BONIFAY — Five people were honored at this year’s Northwest Florida Championship Rodeo Saturday night event, Madeline McFatter, Shay McCormick, Jack Tison, Zak Richardson and Buddy Bush. Here’s a little history on each:
Madeline McFatter was one of 11 children born and raised in Holmes County. She is a graduate of Holmes County High and Troy State University. She earned her degree after having four children and then went on to have two more children after completing her education. She was destined to be a teacher. She was born in an old school house, named after her daddy’s favorite teacher and then married a teacher.
Madeline is now a retired teacher where she taught special needs children at Holmes County High School for 33 years. She was named “Teacher of the Year” for Holmes County in 1989. She was to married to the late James C. (Coach Mac) McFatter for 53 years. They have six children and 14 grandchildren.
Her family has always been involved in many church, community and school activities and she still serves actively and vivaciously since her retirement. Madeline is also an avid sports fan.
Madeline has had many accomplishments, as well as many adversities but still keeps a positive attitude. She is proud to say one of her greatest accomplishments is being a 2-time breast cancer survivor.
Shay McCormick is one of five children who moved here in the early 70’s from Louisiana with his family. He completed High School at Holmes County High School and went on to Chipola Technical College and received a Masters of Plumbing certification. Shay has had a love of helping people and being active in his community from an early age. He first joined the Bonifay Fire Department at the age of 18. He served for 20 years and took a brief break and has been back for eight years. Shay has led as our Fire Chief for 20 of the 28 years he has been with the Bonifay Fire Department.
Shay has been involved, worked and now currently owns Jerkins, Inc. for over 38 years. Shay is also an active member of First Baptist Church and also has served on numerous boards including his appointment to the Board for Doctor’s Memorial Hospital.
Shay has served our community in many ways including being recipient of the Holmes County Volunteer of the Year in 2009 and receiving the J. Harvey Etheridge Good Will Ambassador Award in 2011.
Always having an interest in the medical field, Shay decided to begin his second career and went back to Chipola College and received both his EMT and Paramedic Certification.
Shay now serves and works for Holmes County EMT Department.
Shay is married to Terri Taylor McCormick and has two sons and four grandchildren.
Jack Tison was born and raised in Bonifay. He graduated from Holmes County High School in 1943 and as soon as he turned 18 he received his greetings from Uncle Sam to report for military duty. He entered the service in December of 1943 and after basic training he served in the Asiatic/Pacific theatre in the Philippine Islands in the 24th Infantry Division of the 19th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army. As a Rifleman and later a combat medic, he saw hand to hand combat in the jungles on three islands of the Philippines under the command of General Douglas McArthur.
He was honorably discharged in April of 1946 with a Purple Heart and other commendations. He then entered the University of Florida where he earned a degree in Vocational Agricultural Education in June of 1950. He was a Future Farmers of America Advisor and Vocational Agricultural Teacher in Holmes County for 34 years.
His wife of almost 64 years was present during the recognition ceremony. They have two sons and a daughter. Their son Hiram and daughter Cindy Webb followed in their father’s footsteps as FFA Advisors and Ag Teachers. Their son Glen owns a print business in Panama City. All three are graduates of the University of Florida. They have six granddaughters and one grandson.
Since his retirement from the school system, he and his wife operate a successful blueberry farm in Bonifay with their son Glen who is now associated with the business.
Jack was a charter member of the Holmes County Fair Association and the Holmes County Teachers Credit Union, now Community South Bank.
The family has always been active in the First Baptist Church where he has been an active deacon for over 50 years.
Zak Richardson is a PRCA team roper (heeler) from Westville. He is setting third going into the Southeastern Circuit Finals in Davie on Nov. 7 through Nov. 9 where he will compete for the Team Roping Championship. Zak is married to Jodi, one of the girls that carried a flag in opening ceremony. They have two little girls.
Buddy Bush is a young rising star in the world of professional rodeo as a bullfighter. Buddy has had his card PRCA card for two years. Buddy is from Hope Hull, Ala. He is 24 years old, single and living his childhood dream of being a bullfighter.