The children of Rev. Algernon Stamps Sr. say there is no one in Jackson’s Washington Addition neighborhood who doesn’t have a story about them.
“Everyone in town knew my dads,” said his youngest son, Phil Stamps. “The stories about him are literally endless.”
The community member and founder of Stamps Super Burgers, who has served Jackson for more than 50 years, died Thursday morning at the Jackson Veterans Home. He was 86 years old.
Phil Stamps said his phone was ringing nonstop with people from across town and beyond to offer their condolences. Phil Stamps said he remembered his father circling around the leaders of the Jim Hill High School basketball team in the backyard in the 1990s and loading his car with it. neighborhood children to take them to church on Sunday. The number of lives his father touched could not be counted, he said.
Everyone in the neighborhood, where the family resides to this day, remembers Stamps and his legacy because he didn’t just give people a great meal – he offered great advice.
“You have a burger and a lesson in life,” said Tennyson Gardner, a regular who visited the establishment Friday. “If nothing else, you knew you were going to get it.”
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A soldier, a teacher and a spiritual leader
Before picking up the story of the community grocery store at the corner of Dalton Street and Topps Avenue, Stamps was in the military. He was a US Air Force veteran and taught pilots how to fly during his 13 years of service.
After retiring from the military and graduating from Jackson State University, Stamps became a teacher in the Rankin County Public School District for several years. Phil Stamps said his father always made sure to monitor students of color to make sure they were treated fairly and that many of them became repeat customers later in life.
Stamps was also a spiritual leader. He pastored for over 50 years at various churches near his hometown of Utica, including the independent Brown Chapel Church, which his family attended as a child. Phil Stamps said his father was responsible for helping organize the funding for the New Faith Independent Church on Highway 27.
“The people there wanted to fund their church with a loan and he told them no,” he said. “He said to them ‘Collect your money and pay your dues every Sunday and I guarantee you will have your church.’ And that’s exactly what happened. ”
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Leave a lasting legacy
Later, Stamps Sr. would launch Stamps Super Burgers to provide the community with great food at a reasonable price. Phil Stamps said his father would wake up at 4 a.m. almost every morning to stock up on ingredients at prices he deemed fair in order to open the restaurant every day.
“He did it every morning and lived it every day,” he said. “Then he would go straight home, rest and do the same thing the next day. “
Algernon Stamps Jr. said his father was a strict disciplinarian, but all of his children were grateful for his advice.
“I’m happy because there were things I didn’t know at the time that he protected me,” he said. “I might not be here without him.
Phil Stamps said his father inspired him to be a better person and a better parent for his own children.
“He had principles,” he said. “And he taught me what it means to be a real man.”
Stamps Sr. left the restaurant grill in 2003, but still remained with the company even into his later years. He and his wife, Barbara, celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary in June.
Phil Stamps said the restaurant’s operations are currently being managed by his son, Phil Stamps Jr., and a new location may emerge in the future. The Stamps family also created the Algernon & Barbara Lloyd Stamps Memorial / Stamps Super Burgers Scholarship, which will be available to Jackson State students in memory of the Elder Stamps.
Phil Stamps said raising the place where he lived and worked and making sure the people there were nourished both physically and spiritually was all his father had ever wanted to do.
“It was my father’s claim to fame. He wanted to make sure he looked after his community,” he said.
Algernon Stamps Sr. is survived by his wife, Barbara Lloyd Stamps, and six children, Alice Stamps, Algernon Stamps Jr., Crystal Etheredge, Susan Pratcher, Timothy Stamps and Phil Stamps Sr. The funeral was not over Friday.
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