Sorry to have missed my last week’s column, but it was a bad week for the Burke Street Pride in McComb, when we lost our lioness, Becky DeCoux Morgan.
The woman, who more people loved than I can ever imagine, would have been 60 today, but a virulent pancreatic cancer had other ideas.
Becky grew up across the street from us. She was one of those beautiful, funny, take-charge kind of women and carried that through her many years as a McComb educator, church woman and activist for the disadvantaged.
Her funeral set entirely new standards for attendance and displays of affection for her.
I wish she could have been there to enjoy its many side stories.
One in particular has caused me to set new guidelines for my own final remembrances, especially as they relate to celebrities.
My family and I were standing to the side in J.J. White Presbyterian Church’s worship area when a man across the way caught my eye.
“I know that guy,” I thought to myself.
“Is that Tim Brando?” my grown son whispered.
My brother said, “Well, if it isn’t, it’s his twin brother.”
After the service, we made our way outside and discovered that, sure enough, it was CBS sports commentator Tim Brando giving hugs to Becky’s family. Turns out that his daughter is a close friend of Becky’s daughter at Ole Miss, and on his radio show the next day, he talked at length about her impressive memorial and life of achievement.
“We’ve got to do something about cancer,” Brando said on the broadcast, noting so many close friends and family he’s lost to the disease.
Becky always did things better, smarter or kinder than the rest of us.
Now, she’s caused me to contact my CNN friend Ed Lavandera to tell him he’s going to have to be my celebrity for the inevitable. Funny, I haven’t gotten a reply yet, so WLBT-TV’s Bert Case may have to do, if the Forces of Good will allow him to outlast me.
Becky leaves her husband, Tommy, her darling son Jacob Ray, his wife Heather and their son Shep, and her precious, look-like-her-mom daughter, Margaret Ann, plus her brother Robbie and sister Martha.
Becky left instructions that my sister speak at the service.
Poor Suzy went through hours of agony about what she would say, and ultimately told a wonderful story that was so emblematic of their lifelong relationship.
She said that back in the final days of high school, Becky made her go with her to a classmate’s senior party, even though they were barely acquainted with the girl.
But when they got to the party, they realized they were the only invitees who came. And they just about wore themselves out being clever and engaging and cheerful for everybody else there.
“Now, aren’t you glad we went?” Becky said to her after they closed it down.
Of course, was my sister’s answer.
Everybody should be so lucky to have a friend like Becky. The Burke Street Pride, McComb and the rest of the world are less for her passing.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal