Remembering Rosalyn brings a smile

Published 9:59 am Tuesday, January 14, 2014

By Jan Penton Miller

Guest Columnist 

Rosalyn scurried about her office donning the winning smile I remember so well. Quickly and efficiently she transformed her space for one into a space for two. Her voice rang with laughter as she assured me that sharing her previously private office with a new colleague was not a chore but a welcome change. Ros said, “Jan, this will help me clean out some clutter. I’ve been needing to do that for ages!”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

With her warm welcome Rosalyn immediately put me at ease. During our year of sharing an office I cannot remember a day that Ros didn’t greet everyone she encountered with that same sunny smile and disposition.

As Special Populations Coordinator for Picayune School District, Rosalyn served as a liaison between counselors, teachers, and parents. She spent countless hours tutoring students in preparation for standardized tests.

The steady stream of calls and visits from previous students who wanted “Mrs. Folks” to know of their new job, baby, or college degree was a testament to the lasting impact she had made on the lives of so many. Her joy in each success was apparent.

The work ethic that Rosalyn aspired to was noteworthy. She put her whole self into every undertaking. By looking for the best in people, Rosalyn helped others to recognize their own capabilities. Students and colleagues alike were encouraged to pursue excellence by her example.

Rosalyn was certainly not all work and no play. In fact one could add party planner to her lengthy resume’! She loved to have a good time and wanted all her co-worker’s birthdays to be remembered. She never threw things together in a hurry, but put in the extra time and effort to make others feel appreciated.

During the Christmas season Rosalyn, in her words, “decorated herself”. Each morning I waited to see what cute jewelry or outfit she had chosen for the day. Ros was truly a beautiful person and lived each day with zest.

Humble is a word that described her well. She was very surprised to be selected for the Hall of Fame at USM. Although Ros was thrilled, she just didn’t realize what a difference her life had made, and was amazed to have been chosen for such an honor.

Rosalyn’s voice tinkled excitement; she was excited about life. Many times in the little office we shared her voice softened and her eyes took on a glow as she spoke of the one true love of her life, Percy. Ros was obviously a woman in love with her husband.

The same lovely persona that shone on Sundays at her beloved First Methodist Church lit up her office. It was never more apparent than at the end of an especially taxing day when tempers often run short. Rosalyn truly was one of the most genuine people I have ever known, and I, like many others, came to love and admire her.

Rosalyn Folks was a wonderful, gracious lady who recently left this home for a heavenly one. She touched many lives and left them better for it. One of them was mine.