Donations sought for Fordice mural|[05/10/08]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Fordice Mural Committee is kicking its fundraising efforts into high gear, seeking to raise by this fall about $12,000 to have a mural painted on Vicksburg’s City Front floodwall to honor the late former Gov. Kirk and Pat Fordice.

“I thought the world of both of them,” said Patty Mekus, committee chairman.

Committee members will be making presentations at civic club meetings, as well as contacting former colleagues. Donations can be mailed or dropped off at the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce on Mission 66.

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Kirk FordicePat FordiceAbout $4,500 toward the $16,500 required has been raised. A total of 25 murals have been completed since in 2002; 32 are planned.

“When you look at all the history depicted in the murals down there, and to think your parents are worthy of being honored alongside it, well, it is pretty tremendous,” said son Hunter Fordice, who co-owns and operates Fordice Construction with his brother, Dan. “I can’t tell you how… honored our family is.”

Kirk Fordice was governor of Mississippi from 1992 to 2000, the first Republican to hold the office since Reconstruction. Pat Fordice was an active community member before, during and after her role as first lady. The couple moved to Vicksburg in 1962 when Kirk joined the family business, Fordice Construction. They reared four children.

The couple divorced when Fordice left office, but remained close, and family members said Mrs. Fordice was at his side when he died in 2004 at 70, following leukemia. Pat Foridce died of cancer in 2007 at 71.

“They were very genuine people, and it was great to see regular folks… represent Mississippi – and be successful at it,” said Fordice.