Donald’s Fair service remembered

Donald’s Fair service remembered

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Gilbert Donald’s years of dedication and service to the Neshoba County Fair Board are being remembered this week. Mr. Donald died on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at his home. He was 86.

Services will be held on Thursday, Dec. 1 from McClain-Hays Chapel with the  Rev. Curt Pace and the Rev. Dr. Tommy Jennings officiating. Burial will follow in Cedarlawn Cemetery.

Neshoba County Fair Board President C. Scott Bounds remembered Donald’s service. “Gilbert Donald served the Neshoba County Fair and its patrons for over 50 years,” Bound said in a statement on behalf of the Fair Board.

“In this service, on the Board itself, on the various committees he served, and in his 11 years as Board President, Gilbert carried out his responsibilities with a passion and zeal for the Fair that transcended 5 decades. His institutional knowledge of the inner workings of the Neshoba County Fair will be missed tremendously."

Andrew Gilbert Donald was a native and longtime resident of Neshoba County and worked for Weyerhaeuser for over 40 years.  After his retirement from Weyerhaeuser, he worked at B & G Wood until he fully retired.  

Donald served on the Neshoba County Fair Board for 51 years. He spent the last 11 years as president until he retired in 2021.  

He was chairman of the Fair’s Harness Racing Committee and was a USTA licensed starter for harness racing. 

Donald was a member of First United Methodist Church.

Bounds and the Fair Board recognized Donald during the Hometown Proud Day at the 2022 Fair this past Summer.

“Be it therefore resolved that the Board of Directors wish to express, publically our sincere appreciation for his dedicated untiring service for more than 50 years to the Neshoba County Fair Association,” The resolution issued by the board honoring Donald reads. “This institution is far better today as a result of the efforts and services of Gilbert Donald. We sincerely thank you.”

Donald joined the Board of the Neshoba County Fair in 1970. Including his aforementioned involvement in the Harness Racing Program, Donald served as Chairman of the Concession Stand Committee, Chairman of the Finance Committee, Chairman of Building and Grounds and Chairman of the Security Committee.

Donald notably served on the Security Committee in 1980 when presidential candidate Ronald Reagan came to the Neshoba County Fair. Donald was said to have worked closely with the Secret Service in preparation for the visit.

The resolution notes that Donald was “instrumental” in securing the 75 acres on the north side of the Fairgrounds where a parking lot and the 900 numbered cabins now sit. Duriing his tenure the Fair budget grew from $80,000 to $1.5 million in 2021.

He was among those who worked to establish the Sunday night religious program at the Fair that continues to this day.

“It is the desire of the board of Directors to commend and extend our sincerest thanks to Gilbert Donald for his unsurpassed service to the Neshoba County Fair,” The resolution read.

Survivors include his son, Mike Donald (Kim) of Philadelphia; daughter, Amanda Donald Tyrone (Marty) of Olive Branch; five grandchildren, Rachel Tyrone Lott (Cade), Jake Tyrone, Erin Donald, Andrew Donald, and Olivia Donald; sister, Ramona Adcock (Billy) of Philadelphia; and sister-in-law, Patricia Donald of Philadelphia.





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