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Former MCHS Principal pays tribute to late mother

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Delilah McVay spends an afternoon during her favorite hobby, working in her garden.

Delilah McVay spends an afternoon during her favorite hobby, working in her garden.

Those who knew Delilah McVay best can tell you she had a green thumb.

For those who work along side her at Woodstock school and the students who walked those hall, Mrs. McVay seemed to also have a talent for helping people grow to reach their potential.

“She loved people,” her son Trent said. “She especially loved young people. She just loved helping people young and old.”

The face of Woodstock for more than 20 years passed away Jan. 12. The mother of nine and wife of Roscoe McVay Sr. left a legacy that could be defined in her children and the students she had an impact on for several years from her cafeteria monitor position.

“I remember coming home after school and friends would come home with us,” Trent recalled. “They ate like we ate. She treated them like her own children.

“She would take us to the Mid-South Fair once a year with some of the other kids,” he added. “She always reached out to help others. I didn’t mind sharing my mother. We didn’t have a choice. She’s always been that way.”

McVay was heavily involved in the school system and her community of Woodstock. She was a member of the PTA at the school before it was desegregated. Then when her children moved up to Millington Central High School, McVay became a face in its PTA while staying involved at Woodstock.

The whole time, she and her husband made sure their nine children had an opportunity to attend college. Trent became a familiar name in the community with his years of service at MCHS.

First Trent arrived at the school as a band director. Then he served as assistant and vice principal for 7 years.

Then in 1995 Trent was named principal of MCHS, serving in the role until 2001.

“Education was very important to her,” Trent recalled. “She stressed it from the time we could remember. She didn’t graduate from high school herself. But I remember her going back getting her GED. She took night classes at Woodstock.”

Trent said his mother had high expectation for herself and her family. He described her as being demanding on her children as for following rules and knowing right from wrong.

“She was always right there,” he added. Even when I became band director at Millington she would come support me like I was still in school. She came to our ball games. I had a sister who took up cheerleading, she was right there. She was always right there.”

When she wasn’t supporting her family or giving back to Woodstock, McVay could be found planting and working her garden. Her family said she loved her vegetable garden.

Her quiet get away served as a metaphor for her life. McVay would plant seeds and watch them grow from a distance. Then she would return and keep a watchful eye on the seeds making sure they grew and produced fruit.

“Her legacy will be that she reached out to help someone, shared with others and gave to others,” Trent concluded. “She didn’t like a lot of recognition. She did it in a quiet and respectful manner. She reached out and helped others because it was important to her.”


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January 2013
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