Oak Ridge Class of 1943



Class Pages:

In these pages I have collected information, photos and memorabilia from the classes that I have been able to secure from students and social media. If you have materials from your class, please contact me. I will happily add items to the page. My email is oakes@physics.utexas.edu.

Class contact information:

Thomas B. Jr. Henry
Thomas' wife is Ruth Gaunt is Deceased).
7117 Youngton Rd
Vicksburg, MS 39183-7923

Phone: (601) 636-4767

1943 Graduating Class: L to R
Front Row: Vera Hackler, Gracie Mae Whitaker, Sallye Burton
Second Row: Gwen Griffith Pettway, Edith McMullen
Third Row: Tubby Dunn, Grace Brown
Fourth Row: Harvey Hearn, Arthur Province, Lucille Harris, Phillip Gaunt
Back Row: Thomas Henry, Mardred Alice Fleming (Bilboff)(1926-2006), Billy Martin, Elmer Anderton
Location: Oak Ridge Methodist Church

Connie Brasfield left school at the end of 11th grad.

Left to Right: Thomas Henry, Strass, Shoemaker and Charles Oakes. Thomas and Charles met by accident in a bar in San Francisco. Charles had just returned from the Pacific. (Photo courtesy of Thomas Henry and his son James.)


1935 Oak Ridge Third Grade Class, Teacher Miss Mattie Lou Lowe
Back Row:, Zane Grey Cole, Kelly Bryant, Wayne Nevels, Daryl Hicks, ?, Sybil Smithhart, Vera Hackler, Gwen Griffith (Pettway)(who supplied the identification on the picture.)
Second row L to R: Walter Whitten, Adelle McGuffee, Jewel King (sadly died of appendicitis that year), J. W. Hearn, Jeff Hearn, ?, Mary Frances McBroom, Lucile Harris,
First Row: Billy Martin, Hedy Blue Powell, Lena Margaret Bryant, Ann Henry, Thomas Henry, John Scott “Skippy” Cole,

This picture contains people in the Class of 1943.

Hedy Blue Powell (Hearn)
She was a member of the class, 2nd from left on front row in group picture above. She married Herbert Lee (Sambo) Hearn in 1941. Her daughter is Diane Beauman.


Oak Ridge Obituaries of deceased members of Class of 1943

Gone But Not Forgotton


Thomas Birdsong Henry
April 1, 1926-December 9, 2020


A Celebration of Life graveside service for Thomas Henry, 94, will be at Edwards Cemetery in Edwards, MS, on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 11:00 am.  He passed away at his home on Wednesday, December 9, 2020. 

A lifelong resident of the Oak Ridge Community in Vicksburg, MS, he was born April 1, 1926 to the late Thomas B. Henry, Sr. and Florence Austin Henry.  Thomas married the love of his life, Ruth Gaunt Henry, on June 27, 1948, cherishing 61 years of marriage before her passing. 

His life was defined by his tremendous faith in the Lord, his undeniable love for his family, his commitment and labor of love to the farm life, and his gentle spirit to his friends.

Thomas served his country in the Navy, aboard the Albert T. Harris, during WW II.  He was a graduate of Mississippi State University in the School of Agriculture in 1949, and remained an avid Bulldog fan.  As a member of the Yazoo Valley Board of Directors, he served his community in that capacity for over 35 years. 

Thomas and his brother, Leon, shared a special and unique relationship as brothers and partners in the family farming business.  This included farming and the addition of Rocky Bayou and Rawhide Hunting Clubs in the early 1980’s. 

Our family would like to say thank you to the many people who have loved and served us so compassionately over the past months.  A heartfelt thanks to his sister-in-law, Modena Henry, who supplied unending love and meals consistently through that time.  A special thank you is extended to Encompass Hospice nurses and staff, Heritage House of Vicksburg, Dr. Sam Pierce and his nurses and staff, and special sitters, Jennifer and Carrie.  

Family survivors include one brother: Leon Henry, Sr. (Modena) of Vicksburg; three children: James Thomas Henry, Sr. (Sherry) of Vicksburg, Shirley Ruth Williams (Randall) of Vicksburg, Florence Clara Reames (Mike) of Prairieville, LA; nine grandchildren: Leigh Davis (Brian), Jimmy Henry (Cindy), Michael Henry (Lanette), Melanie Bates (Chris), Melissa Thomas (Josh), Rebekah Lovorn (Andy), Bradley Reames (Lesley), Heather Edwards (Brady), Ryan Reames; twelve great grand-children; two nephews: Lonnie Henry, Ray Henry (Dixie).

The December 19, 2020, Celebration of Life service at Edwards Cemetery will be live-streamed through Glenwood Funeral Home in Vicksburg, MS for family and friends unable to attend.  In case of inclement weather, a private family service will be held at the same time in Glenwood Funeral Home chapel. 

Pallbearers will be his nine grandsons (grandsons in-law).  Honorary pallbearers will be his eight great-grandsons, his two nephews, the Board of Directors at the Yazoo Valley Electric Power Association and the members of Rawhide Hunting Club and Rocky Bayou Hunting Club.  Officiating at the service will be Rev. Jimmy Henry. 

In lieu of flowers, the family ask that donations be made in his memory to either the charity of your choice or his church, Crawford Street United Methodist Church.

Photos from Mississippi State U., 1948, Junior Year and 1949, Senior Year.

Left to Right: Thomas Henry, Strass, Shoemaker and Charles Oakes. Thomas and Charles met by accident in a bar in San Francisco. Charles had just returned from the Pacific. (Photo courtesy of Thomas Henry and his son James.)