ceremonies, traffic is not anticipated to be affected,&uot; he said. &uot;But motorists are urged to use extreme caution while traveling through the dedication area.&uot;