The elderly people at the Biloxi Senior Citizens' Center had the heart of Linda deSilvey, 57, who was both a shrewd businesswoman like her mom and a humanitarian, says Doug, her former husband and lifelong friend.
On the one hand was Linda the administrator, who wrote grants, arranged architectural drawings and had helped come up with money for a new center in the 1980s. On the other was her real forte, Doug said, and that was the senior citizens themselves.
"They gave her pleasure," he said. "She knew every one of them by their first name. She knew all the old Point Cadet people.
"Probably the most prevalent thing in her life was the Senior Citizens' Center . . . helping the elderly, making sure they got meals, getting funding (for the programs).
"She helped the poor and hungry, trying to return them to the mainstream of life. Anything that needed doing in the city, in the community, she jumped right out there and did it.
" . . . Her heart was four times bigger than she was," he said. "She would give to other people before she would help herself. Sometimes people took advantage of her, but she just blew it off as 'Well, that's the way it goes. They'll have to deal with that later on . . . ' "
Above all, said Doug, "Linda was a very good mom. Donna was first."