Vicksburg remembers attorney David Sessums, who died from COVID-19 complications

Published 7:21 pm Thursday, August 26, 2021

Longtime Vicksburg attorney David Sessums died Wednesday following a battle with COVID-19.

Sessums was 68 years old. He spent 42 years as a partner at the law firm of Varner, Parker & Sessums, beginning Jan. 1, 1979, and spent a number of years serving in various civic and volunteer roles.

Mack Varner, Sessums’ law partner with whom he worked for 44 years, said his friend and colleague will be remembered for his superior skills as an attorney and his sharp wit.

“Besides being my law partner, he was a great friend,” Varner said. “David had an absolutely brilliant legal mind, but he was also such a prolific writer. I depended on him a lot. He had such an engaging, captivating personality.

“Also, he always had a smile on his face and a very mischievous wit. He was always a great conversationalist, and he was an avid book-reader,” Varner said. “He was a very loving person and he treated everybody with respect. He had no air of superiority about him.”

Sessums was born in Port Gibson, Miss., to Herman and Lucille Sessums. He graduated from Warren Central High School and went on to graduate with honors from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1975 where he obtained his B.S. Degree in Business Administration.

In 1978, he graduated with Special Distinction, Juris Doctorate from Mississippi College School of Law. Sessums was the Associate Editor for the Mississippi College Law Review from 1977 to 1978 and had the distinct honor to have been a law clerk to Chief Justice Roy Noble Lee, Mississippi Supreme Court from 1978 to 1979. David was a member of the Mississippi State Board of Bar Admission from 1979 to 1985, and a member of the Mississippi Board of Bar Admissions, Committee on Character and Fitness, from 1989 to 1995.

He practiced as the City Vicksburg Prosecuting Attorney from 1999 to 2003 and was the President of the Warren County Bar Association from 2002 to 2003. 

Current Warren County Bar Association president Valera Vollor-Thornell said Sessums will be greatly missed by his colleagues.

“David will be greatly missed by the Warren County Bar Association. He was always congenial and a very competent attorney who was a pleasure to work with,” Vollor-Thornell said. “David represented his clients to the fullest of his ability, which reflected back on his dedication to the law. He was a credit to the Warren County Bar Association with the 40-plus years he spent serving the legal needs of Vicksburg.”

Sessums was a member of the Vicksburg Rotary Club, USM Alumni Association, Vicksburg Jaycees, Vicksburg Exchange Club, Y’s-Men’s Association, River City Rescue Mission, Board Attorney and long time affiliate of Porter’s Chapel Academy, and was a member of Crawford Street United Methodist Church.

His friend Bob Morrison said Sessums was a fiercely loyal friend.

“David was a highly talented attorney, staunchly independent thinker and a loyal friend,” Morrison said. “I, along with the rest of the community, will miss him.”

Sessums is survived by his wife of almost 10 years, Suzanne Massengale Sessums; his sons John David Sessums (Kristin) of San Antonio, Texas, Eric Allen Sessums, Brian Tyler Sessums, Laura Montgomery (William) of Vicksburg, and Gayle Goudelock (Robbie) of Cumming, Ga.; his brother, Gary Sessums of Washington, D.C.; and eight grandchildren, Molly Sessums, Emily Sessums, Nate Sessums, Noah Sessums, William Montgomery, Lucy Montgomery, Patch Goudelock and Frances Goudelock, all of whom were the light of his life.