Paul Ott Carruth
"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Paul Ott Carruth’s strength was renewed as he was called home to be with his Lord and Savior at 10:00 am, Sunday, July 1, 2018, while at home in his favorite place on Lake Dixie Springs.
Paul Ott was born September 25, 1934 in McComb, MS. As a seven year old child, Paul Ott was baptized at FBC Summit where he continued to be a proud member for the past 76 years. After graduating from Summit High School, he attended Southwest Mississippi Community College, and The University of Mississippi, and he completed his degree in education at the University of Southern Mississippi. After completing his education, he served his country in the United States Army. He then married the late Alberta Carruth and lived in Hattiesburg with his young family while he taught physical education and served as the director of the YMCA.
His passion for music and the outdoors began to drive him, and he realized the need that America had for protecting its’ environment. Knowing how the economy must thrive and continue to grow, he realized there must be some kind of harmony between the two and what better place to start than educating our citizens. He returned home to Pike County where his love for the outdoors started and launched one of the most powerful educational programs Mississippi and other states across the country have known and grown to love over the last 50 years.
Paul Ott reached over one million students from kindergarten to the college level, spreading his message about wildlife conservation and his love for "God, Family and Country". He performed at all fifty state-level conventions in agriculture, wildlife and environmental conferences and for three Presidents of the United States and six Joint Sessions of Legislature across the country. He performed at all fifty State Governor’s Wildlife Conservation Awards conventions in addition to Puerto Rico, The Virgin Islands, Guam, Canada, Mexico and South Africa. He wrote, produced and performed ten different promotions for each of the fifty states, Wildlife Federations and also the National Wildlife Federation of Washington D.C. He led the fight as President of the Mississippi Wildlife Federation to help save the last forty Mississippi Sandhill Cranes from extinction in the late 1970’s. His songs, TV, radio, newspaper interviews and personal appearances carried the message. His fighting spirit continued as he spurred a grass roots campaign across the country for prayer at athletic events in our schools. He received numerous local, state and national awards for his dedication to wildlife conservation, God, family and country. He was chosen honorary President of the PTA for the State of Mississippi, received the Arbor Day Award for his unfailing effort to preserve our wildlife and natural habitat, and twice received the Conservation/Communication Award from the State of Mississippi. He received the National Garden Clubs of America Conservation Award, the Honorary Merit of Excellence Award from the Boy Scouts of America, and was the recipient of the coveted Southeast Tourism Award. He was the Chairman of the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center, and served on the Advisory Board for the Mississippi School of the Arts, and was proclaimed the Goodwill Ambassador for the state of Mississippi by the House of Representatives. He also served on the Advisory Board for Southwest Mississippi Community College, and was named Alumnus of the Year at Southwest Mississippi Community College.
His first album, "Message to Mankind" has been placed in the Smithsonian Institute for the message it brings to the nation concerning our environment.
Paul Ott Carruth was so incredibly proud of his family! Paul is survived by his wife Lynda Newberry Carruth of Summit, MS, and 5 children, 13 grandhchildren, and 2 great grandchildren. His children include Paul Ott Carruth, Jr. and wife Lindsey of Trussville, AL; Carla Carruth Tigner and husband Bill of Sandestin, FL; Russ Blair Carruth and wife Melanie of McComb, MS; Bert Holland Carruth and wife Gina of Trussville, AL; and Jeff Thomas Blair Carruth and wife Missy of Summit, MS. He was super proud of his grandkids-- Courtney Carruth Nix and husband Joel, Drew Holland Tigner, Callie Carruth Russell and husband Brandon, Mary Claire Carruth, Carr Tigner, Luke Davis, Allie Carruth, Cade Carruth, Hastings Carruth, Emma Grace Carruth, Brewer Carruth, Davis Carruth, and Carlyle Carruth. He is also survived by two brothers Benson Holland of Quitman, MS and Steve Holland of Clinton, MS; and sister Ann Carruth Jackson.
He was preceded in death by his first wife Alberta Futch Carruth, and his parents Mr. and Mrs. AR Carruth.
Funeral Services to celebrate the incredible life of this beloved husband, father, brother, and friend will be held at 1l:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at FBC Summit, 1108 Robb St, Summit, MS 39666. Dr. Larry LeBlanc and Dr. Jimmy Porter will officiate with the members of the MS Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Park serving as pallbearers. Honorary Pallbearers will be Luke Brewer, Butch Dickson, Fred Foster, Charley Frye, Marty Gamblin, Amos Parker, Tom Lester, Johnny Ott, Cloy Smith, Joe Stone, and Jimmy Walker. A private burial will follow the service. The family will receive friends from 6:00-8:00 pm on Monday, July 2, 2018 at FBC Summit. The family would like to express our thanks for the wonderful help and care given by Hospice Compasses of Brookhaven, and a special thanks to Dr. Ray Montalvo. In leau of flowers, the family would request any memorials be made to the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center (MAEC) in Meridian, MS or charity of your choice.
While Paul Ott Carruth received numerous accolades for his service to our city, state, and nation, he had no prouder accomplishment than having the honor of spreading the message of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. One of his favorite verses, listed below, depicts his infectious approach to the public--
"Be kind to one another, …forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you."