Name of late Northwest Adult Education director added to son’s endowment

The Northwest Mississippi Community College Foundation has announced that the name of William Guy Purdy will be added to The Stephen Purdy Endowed Scholarship, which was established in 2005 by Purdy and his wife Mary to honor their son Stephen’s memory. Guy Purdy died on April 7, 2018.

Purdy earned an Associate of Technology Degree from State Tech in Memphis and a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Technology from the University of Memphis.

He served in the United States Air Force for four years, spending most of his time in the Philippines and Smyrna, Tennessee. He was an aircraft electrician on the B-52 and later on the C-130 plane. He then worked for 26 years as a power transformer crew leader and customer service representative for Memphis Light Gas and Water (MLGW). Purdy would say that he had only four jobs in his lifetime. He worked at Montesi’s grocery story as a teenager, then the Air Force, then MLGW, and finally Northwest.

Purdy started at Northwest in 1995 as a Workforce Development Coordinator, responsible for planning, supervising and implementing workforce training programs for local businesses and industry. After spending six years in that role, he became the director of Adult Basic Education where he served for 16 years.
He was recognized as Supervisor of the Year by the Mississippi Association of Adult and Community Educators.

As the golf coach at Northwest, he led the Rangers to two national rankings in five of six seasons he coached by the NJCAA and  In the 2015-16 season, Northwest placed in the Top 5 in seven of 14 events.

In addition to his wife, Purdy is survived by four children, Will, Christine, Betsy and Chris, and their grandchildren, Sabrina St. Clair, Shawn Martin, Kaitlyn Wenzler, Stephen Anderson, Emerson Anderson, Tanner Anderson, and Ana Kate Purdy.

 “The Purdy family have been generous contributors to The Stephen Purdy Endowment, and through these contributions and the generous memorial gifts given in memory of Guy, the endowment has increased from $10,000 to $48,000,” said Sybil Canon, associate vice-president of Development and Special Projects.

It was also Purdy’s influence and leadership that led to the establishment of the Al Simmons Adult Basic Education Endowment by the DeSoto Literacy Council.

“The Stephen Purdy and William Guy Purdy Endowment is an appropriate legacy for this extraordinary man. In every phase of his life, Guy has helped people to strive for excellence. He worked diligently with the literacy councils in DeSoto and Tate counties, providing a “second chance” to those whose life circumstances had provided little hope for success. Simply put, Guy Purdy truly made a difference in this world, and he will be sorely missed,” Canon said.

The scholarship will continue to be awarded to students who are graduates of any DeSoto County high school.

For more information, contact Canon at 662-560-1105 or email



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