Margaret Jo Mitchell Rees was born in Muldrow, Oklahoma on October 23, 1930. She graduated from Spiro High School in Spiro, Oklahoma. After graduation, she began her financial career with the Merchants Bank in Fort Smith, Arkansas until she married Samernie Rees who was stationed at Camp Chaffey. After their marriage, Margaret and Sam moved to his hometown of Hattiesburg in 1953 where she began working for the Credit Bureau of Hattiesburg as a Credit Reporting Supervisor.
In 1957, Margaret and Sam purchased the Collection Department from the Credit Bureau and began their life long career in the credit industry. In 1960, they obtained the credit reporting department and obtained full ownership of the business. Together they became prominent in the credit industry and were respected for their knowledge, service, and integrity.
Preceded in death by her husband, Sam, in 1981, Margaret became President and CEO.
During the following years, Margaret was very active in the credit industry both locally, statewide, and nationally. She was a Certified Collection Agency Executive and a Certified Credit Bureau Executive. She was a Past President of the American Collectors Association (ACA) of Mississippi as well as Past President of the Associated Credit Bureaus of Mississippi.
Margaret served as Secretary for the System Affiliate Advisory Board of Equifax for many years as well.
Not only was she active in her professional capacity, Margaret also served on the Board of Directors of the USM DuBard School for Language Disorders until her retirement in 2003. She was also Past President and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society.
She was instrumental in the organization of the Block Parties and the Cancer Walks. She also served on the Board of Directors of the United Way, the Board of Directors of the USM Foundation, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Southern Methodist College.
She was a sponsor and active member of the local chapter of Credit Women International.
During her long career, Margaret received many awards, honors, and recognition by her peers for her distinguished work in the credit industry and her community. Some of these awards include the National Award of Excellence and the Distinguished Service Award from the Associated Credit Bureaus, Inc, the Excaliber Award from the American Cancer Society for her work and service and was elected to the Who's Who in American Business Women.
In addition to her successful business career, Margaret was very active in her church and in the community, giving of her time and support to many worthy organizations and causes. She was a sponsor of the Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera as well as the Civic Arts Council. In addition to supporting the Arts, she also believed in quality education and lended her support to the Presbyterian Christian School, William Carey College, and the University of Southern Mississippi. Because of the support and dedication to their educational program, Presbyterian Christian School dedicated and named their gym in her honor. Humbly, she gave not only of her support but of her time for the benefit of the Hattiesburg community as a whole.
Margaret was a member of Wesley Southern Methodist Church where she was past President of the Board of Education and a member of the Hannah Circle Women's Missionary Society.
She was very active with the youth, served as a Sunday School teacher and helped coordinate many summer Vacation Bible Schools. Where she saw a need, she would serve and rejoice in doing God's work.
On Sunday, March 10, 2013 Margaret peacefully went to be with her Lord, surrounded by those that loved her, at her home in the Dixie Community. She was preceded in death by her parents, Benjamin Mitchell and Norma Garretson Mitchell of Arkoma, OK , her husband, Samernie Rees and a grandson, Ashley DuBoise of Hattiesburg, and her two sisters, Laverne Robbins of Fort Smith Arkansas and Gayle Sykes of Albuquerque, NM.
She is survived by two daughters, Kim R. DuBoise and Karan R. McGee; grandchildren; Timothy DuBoise, Kristin McGee Kelly and her husband, Joshua Kelly, Cydney McGee; great-grandchildren; Kamryn McGee, Kyndall McGee Kelly, and Korbin McGee Kelly her sister-in-law, Glenda Guess and her husband, Morgan Guess.; nephews Dr. Mitch Guess and Marty Guess of Hattiesburg, Stan Robbins and Randy Robbins of Fort Smith, AR, Terry Sykes of Albuquerque, NM, and Richard Sykes of Hot Springs, AR. She is also survived by her nieces April Guess Selman, Gwynne Robbins Hinterthuer, and Melanie Robbins Rogers. She is also survived by a number great nieces and nephews. The family would also like to acknowledge and thank her caregivers, Bonnie Skelton and Julia Martin, for the loving and excellent care they administered to our loved one over the past 7 years.
Visitation will be held from 4 pm to 8 pm on Thursday, March 14th, at Moore Funeral Services on Hardy Street. The celebration of her life will be held at 1:30 pm on Friday, March 15th, at Wesley Southern Methodist Church. There will be a short visitation period beginning at 12:00 noon prior to the service.
Members of the family request that memorial donations be designated to the Alzheimer's Foundation for Research or to the USM DuBard School for