Millsaps Life Trustee Mike Sturdivant Sr. Dies
The Millsaps family has lost "a giant of a man." Mike P. Sturdivant Sr., a two-time gubernatorial candidate and fourth-generation Delta farmer, died Tuesday, May 1st at his home on Due West Plantation.
"Mike Sturdivant was one of Mississippi's most valuable and effective citizen leaders," said former Gov. William Winter in an article in the Clarion-Ledger. "He was totally dedicated to improving life for everyone in Mississippi. He had a compassion for the less fortunate and did everything he could to improve their lives."
Sturdivant, 85, had been in declining health for a year or so, said his son, Mike Sturdivant Jr., of Itta Bena.
The elder Sturdivant ran for the Democratic nomination for governor in 1983 and 1987.
"He was a giant of a man," said Woods Eastland, board chairman of Staplcotn, in the article published on May 2. "God blessed him with a lot of ability, and he used it to his fullest."
"He was a brilliant man and a brilliant businessman. He was very insightful, and on top of that, he was a very pleasant man and a gentleman - and just a nice guy. He had all of his values in the right places," Eastland said.
Sturdivant remained active until recently with the family's 12,000-acre farming operation. He served as chairman of the state College Board and as board chairman of Methodist hospital systems in Memphis. He was co-chairman of the Jackson-based hotel group Mississippi Management.
At Millsaps College, he served on the Board of Trustees from 1965-1972, and from 1977 until his death. Although he did not attend Millsaps, Sturdivant was a staunch supporter of the College, and shared his time, wisdom and resources with generations of Millsapians.
In recent years, Sturdivant was honored by the Chickasaw Council of the Boy Scouts of America with its distinguished citizen award, not only for his support of scouting but also for his leadership in the community, Eastland said.
In addition to son Mike Sturdivant Jr., who also serves as a Millsaps trustee, he is survived by his wife Ygondine Walker Sturdivant of Glendora; sons, Walker Sturdivant of Greenwood, Sykes Sturdivant of Glendora and Gaines Sturdivant of Jackson; and a daughter, Ygondine Creasy of Lynchburg, Va. Wilson and Knight Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.