Friends of Roger Dale Mattox Jr., a resident of Pearlington, remember him as a man who loved life and thought of "every day as a new adventure."
Crista Nelson of Hattiesburg, who knew Roger, about 38, from their childhood until just a few years ago, recalls that he was well-oriented to his family. His entire life, Roger had one family interest high on his list of priorities.
"He and the family would gather on the weekends for their famous crab boils," she said. His siblings included four sisters --- Donna, Sheila, Victoria and Ruth --- and a brother, Emile.
"The neighborhood was very close, and in our childhood, I remember that Roger was very much interested in sports --- he and the entire family were avid Saints fans. And he was a great swimmer." Kids in the neighborhood swam in season two or three times a week in nearby bayous.
In his early days of the '70s and '80s, he lived on Maui Island, a street in the Belle Isle subdivision at Pearlington, and was known popularly as "Little Roger." He was much liked by fellow schoolmates at Charles B. Murphy Elementary in Pearlington and later at Hancock North Central at Kiln.
Friend Crista, now Nelson of Hattiesburg, said Roger's parents, Roger Sr. and Dolores, were also her godparents.