Dr. James C. Waites

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dr. James C. Waites, of Laurel, died Oct. 8, 2006, at ForrestGeneral Hospital. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m.,today, Oct. 10, at First Baptist Church in Laurel with internmentat Lake Park Hills Cemetery. Dr. Randall W. Turner and the Rev.Danny T. Havard will officiate.

He was born in Centreville, Miss., on March 11, 1934, to Ottisand Mary Catherine Chapman Waites. He grew up in Waynesboro. Aftergraduating from the University of Southern Mississippi and theUniversity of Mississippi Medical School, he demonstrated hiscommitment to higher learning by serving as the president of theUniversity of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association, the USMFoundation, and was named to the USM Hall of Fame. He also servedas president of the University of Mississippi Medical AlumniAssociation and a member of the Guardian Society. He was electedpermanent president of the University of Mississippi Medical Schoolclass of 1958, and served as a preceptor for the medical school.Jimmy was a member of the board of trustees of William CareyUniversity.

Dr. Waites began his medical practice in Laurel at Boone Clinicin 1959. In 1982, the clinic became Westridge Family Clinic. Anoutstanding civic leader, Dr. Waites was honored by numerousorganizations including the Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club, LaurelJaycees, Laurel Junior Auxiliary, and the Sertoma Club. He wasnamed Laurel’s Outstanding Young Man and served 30 years as theLaurel High School team physician. He was honored to carry theOlympic Torch in 1996.

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Professionally, Dr. Waites was a member and officer of theMississippi State Medical Association, the South MississippiMedical Association, the American Board of Family Practice, theMississippi Academy of Family Physicians, and the Southern MedicalAssociation. Dr. Waites served as chief of staff for South CentralRegional Medical Center. He also served as chairman of theMississippi Delegation to the American Medical Association and wasappointed by Congress to the Practicing Physicians Advisory Councilto the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). Dr. James C.Waites was installed as president of the Southern MedicalAssociation at the organization’s 94th Annual Scientific Assemblyin Orlando, Fla.

He was recognized as Mississippi’s Family Physician of the Year,and National Physician Executive of the Year. He also received theCommunity Service Award from the Mississippi State MedicalAssociation and the Humanitarian Award from the Southern MedicalAssociation.

At the time of his death, he was serving as the medical directorof the Mississippi Physicians’ Care Network (MPCN), and was on theadvisory boards of Bancorp South and Pine Belt Mental HealthResources. He was a member of the north Laurel camp of The GideonsInternational.

His faith in God formed the foundation of his life and career.As a member of First Baptist Church, he taught Sunday school,served as a deacon and served on numerous committees.

His parents and his grandson, Hunter Thomas Havard, preceded himin death.

He is survived by Josephine Eaves Waites, his wife of 52 years;his daughter Cathy and her husband Jerry Moore; his daughterMelinda and her husband Danny Havard; his grandchildren ChrisMoore, Chad Moore, Brad Havard, Brock Havard and Hallie Havard; hissister, Mary Ottis Waites Lewey; his brother, Dr. Thad Waites andhis wife Gerry; sister-in-law, Allene Eaves Mason and her husbandTony; and many nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts and cousins, whom heloved dearly.

Pallbearers will be Kevin Lewey, Scott Hollingsworth, Bob Mason,James Mason, Kyle Bush, Richard Bush, William Powell and BarryTaylor. Honorary pallbearers will be the deacons of First BaptistChurch and the members of Dr. Waites’ Sunday school class.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made to theFirst Baptist Church of Laurel Endowment Fund, the James C. WaitesScholarship at USM, or The Gideons International.