Gandy remembered as selfless public servant

Published 12:52 am Saturday, December 29, 2007

HATTIESBURG (AP) — Evelyn Gandy was remembered during a funeral service Friday as a woman who dedicated her life to public service and had the courage to do what was right.

Gandy, the first woman elected to the statewide offices of treasurer, insurance commissioner and lieutenant governor, died Sunday at the age of 87.

Phillip Reynolds, pastor of University Baptist Church where Gandy was a member, told mourners that Gandy lived her life as an unselfish public servant.

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‘‘She was committed to the common people and vowed to be their voice when she took office,’’ Ingram said in an article.

Carroll Ingram, a former state senator and close friend of Gandy’s family, said he remembers several acts of courage displayed by Gandy while she served the state of Mississippi.

One of those acts was in 1964, he said, when Gandy worked for the Department of Public Welfare.

‘‘Gandy, along with others in the state department, had the ’Colored Only’ and ’White Only’ signs from reception rooms in welfare offices across the state removed so that there would be only one reception room for all recipients,’’ he said. ‘‘She simply acted out in courage and did what was right.’’

Former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove said: ‘‘Evelyn Gandy taught us how important it was to stand up for what is good and win with grace and lose with dignity. This is an example I think everyone who is in public service should follow.’’

Gandy never married. Her constant companion was her sister, Frances Gandy, who died in July.

About 200 people came to the Capitol on Thursday for a memorial there and to view Gandy’s steel blue casket adorned with red and white roses.

Gov. Haley Barbour, Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck and former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Edwin Pittman were among the speakers.


Information provided on cycle by The Hattiesburg American,