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Lucy Aletha Hansford

September 18, 1951 July 28, 2022
Lucy  Aletha Hansford
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Obituary for Lucy Aletha Hansford

Lucy Aletha Hansford, age 70, beloved aunt, friend, and teacher passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 28, 2022, at Select Specialty Hospital in Jackson after a brief illness, surrounded by cherished family and friends.
Lucy was born on September 18, 1951, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, to George and Zeta Kate Hardy Hansford. She graduated with honors from Pascagoula High School in 1969 and was very proud that she was chosen as a member of the class Hall of Fame. Lucy then attended Mississippi College and received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education degree in 1973. Once again, Lucy's outstanding leadership and academic skills were recognized and honored by her selection to the Mississippi College Hall of Fame.
Lucy began her teaching career as a kindergarten teacher in Yazoo City, Mississippi. After teaching there one year, she had the opportunity to work on her master's degree at Mississippi State University in Starkville. Time spent on campus was the gateway to her lifelong love of MSU and its athletic programs. One friend commented that Lucy was the only person he knew who had a home decorated in "Early Mississippi State".
In 1974, Lucy began her career with the Jackson Public Schools at Timberlawn Elementary. After seven years teaching first and third graders, "Miss H" spent the next eighteen years teaching in the gifted program. One of her favorite activities was reading aloud to her students and watching their faces light up in amazement and understanding. She felt privileged to have invested in so many wonderful children and always declared they were "the best students in the entire world!". She valued their emotional intelligence along with their academic success; she emphasized the value of each person and taught her students to focus on the needs of others. With that in mind, she led food and coat drives with her students, generated contributions to build wells in Uzbekistan, helped build a home with Habitat for Humanity, and worked to save acres of rain forest, among other efforts, as part of the Students Helping Others Planet-wide (SHOP) program she helped launch.
After twenty-five years of teaching, Lucy continued her service in Jackson Public Schools, working in public relations and orchestrating a wide variety of district projects and professional development courses. She was especially proud to be asked to present her original customer service program at the National School Boards Association and the National School Public Relations Association.
Always the teacher and mentor, Lucy spent time in her younger years teaching youth and college groups at First Baptist Church of Jackson and even served there as a part-time youth minister. Additionally, she was the volunteer BSU Director at Belhaven College for eight years. She simply loved students and believed that young people needed encouragement and the knowledge that someone would listen to them without judgement.
Lucy's deep personal faith in Jesus Christ led her to become a member of Wells United Methodist Church around 1995. She loved the "Open Hearts, Open Minds and Open Doors" vision of the church and how Wells’ members lived out this reality. She loved singing in the choir and was instrumental for several years in the church's active community service ministries--serving as chair for one of the church's Habitat home builds and as the first woman to chair WellsFest, which will host its 38th annual festival the last Saturday in September.
Lucy's optimism, joy of life, and utter inability to meet a stranger and not make him/her a friend, will be sadly and deeply missed. Someone said she grew a lovely garden of friends. Like a true gardener finding joy in the beauty of each flower, Lucy was a lover of people of every design, nurturing each friendship, adjusting the care of each personality, and rejoicing in the bloom of the person. She was always so excited to encounter her former students later in life and loved reminding them of the unique gifts and abilities that she saw early in their lives.
In addition to her parents, Lucy was preceded in death by her brother, Donald R. Hansford, and her nephew, Randy Hansford. She is survived by her beloved niece, Christi (Justin) McMillian (Vancleave); four great-nieces, Makayla McMillian (Fort Walton Beach, FL), Devyn McMillian (Vancleave), Trinity Hansford (Richmond, VA), and Karsen Hansford (Moss Point); one great-great-nephew, Nicholas Robert Lee (Richmond, VA); and two step-sisters, Ann (J. W.) Bell (Escatawpa) and Catherine Watkins (Charleston, SC). She also leaves behind a family of friends, who, according to Lucy, "offered her love, support, friendship, and so much FUN!"
A Celebration of Life will be held for Lucy on Monday, August 15, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. at Wells United Methodist Church, 2019 Bailey Ave, Jackson, MS. Visitation of friends will be held one hour prior to the service from 1:00 – 2:00 at the church.
In lieu of flowers, Lucy requested that friends who wish to remember her make contributions to Habitat for Humanity, https://habitatmca.org/ or the Mississippi State University Baptist Student Union, https://www.msubsu.com/

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