Jones College mourns the loss of former Ellisville Mayor and Jones College VP of Student Affairs

Tim & Pat Waldrup

ELLISVILLE – Employees of Jones College and the City of Ellisville, along with friends and colleagues across the state are mourning the loss of Thomas Mack or “Tim” Waldrup who passed away Wednesday, January 31, 2024. The Louin, Mississippi native was active in athletics at Bay Springs High School before attending Jones County Junior College. He continued his education at Mississippi State University majoring in forestry. While fighting brush fires in California and working on pipelines throughout the United States to earn college funds, he switched careers to education. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Delta State University, where he met his wife, Patricia of 54 years.

Waldrup taught at Bay St. Louis and Ruleville High School before landing a job at Jones College in 1967. Over Waldrup’s 34-year career at JCJC, he served the college as dean of men and vice president of Student Affairs. His wife Patricia also enjoyed a long career at JC as the cheerleading advisor and dean of women as Tim dedicated his life to shaping the lives of students through student government and other leadership opportunities.

“Mr. Waldrup had a profound impact on countless students including my wife, Jennifer, and me,” said Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith. “He was a very wise and frugal leader. His wit and charisma made it easy for him to connect with others. Mr. Waldrup was loyal and kind. The JC community will miss him dearly.”

Waldrup is credited with bringing recruiting efforts to new heights, which also brought record enrollment numbers during his career. He understood education was not confined to the classroom; it extends to the essence of a person.

“Tim came to JC a few years before I came to teach computer technology in 1974,” said Robert Landrum, retired Business Division Chair and Computer Information Systems Technology instructor. “We became good friends because we hunted together at the same deer camp and worked together every day. When he became the dean of students a couple of years after that, his goal was to increase student enrollment in academic as well as all the Vocational and Technical programs. Tim was “blind” as to where students went on campus, he just wanted JC to increase in enrollment. He encouraged the instructors to invite private industry to the campus to visit their programs and he also encouraged faculty to let him know if we had something interesting or new so we could invite the news media to come visit our programs. He was a real marketer of all programs on campus.”

Upon his retirement as the Ellisville Mayor, colleagues and friends spent a night “roasting” Tim Waldrup before he retired from public office in June 2017. Pictured left to right are, JC retired Presidents, Dr. Terrell Tisdale and Dr. Ronald Whitehead (seated), current JC President, Dr. Jesse Smith and his wife, Jennifer (standing), Martha Tisdale and Charlotte Whitehead (seated) and friends of Waldrup, Jennie and Robert Landrum.

JCJC graduate and retired journalism instructor, Rebecca Patrick assisted Waldrup with recruiting efforts for 10 years as the Director of Public Relations, before becoming the journalism instructor. Working in student affairs was never a dull moment with Waldrup, she explained.

“He was a prankster who loved a good joke, but he was all business at the same time,” said Patrick. “I learned a lot from Waldrup about how to work and have fun at the same time, how students and their growth were our main priority, and how a top-quality educational product will always attract top-quality students. He is an individual who, I believe, was uniquely called to be a servant of the people. Whether it was the thousands of students he assisted at Jones, or the citizens of Ellisville he served as mayor, Waldrup always worked to make lives better than they were. There is no possible way to put a number on how many lives he impacted during his lifetime.”

As Mayor of Ellisville in 2011, Tim Waldrup (left) gives Jones College Baseball Head Coach Christian Ostrander (right) the Key to the City after capturing the MACJC Championship.

After retiring from Jones in November 2001, Waldrup was elected mayor of Ellisville, becoming a public servant to his community. In this capacity, he continuously embodied unwavering dedication to the people of Ellisville. Serving 16 years as mayor allowed him to become president of the Mississippi Municipal League, thus improving his relationships and network and improving infrastructure and the quality of life for residents. In 2017, Waldrup retired for the last time, after 50 years of public service. Unfortunately, he was plagued by serious health issues until he succumbed to complications.

“Waldrup’s influence extended beyond his professional accomplishments. He was a loving husband, a devoted father, and a doting grandfather,” said his wife, Pat Waldrup. “His family was his pride and joy, and he cherished every moment spent with us. Waldrup’s wisdom, guidance, and unconditional love will continue to resonate through the generations, leaving an indelible mark on his family’s lives.”

Visitation will be at First Baptist Church of Laurel, on Saturday, February 3, 2024, from 12:30-2:30 pm. A memorial service will follow in the sanctuary at 2:30 pm. A private family burial service will follow. Pallbearers will be, Kaleb Robert Meeks (Grandson), Dylan Thomas Meeks (Grandson), Robert Landrum (Lifelong Friend), Dr. Ronald Whitehead (Professional/Close Friend), Donald Ray Barefoot (Nephew), and John Gentry (Nephew).

The Waldrup family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Tim Waldrup Leadership Scholarship at Jones College or the building fund at First Baptist Church of Laurel or First Baptist Church of Ellisville.