City of West Point mourns the loss of beloved businessman, father & friend Gary Dedeaux after tragic plane crash
WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI) – Grief and confusion continue to grip the town of West Point after a plane crash claimed the life of 65-year-old Gary Dedeaux and his grandson Luke Reed. “He was as sharing and caring about his fellow man as anybody I’ve ever known,” says West Point Chief Operating Officer Randy Jones. Former West Point mayor Robbie Robinson says he had known Dedeaux for more than 50 years. “When I heard the news yesterday, I was with my nine-year-old grandson,” Robinson says. “I was babysitting him, just taking him fishing and boy, I felt that angst in my heart.”
Robinson says he got to know Dedeaux best when they spent four years working alongside each other when Dedeaux served as a City Selectman from 2013 to 2017. “He was loyal to his family, he was loyal to his community and loyal to his business,” Robinson says. “Just a wonderful man. He’s going to be terribly, terribly missed. I still find it hard to talk about it.” The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were on-scene Thursday near Camps Airport Road just off Highway 45 Alternate, per the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department. They are trying to figure out what happened during the flight that cost Dedeaux and his grandson their lives.
“I know that he was flying when I met him,” Jones says. “He had aircraft when I met him. So I would say probably 30 or more years. A long time.” Jones had been friends with Dedeaux for over 20 years and also worked with him during his time in the city government. “I think he was the number one dealer for Ruger Firearms in the world,” Jones says. “Not just Mississippi, not just Clay County.” Likely best known as the owner of Gary’s Pawn and Gun, Jones says his influence goes far beyond that. “I’m talking about hundreds of thousands (of people),” he says. “Literally.” Both Jones and Robinson say Dedeaux never failed to share his wealth and success with others, donating to community organizations, like the Palmer Home’s care for foster children, constantly. Robinson says the last time he saw his friend, it was to ask him about a watch he’d bought from him years ago.
“I was a very good watch and I was having trouble with it,” Robinson explained. “I took it back to Gary the week before last and he had it repaired and called me [when it was ready]. He was always of service.” “I would personally like to say to Gary if I could, thank you sir for all of you good deeds, thank you for your service,” says current West Point Mayor Rod Bobo. “Thank you for your commitment to your community.” Investigators say it will likely take between 12 and 24 months before the cause of the plane crash is determined.