Kenneth Breland was remembered this week for his love of family, the Fair and his community.

Services for the retired business owner and past president of the Neshoba County Fair Association were held Monday at 2 p.m. from McClain-Hays Funeral Home Chapel.

Dr. Mike Carr, Dr. Wayne Hill and the Rev. Mike Miles officiated.  Burial was in Linwood Cemetery with McClain-Hays Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Breland, 79, died Saturday at his residence in Philadelphia.

A Neshoba County native, he graduated from Union High School in 1953 and attended William Carey College and the University of Southern Mississippi.

He was a member of Trinity Baptist Church where he served as a deacon and trustee.

He and his brother, Raymond Breland, established Breland Building Supply on April 1, 1968.  He remained active in the daily operations of the business until its sale in January 2006.

Breland served as president of the Neshoba County Fair Association for 10 years and was an active board member and committee chairman of 30 years.

He was named Philadelphia and Neshoba County's Citizen of the Year in 1995.

Accepting the award at the Chamber of Commerce banquet that year, Breland said he was honored.

"As I look out over the audience here I see many many friends, employees, neighbors, colleagues and competitors," he said. "I do feel honored. I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart."

Fair Association President Gilbert Donald said Breland would not only be missed by family but friends as well.

"I've known him for years and years," Donald said. "He was a really good person and really good at business. He brought one of the biggest businesses to our town."

Donald served with Breland on the Fair Board and was there during Breland's time as president.

He was just an outstanding man, Donald said, noting that Breland was very involved with the community.

"He did good as president and led us in a time of expansion and growth [at the Fairgrounds]," he said. "He did a good job."

Donald was not the only Fair board member who mourned Breland's death.

Rep. C. Scott Bounds worked for nine years at Breland Building Supply.

"He was a very generous man that helped so many people through the years," he said. "He was a great employer for me. He was a fair and giving man."

Bounds served on the Fair Board during Breland's time as president.

The world lost a good and giving friend," he said. "He was a fair employer that expected you to work hard but he got along with everyone."

Bounds knew Breland for 45 years.

"He was a good father, a good man and good to the community. There's going to be a void now that he's gone," he said.

Breland retired from the Mississippi Army National Guard with 41 years of service, attaining the rank of Chief Warrant Officer.

He was past president of the Mississippi Building Material Dealers Association and Philadelphia-Neshoba County Chamber of Commerce, past master of Philadelphia Masonic Lodge #93 and past commander of American Legion Post #138. 

Breland was instrumental in establishing a new post home and in erecting a county veterans' monument on the courthouse square.  He was the recipient of the Ralph Godwin Blue Cap Award.

He was a past president of the Neshoba County Shrine Club and was elected to the position of Potentate of Hamasa Shrine Temple in 2000.  He was a member of the Royal Order of Jesters, Court 147, Meridian.

He served on the board of directors of the National Bank of Commerce and the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association.  He was also Mississippi's Dealer Director for the National Lumber Dealers Association. He was named Philadelphia-Neshoba County Citizen of the Year in 1995. 

As past president of the Choctaw Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, he was the recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award scouting bestows on one of their members.

He was a member of the Philadelphia Rotary Club and the Neshoba County Cattleman's Association.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Shelby Breland of Philadelphia; three sons, Steve Breland, Andy Breland and Mike Miles, all of Philadelphia; and seven grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his son, Kevin "Squirrel" Breland; his parents, Melvin and Evie Breland; brothers, Raymond Breland and Theo Breland; and sister, Mable Sistrunk.

Pallbearers were Mike Tinsley, Randy Watkins, Steve Dansby, Scott Bounds, Sammy Breland and Jeff Breland.

Memorials may be made to the ALS Association or Shriners Hospitals for Children.