Hurricane Katrina dealt South Mississippi a devastating blow. Gone are many landmarks that used to be a part of our culture. Gone are many people's homes and belongings. Gone is much of the history that helped define our region. The greatest loss of all, however, is the loss of life, people we will never forget --- our family members, friends and neighbors.
Today, on Page A-16, we begin a series titled "We Remember" to pay tribute to the people who lost their lives when Katrina came ashore Aug. 29.
If you would like to share a favorite story of one of those people and a photograph, if you have one, please contact the Sun Herald at (228) 896-2309 (leave the person's name and town, your name and your call back phone numbers) or you can send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Somehow he transcended race, and people saw that. They saw his genius and his skill and they didn't let race cloud their judgment. He always had white patients."
The New York Times reported the Indianapolis native was one of the first blacks to be a resident physician in plastic and maxillofacial surgery at Chicago's Cook County Hospital. He also had pharmaceutical and dental degrees and was appreciated as a "teacher" of many things. Pointing out the best way to do things was his way.
"I don't know why he didn't write that book," said his namesake. "A lot of us have books in us and never do write them."
Once Maxey and his wife, Harneitha, retired on the Mississippi Coast, his teaching tendencies surfaced as a school mentor and in local volunteer health programs. But not to be forgotten was his love of music rooted in the Southern black tradition. Maxey served as the first president of Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues Commission.
October 6, 2005
In a scene reminiscent of old-style comedy, Harneitha Elizabeth Maxey ran down the hill after her son in a runaway golf cart. But this was for real.
"Mom wasn't fast but she was fast that day," said Roger Maxey of Jackson, who was 7 when his parents house-shopped on the Mississippi Coast and the agent asked him to park a brakeless cart.
"With my mom chasing me I knew it would be all right. It gave me a lasting image of my mom that no matter what I did or where I went she would always be there for me, trying to help."
In 1980 the Maxeys bought a Long Beach house because Dr. Louis Maxey Sr. was tired of cold winters. The couple stayed in their home during Katrina because an arduous 2004 Hurricane Ivan evacuation aggravated her husband's health.
Harneitha, 75, was born in Seneca, S.C., and is remembered as "an all-around, classy, sophisticated, warm, loving - everything." The registered nurse met her husband at the noted Provident Hospital in Chicago, left nursing to raise three boys, but when they moved to the Coast she worked in her husband's plastic surgery practice.
A 1993 retirement became a joke. Recalled Roger, "Every time I came home, she was heading out - the symphony board, the garden club, the book club, the Democratic Women, or just to help somebody."