In loving memory of Dewey Partridge
Published 7:00 am Thursday, February 16, 2017
Charles “Dewey” Partridge was born in Philadelphia, Miss., but lived half of his life in Picayune, creating a legacy in the Maroon Tide football program while bettering the city through involvement in multiple local clubs. On Feb. 5, Partridge passed away 10 days before his 80th birthday.
“Dad was as close to perfect as you could be. He always made time to have fun with all of us growing up, like playing sports in the yard,” Partridge’s daughter Holly Wise said.
Partridge had four children, James “Andy” Partridge, Charles “Russ” Partridge, Holly “Al” Wise and Lisa Suarez.
In 1971, the city of Picayune changed forever, long-time friend Carey Meitzler said, when Partridge moved to the city, becoming the head coach for the Picayune Memorial High School football team and the school’s athletic director.
“Dewey had a great business mind, which is a special characteristic to have as a coach,” Meitzler said. “He had a unique way of showing kindness and making you feel special. He also wasn’t shy of being tough if he knew you could do better. It was all out of love.”
Maroon Tide’s current football Head Coach Dodd Lee played for Partridge from 9th to 12th grade, and uses some of his quotes to this day.
“He used to work the fire out of us. I remember he used to always make us run and on the final rep, he would say, ‘this will be the last one if it’s a goodun,’ repeating that for what seemed like hours,” Lee said.
Partridge was part of the 1959 Ole Miss football championship team, and the joy he had about his teammates was what Lee remembers the most about him.
After seven seasons as Picayune’s head coach, Partridge decided to step down to pursue another career at the Picayune Athletic Association, which is now called The Cornerstone. At first, he was skeptical about taking the job, but after careful deliberation, he decided it was best for his family, Meitzler said. In the end, Partridge worked for the business for the next 32 years.
Meitzler said what made Partridge beloved was his personality.
“Dewey touched a lot of lives in his own unique way. Not only did he impact the football program, he made the entire city of Picayune a better place to live,” he said. “God could not duplicate another person as unique as him.”
Additionally, Meitzler said that Partridge did a great job at making everyone he talked to feel special.
“He was hilarious. He would tell you true stories and he would always end them with that special wink,” Meitzler said. “When he did that, it made you feel like you were the only person that heard that story, when in reality he probably told it to over 500 people. His charisma and kindness will never be forgotten.”
From adults to teenagers, everyone considered Partridge as a father figure, Meitzler said, due to his caring nature and his affection to everyone.
“He was just a phenomenal friend. Sometimes he would give me advice, and other times he would take my feedback. He truly made you feel special and I will never forget the good times we had,” Meitzler said.