ANNE MCKEE: A friend gone too soon....

Tim Sison

Timothy Ray Sison, January 22, 1970 – June 1, 2021 (age 51)

Farewell, Tim, you will be missed in Lauderdale County.

It's been less than a year and Lauderdale County has lost two History and Archives Directors. Ward Calhoun, Jr. passed in July, 2020 and before our hearts could recover, Tim left us.

“He was a good guy.”

This is the quote by many local folks. It rings through the air when describing Tim Sison. And I can attest to the sentiment as well, although I only met him one time, but a person just knows.

Yes, we have a sense when people are genuine. And he was.

Another quote I heard as I made calls and sent texts this week. “Tim knew one speed – wide open.”

I witnessed that as well when I tapped quietly on the archives door two weeks ago. Wasn't sure if anyone was there since it was lunchtime, but before I could turn toward the elevator, Tim appeared.

He had a big grin on his face and invited me inside. I explained I didn't want to disturb lunch but he welcomed me with a wave of his hand. 

I liked him immediately and I could instantly see the potential former Director Calhoun saw when first meeting Tim.

Of course, I am not certain, but I think, possibly, Ward was searching for his replacement. You see, Mr. Calhoun had planned to retire in a few years, but the Lord took him first.

Tim and Ward formed a quick bond and perhaps part of it was through their love for Corvettes. I am sure the two talked shop many times. Tim and his father tinkered with the sports-cars at Tim's native home in Gulfport.

And the bond continued when Ward recommended Tim as a full time archives employee. This gave Ward time to train the younger man and Tim was “wide open” into this new endeavor. Actually it was said, “He loved it.”

His love for history was apparent when he chose to live in a historic home in the beautiful, small town of Enterprise, where he moved into the Bradshaw-Booth House, along with his life partner, Susan Shackleford. 

Undoubtedly,  Tim's death is a big loss for Enterprise as well.

Actually, during his short time in Lauderdale County, Tim Sison touched many lives. He will be missed.

On a personal note, I had compiled a rather lengthy list of historical stuff for Tim and I to discuss, work, enjoy and perhaps research more intently. I have no doubt he would taken on these items with his usual zest. However he was gone before we met again. My “Tim List” remains on my desk.

The first thing he said to me, two weeks ago, upon our first meeting. “I've heard a lot of good things about you.”

Well, Tim, Lauderdale County, can confer. You were a good guy.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think I am. I can sense a deep conversation going-on in eternity. Ward and Tim, with smiles and chuckles, and it goes something like this, “Tim, have you met Walton Moore?” (Meridian historian) and “Have you met Hewitt Clarke?” (Meridian author and historian).

Ah, there goes another 10,000 years, but who's counting?

Tim Sison, until we meet again, Farewell.

Anne McKee is a proud, native Meridianite and Mississippi historian. She is the author of “Remembering Mississippi” and “Historic Photos of Mississippi.” Anne is primarily known as a Mississippi Storyteller and as well the Director of Rose Hill Cemetery Costumed Tour. See her website: www.annemckeestoryteller.com

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