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Meridian says goodbye to Glen Deweese

By Staff
FUNERAL SERVICE n Pallbearers carry the casket of Glen Deweese from the First Baptist Church after his funeral service Saturday. Pallbearers were Ralph Morgan, Ronnie Massey, Jimmy Alexander, Brad Dye, Clyde Muse, Wayne Wahrendorff, Hoot Gipson and Con Maloney. Honorary pallbearers were members of Deweese's Sunday School class and deacons at First Baptist Church. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael/The Meridian Star
Sept. 30, 2001
While an organist played religious hymns at First Baptist Church, a full-color portrait of Glen Deweese sat in front of the altar and a large American flag was draped over his casket.
Hundreds of friends, family and colleagues packed the church Saturday afternoon to pay tribute to the longtime businessman and civic leader who died Thursday after a long battle with cancer.
Deweese, a Neshoba County native, died Thursday night at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center. He was known across Mississippi as a pioneer in the convenience store business and a popular legislative leader.
A civic leader
Deweese was re-elected last month as chairman of the East Mississippi Business Development Corp., Lauderdale County's chief economic development agency.
He was chairman and chief executive officer for Super Stop convenience stores.
And for 16 years, he represented the area in the state Senate spending part of that time as the Senate's vice president, the second-in-command behind then-Lt. Gov. Brad Dye.
Dye, a longtime friend of Deweese, attended the funeral on Saturday and also served as a pallbearer.
But it was Winter, who served as governor early in Deweese's legislative career, who gave the eulogy.
Employees liked Deweese
Winter told the congregation that Deweese cared for everyone who worked for him at Super Stop. Winter said that Deweese had more than 500 employees in stores across Mississippi and Alabama.
Winter said he stopped on Friday at a Super Stop store on Old Canton Road in Jackson.
Deweese touched lives
The Rev. Raymon Leake, pastor of First Baptist Church, told the packed church that he had never met a man with more friends than Deweese.
As area business leaders, elected officials, family members and friends left First Baptist after the funeral service, some said to each other that "Meridian said goodbye to a great man today."
Many of them re-assembled minutes later at Magnolia Cemetery, about three miles north of the church. There, they buried Deweese just north of Hope Village for Children a project he strongly supported.
Fredie Carmichael is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3228, or e-mail him at fcarmichael@themeridianstar.com.

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