Toles offered community valuable lessons

Published 1:10 am Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Being in the presences of an honorable leader makes a lasting impression on a person.

Such special people have a way of carrying themselves differently, treating others with respect, while being firm and resolute in their own opinions and judgments.

Mary Lee Toles was one of those special people.

Email newsletter signup

Toles died last week and while she left Natchez in physical form, her memory and the many lives she touched will live on for decades to come.

Toles was many things in her life. She was a community leader, a mentor, a judge, a trailblazer and a friend to many.

She spent more than a quarter century as an Adams County Justice Court Judge, a role that requires making difficult decisions at times.

Toles made those decisions with a firm, but caring resolve that is often lacking in many in similar roles.

She led community groups such as the local chapter of the NAACP with the same professional demeanor that gave her success on the judicial bench.

Toles’ two greatest attributes were rooted in love. She loved people and she loved this community.

That combination is special but oh so rare.

If we all could simply learn the lessons of Toles’ life, Natchez and Adams County would be a far greater place in which to live.

And in doing so, we would all make a special woman and friend of our community proud.