Dec. 24, 2000
Mississippi bade farewell to two outstanding community leaders last week, Jim Speed and Chuck White, both of whom in their own ways left significant marks on their professions and community.
James T. "Jim" Speed
Speed, a longtime banker, newspaper publisher and Republican political activist, died Monday, Dec. 18, 2000. He was 61. Described as a mover and a shaker in Meridian and state political circles, Speed was chairman of Great Southern National Bank and, at one time, publisher of the weekly Clarke County Tribune.
Dr. Reginald Pace "Chuck" White
Dr. Chuck White, former director of East Mississippi State Hospital and the first executive director of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, died Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2000. He was 73.
He will be best remembered for his "caring and compassionate" leadership in the field of mental health.
Meridian attorney Bill Ready said White "worked quietly among the crowd for a number of years, and he finally became a legend in his own time. The world is going to be a little colder now forever. He was a very gentle man, and there are not very many of those around, I'm afraid."
The Meridian Star extends its sincere condolences to the families of these two community leaders.