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The late Delos Burks to be inducted in PRCC Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame

BURKS AND FRIENDS: From left: Then Representative Delos H. Burks, Adjutant –Quartermaster of VFW of Mississippi, the Reverend Billy Graham and Representative Jeff B. Williams of Lexington, Miss. Commander of VFW.  Photo submitted

BURKS AND FRIENDS: From left: Then Representative Delos H. Burks, Adjutant –Quartermaster of VFW of Mississippi, the Reverend Billy Graham and Representative Jeff B. Williams of Lexington, Miss. Commander of VFW.
Photo submitted

 

The late Delos Burks, grandfather of State Sen. Angela Burks Hill, will be one of six alumni inducted into the Pearl River Community College Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame on April 17, at Southern Oaks House and Gardens in Hattiesburg.

Burks grew up in the Henleyfield area and became a math teacher and basketball coach. He enlisted in the National Guard during WWII with his entire basketball team and all of his brothers, Hill said.

“The military found out how smart he was and that he had the ability to teach and train,” Hill said. “He went on to become a pilot, serve as a national press officer with the VFW and to retire as a two star General, pinned with the Magnolia Cross in National Guard, which is the highest military honor in the state.”

A graduate of Pearl River Community College, Burks served as a pilot in 34 combat missions against Japanese forces in World War II. He continued his post-war education by earning his law degree, while serving in the Mississippi House of Representatives.

“He served from 1952 to 1960 in the House of Representatives in the Capital,” Hill said. “While there he got a law degree which enabled him to be appointed as assistant attorney general.”

“Delos Burks served as a charter member of the Pearl River Community College Development Foundation board and was always an active member of the Pearl River County Alumni Association and took great pride in supporting our students at the college,” said Ernie Lovell, Executive Director of the Development Foundation. “He carried that support for education on to Jackson through his time in the legislature. He was a tremendous proponent of education.”

Burks will be inducted along with entertainer Jimmy Buffett (who will accept his award by video feed), retired banker James R. Ginn of Bay St. Louis, retired surveyor Francis Herrin of Hattiesburg, retired Secret Service agent Howell Purvis of Purvis and retired attorney Donnie Waits of Gulfport.

Hill will accept her grandfather’s award on behalf of the family. Burks and his late wife had three children, seven grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

Tickets for the Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame Gala (which will be held at 6 p.m. April 17, at Southern Oaks House and Gardens in Hattiesburg) are $100. The deadline to purchase tickets is April 11. Call 601- 403-1191 or email elovell@prcc.edu for more information.