Highway named for Minor

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 23, 2001

A section of U.S. 84 near Natchez received a new name Friday morning.

After a ceremony held 2.4 miles east of the U.S. 61 North and U.S. 84 intersection, the Mississippi Department of Transportation changed the name to the Delvru John Anthony Minor Memorial Highway.

Minor, a Mississippi State Trooper, was 30 when he died in an automobile accident on Sept. 12, 1999. A family friend, Kelvin Ellis, then 21, traveling with Minor also died. He was the son of the Rev. and Mrs. Willie Ellis.

Minor had been a Mississippi State Trooper for five years and had he lived he would have been 32 today, his birthday.

&uot;He was a fun-loving nephew, and we will all never forget him,&uot; said Kelvin Tillage, Minor’s uncle.

The dedication ceremony included music, patriotic events and remarks from local officials and family members.

&uot;The number of you here certainly gives testimony to the life that he lived,&uot; said Wayne Brown, southern district transportation commissioner. &uot;As transportation commissioner I have to come to really respect and admire what (troopers) do and what they do for us.&uot;

Family and friends remembered Minor for his nice personality and his love for his work

&uot;I knew Officer (John) Minor and the aura he illuminated was one of peace – one of protection,&uot; said Adams County Supervisor Darryl Grennell.

Minor’s uncle, George Minor, said his nephew is still very much missed by those who knew him.

&uot;He was a joyful man,&uot; Minor said. &uot;He loved his family and he loved his job.&uot;

Minor said he did not think his nephew would have wanted the honor for himself but &uot;he would probably just be so proud.&uot;

Sen. Robert Johnson said the state should work to grant Minor’s wish of better pay for troopers.

&uot;It’s great to honor him today but (it) would be greater to do what he wanted,&uot; Johnson said.

First Sgt. Joseph Conrad, who worked with Minor in the 386 Transportation Unit, described Minor as a close friend.

&uot;I feel like John (Minor) was my brother even though I was older than he was,&uot; Conrad said. &uot;John was something like a role model.&uot;

In addition to his mother, Rosie Lee Stewart of Natchez, many of the late trooper’s family members attended the dedication.

They included the trooper’s widow, Deidre Minor, and two daughters, Dana Minor and Lacy Minor, all of Hattiesburg.

His father, Horace Stewart, and his wife, Kathleen Stewart, both of Monroe, La., attended; and two sisters, Orshay Stewart and Reesa Stewart, also of Monroe.

Others there were his brother, Dexter, of Natchez and his brother, Derick, of Hattiesburg, with his wife, Erica, and their sons, Derick, Grayson and John.