JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Friday, officials dedicated a segment of U.S. Highway 80 in Pearl as the Ray Rogers Memorial Highway.

Central Transportation Commissioner Willie Simmons was joined by Sen. Dean Kirby, Rep. Tom Weathersby and Pearl Mayor Jake Windham to dedicate the portion of U.S. 80 in Ray Rogers’ name. The event was held at the Pearl Community Center.

Former Mississippi State Representative Nolan Ray Rogers passed away on December 18, 2020.

In 1983, Rogers was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives, where he served as an active member for 36 years. As a member of the House of Representatives, he worked to bring economic growth and job opportunities to Pearl and Rankin County.

Rogers was a member of the team of elected officials responsible for bringing Trustmark Park and the Mississippi Braves to Pearl. He played a role in acquiring Bass Pro Shops and the Outlets of Mississippi, which employ over 1,000 people in Pearl.

As Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives, he played a significant role in acquiring $300 million from the federal government and $100 million from the State of Mississippi to build three Veterans Nursing Homes located in Oxford, Collins and Kosciusko.

“Ray exemplified the importance of leadership and public service,” said Simmons. “He believe that we are obligated to service, that service is a part of success and that the fulfillment of a good life is in serving others. Naming this section of U.S. 80 in his name will remind those that travel this roadway that he truly left this community in a better place than he found it.”

During the 2022 Legislative Session, House Bill No. 811 was signed into law, designating a segment of U.S. Highway 80 located in Rankin County within the Pearl city limits, beginning at its intersection with Bierdeman Road extending easterly to its intersection with Pirates Cove, as the “Ray Rogers Memorial Highway.”