Ocean Springs mourns loss of beloved "Tree Lady"

Ethelyn Connor
Ethelyn Connor
Ethelyn Connor
Ethelyn Connor

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The woman known as "The Tree Lady" of Ocean Springs has died. Ethelyn Connor was 97-years-old. Her legacy will long endure in the many trees and flowers she helped plant and preserve.

Ocean Springs is well known for its beautiful live oak trees and attractive landscaping throughout the community. And one of the biggest supporters of such beautification efforts, for many decades, was Miss Ethelyn Connor.

"I've known her my entire life. She's been very close friends with my family," said Mayor Connie Moran, who considered Miss Ethelyn her dear friend and mentor.

"My fondest memory was her vigilance and dedication to the beautification of Ocean Springs. She founded the Society Des Arbre, she catalogued all the wonderful ancient live oak trees in the city," said Mayor Moran.

So many people around Ocean Springs knew and loved Miss Ethelyn Connor. She was affectionately known as the "Tree Lady".

And she was most passionate about saving the beautiful live oaks that are planted around this city. Before the new bridge was built, Miss Ethelyn spoke-up for the oaks in the way.

"She was adamant that we save the oak trees in the construction of the bridge. And so that was one of the negotiations we had with MDOT to bear the cost of moving the trees and relocating them around the area of our caboose," said Mayor Moran.

A garden at Marble Springs was dedicated in her honor in May of 2008, a fitting tribute to someone so dedicated about preserving and highlighting nature's beauty.

"I knew her very well. She was not only a neighbor and a friend, but I had the greatest respect for her. She believed so in what she did. And she wanted everybody else to believe in her trees and her city. And her wonderful giving nature. She was a gem," said Mary Alice Miner.

She was also active in the 1699 Society. A monument near the statue of Iberville bears her name, one of many reminders around the city of her positive impact and influence.

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