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Horn Lake High School Hall of Fame inducts 10

The Horn Lake High School Hall of Fame inducted 10 deserving civic and community leaders this past weekend during a ceremony that recognized the accomplishments and contributions of each. Educators, a longtime law enforcement officer and a retired fire chief, were among the inductees. Eugene Berry, a gifted athlete at Horn Lake High School in football, basketball and track, Berry would go on to serve a distinguished career in the U.S. Air Force and would serve the Air Force at Cape Canaveral Space Center.

Bobby Dever, who could not attend due to his wife’s illness, was honored for a career as an executive with Memphis Light Gas & Water, the former general manager of Northcentral Electric Power Association in Olive Branch and as a lay minister in the Catholic Church, in addition to serving with United Way, the American Heart Association and both the Rotary and Lions clubs. Lois Embrey Gilbert Brakefield was honored for her service as a missionary to the Native American community, along with her husband John, as a member of Independent Baptist Churches across the U.S. Brakefield was also instrumental in organizing class reunions of Horn Lake High School alumni. Jimmy James, who was the longtime Chief of the Walls Volunteer Fire Department, helped establish that department in 1973. He served as Assistant Chief for many years and then became Chief. James retired from active service in 2016 but still currently serves on the U.S. Homeland Security Disaster Response Team. As a member of the Methodist in Action group, he has helped build handicapped ramps, made house repairs and other charitable efforts.

Jim Lutz was honored for his service as an assistant pastor and youth pastor at various churches and helping to establish the youth outreach ministry, Warriors for Christ. In 1980, he was elected to “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities for outstanding merit and accomplishment. John McCormack was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his numerous contributions to the Horn Lake and greater DeSoto County community. An Air Force veteran, he later served as Chief of Cost Engineering for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering, and later as a Justice Court Judge. McCormack has been active in the local political scene for many years. Joe Osborne, who served with the Mississippi Army National Guard and as Chief Warrant Officer in the Iraq War, was also deployed to the Mississippi Gulf Coast during Hurricane Katrina. In 2009, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

David Rochester was honored for his career in the financial planning services sector. Early on in his career, Rochester, formerly employed with Temple-Inland (now International Paper), helped develop the first “in-plant, free-formaldehyde testing laboratory. For the past 22 years, Rochester has been associated with the Shoemaker Financial Firm in Germantown, Tenn. He was just awarded Memphis Magazine’s Five-Star “Best in Client Satisfaction” Wealth manager for the 10th year in a row. Mary Nell McGowen MacDonald was honored for her devotion to Horn Lake High School, where she served as class president, class vice president and as a Student Council representative. Mary moved to California in 1960 where her husband played football for Coach Marv Levy at the University of California. She later retired from Dover Elevator Corporation in Horn Lake and has served as a member of the V.I.P. or Volunteers in Policing group. Mary was active in serving at the annual Veterans Day luncheons, shopped for needy children at Christmas and assisting the Horn Lake Police Department in compiling and digitalizing paper files at the Horn Lake Police Department. Lee Hodge, a 1987 graduate of Horn Lake High School, was inducted for a career that spans athletics and law enforcement. Hodge is a former Texas Rangers professional baseball player and served a stint as a Hernando Police officer. He has served as a member of the Security and Investigations team at DeSoto County Schools. Hodge was drafted by the Texas Rangers baseball team in 1990, where he played second base. He is now the head baseball coach at Coahoma Community College in Clarksdale for the past three seasons.

Robert Lee Long is Community Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at

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