By Maralisa Marra
The Lincoln High Faculty Senate held a memorial service for the deceased faculty and staff of Lincoln in the school’s auditorium on the morning of June 6. They also presented scholarships for four deserving students of the class of 2022 in honor of the recently deceased.
Recently deceased faculty and staff who were memorialized included social studies teacher Richard S. Bailey, custodians James Edward “Jimmy” Starkey and Billie Shingleton, and cook Eleanor Thompson.
Mr. Robert Hawkins provided the welcome and Mr. Jeff Ramsey provided the invocation at the celebration of life. Class of 2022 graduates Brooklyn Fazzini, Savannah Jones, and Kallie Shingleton took the stage to perform a touching rendition of the song “Hold on to Me.” Next, Hawkins and Mrs. Jessica Freeman honored all 38 lives of deceased faculty and staff with candle lighting and the placing of flowers in a vase when each name was called.
After the flowers were placed with reverence, Hawkins took the time to speak about the four newly deceased.
Hawkins said Bailey was not only a social studies teacher, but he served as the tennis coach and public address announcer. Bailey was the “voice of the Cougars” for so many years and he had a “soft spot in his heart for everybody,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins also said that Starkey was always up for a conversation, and he loved the students. “He was more than willing to lend a hand,” Hawkins said.
Although Starkey worked night shifts, Hawkins said he would always try to help the students in whatever way he could. If students were there late decorating for prom or homecoming, Starkey always lent a hand when needed, Hawkins said.
Shingleton was a Lincoln graduate, and he loved being a part of the school community, according to Hawkins. He said, “Anybody who knew Billie, knew that his true love was entertaining,” because he would always perform during the school’s talent shows, and “he made a great Elvis.”
Hawkins also said, “Billie always had a smile for you.”
Last, Hawkins spoke on Thompson’s dedication to Lincoln and her unceasing friendly demeanor. He said, “Eleanor was one of those people who was loved by everybody.”
Hawkins also said, “She was a great worker and had a great spirit…Eleanor was such a pleasant person to be around on a daily basis.”
In honor of the deceased, Freeman recognized the 2022 scholarship recipients: Taryn Freeman, Mathew Kerns, Lilly McCarty, and Aaron Ramsey.
Taryn graduated magna cum laude, and she plans to pursue a degree in exercise physiology in the fall at West Virginia University to equip her for occupational therapy school in the future.
Kerns graduated with honors and seeks to major in neuroscience at West Virginia University in the fall.
McCarty graduated magna cum laude, and she plans to attend the United Technical Center this fall to seek a certification as a licensed practical nurse before pursuing her degree in registered nursing.
Ramsey also graduated magna cum laude, and he plans to pursue a degree in psychology or biology to achieve his goal of becoming a psychiatrist.
The service was concluded with the singing of the song “In Jesus’ Name” by Fazzini, Jones, and Kallie Shingleton. Following the song, Mrs. Rebecca Jones closed the service with the benediction.