PMHS 60s Decade Reunion honors Miss Katherine Furr

Published 5:45 pm Wednesday, April 25, 2012

On Saturday, the ladies of Picayune Memorial High School reunion class of the 1960s held a luncheon at which they honored their friend, mentor and favorite teacher, Katherine Furr. The luncheon was held at Hide-A-Way Lake Lodge and was full to capacity with women who benefitted from the guidance of Furr.  

The idea stemmed from a Facebook page one of the reunion organizers, Diane Cooper (along with Bettye King and Diane Wilbanks), began to spread news of the reunion to all alumni of the 1960s.

She said, “I had had an idea of a decades reunion for classes from the 1960s. We started a page on Facebook and we had a good response from people wanting to attend.

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“The luncheon for Miss Furr came about because we needed something for the ladies to do while the men play golf. She is the only faculty member that is still in the area and we all wanted to honor her. She was very special to all of us. We had 65 people immediately sign up; it was a tremendous response.

Furr said, “It was an outpouring of love which was touching beyond words. Former students came from all over the United States and we all had such a great time together.”

Furr said her special day began with flowers from Gaye and Marcie Schrock and a corsage from Betty Bell. She was chauffeured that day by Ginger Henderson Bennett to have her hair styled by Pat Curry. She received a book by Jean Yett which she will place in the Crosby Library. She also received notes from Jerry Craft, Wanda Chancellor and Virginia Williams. She received calls from Yvonne Jarrell, Linda Smith, Sandra Shivers and Brenda Black; all of whom were former students.

In her speech to her students, Furr thanked them all and related how in the beginning of the “Picayune Item Super Senior” column, the lifestyles editor had tried to get her to give permission to highlight her story.

 “Instead of giving her permission, I sent her two pages of names of people who helped make Picayune what it is and those who have come to stay and enjoy our town. You realize the joke is on me— when Diane called to say that she would be in town and ask if I would have lunch with her, I had no idea I was being set up,” she said.

“As I was reading the ‘Pic Items’ one day, I saw the note: ‘Have lunch with Katherine Furr on April 21st.’ It was then that I realized I had been set up. I thought only one or two people would show up. But look at you all; this is the greatest honor that any teacher could ever, ever wish for. No honor I have ever received matches this.”

Furr admitted she had been offered nice positions elsewhere, but she wanted her daughters to grow up in the environment of a small, beautiful town.

She said, “My saying has always been: Picayune has been great to me and I pray that I have been good for Picayune.”

Furr went on to give her the group updates on former faculty members and their children.

She said, “You have no idea how much I have reminisced during the last few days about all of the band trips, club trips and city events we all participated in. Also, the gratitude to the businesses that assisted in scholarships and in many other ways. I think I can safely say that if I needed help for a student, there was a business that came through.”

Furr concluded by saying, “I promise that I will find a way to show my deep appreciation. Again my thanks for the special plant garden, for my composite picture with all of your names and for all of the nice remarks of this day.”

Cooper reported the event was flawless and the threat of an uprising was suppressed (the guys were threatening to dress up in powder puff cheerleader’s costumes and come because they wanted to express their appreciation also).