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Bob Jones’ first alumni reflect on their principal, Elbert Deason

Alumni from Bob Jones High School’s early days remember their first principal, Elbert ‘Ebb’ Deason.

Deason, who was 80 years old, died on Dec. 30.

In 1974, Deason was principal for Bob Jones’ first graduating class. “Mr. Deason was a really nice man that always had a smile on his face. That has always stuck in my mind,” Cindi Sanderson said. She and husband James Sanderson were in the Class of 1974.

Deason rarely was seen without his pipe. “Even in a yearbook photo of him at his desk, there sits the pipe on an ashtray,” Cindi said.

“Mr. Deason was always very firm but fair about everything,” James said. “If anyone was in the hall, he would put his hand on their shoulder and move them along.” James’ mother, Rayceil Sanderson, taught in Madison during Deason’s administration.

While not overly strict, Deason expected students to be in class and not standing around in the halls. “I’m sure he did paddle, but I wouldn’t know about that first hand,” Cindi said.

Cindi also remembers Deason “trolling through the parking lot in the mornings to tell us to get out of our cars and go inside. I can honestly say that I’ve never heard anyone say they didn’t like him.”

One alumnus, who preferred to remain anonymous, was frequently in Deason’s office. “I got in trouble quite a bit back then. I remember once that I was so messed up on drugs they sent me to his office.”

“I talked my way out of it,” the alumnus said. “Then, when I stood up to leave, I passed out and fell back into the chair. He let me stay in his office several hours until I came down and then he let me go home.”

“He could have done a lot of things to me that day but he didn’t. He helped me and that was the last time I ever tried drugs,” the alumnus said. “Mr. Deason was a great guy and always fair and impartial. I always respected him. I remember his ever-present pipe.”

Visitation for Deason will be held on Jan. 2 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by the funeral, at Owens Cross Roads Church of Christ.

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