Rick and Mary Beth Tarver of Ft. Jesup are the 2020 Honorary Parade Marshals for the Town of Many’s 2020 Christmas Parade on Dec. 19.

Better known as MiMi and Papa Rick to their family and good friends, they are long time educators and are well known for their work with children.

The couple has made their home in Ft. Jesup for more than 50 years. High school sweethearts, they met while students at Many High School. After graduation they headed to Northwestern State University to continue their educations.

Mary Beth and Rick married in 1967. They have three children who kept them busy as the kids grew up. Now they have seven grandchildren who have taken up the task of keeping their grandparents busy as ever.

Mary Beth Tarver is well known as an educator. She began her teaching career at Many High School in 1967 where she taught in the math and science departments until 1991 when she transferred to Northwestern State University’s business department. She still is employed there and teaches computer information system courses.

During her long teaching career she has taught all four of her siblings: Marg, Sis, JoAnn, and Bill. She also taught her three children—Matt, Tori, and

Andy, as well as several generations of Many Tiger and NSU Demon fans.

MiMi spends her time away from the classroom on the family farm caring for their animals—mostly horses. She takes care of her daily chores and each year has conducted horse camps for several generations of young campers.

Mimi’s children say that you will want to come back to life as one of Mimi’s animals if you believe in reincarnation. Her love of animals is one reason she believes so strongly in the work of the Sabine Humane Society where she helps out whenever she can.

Rick Tarver interrupted his college years to join the National Guard. He graduated from Ft. Benning, GA, as a 2nd Lieutenant, served in various command positions and retired after 25 years in the Guard.

He then returned to college at NSU where he earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Ultimately, he received his PhD in education at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Rick’s teaching career began at Ebarb and then Many Junior High School where he taught and also coached football.

He joined Norm Fletcher of Natchitoches as the voices of NSU Demon football in the 1970s and 80s.

Rick joined NSU as a teacher in the business department in 1997. After25 years of service at NSU, he retired.

His retirement years are spent with MiMi and his grandchildren, keeping him busy doing what a retired service man, teacher and farmer do. Rick does find time once in a while to find a football game or a NASCAR race to watch on the


The Tarvers are longtime and active members of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Many.

Their devotion to their church, their family, and their community for so many years makes them the ideal honorary parade marshals for the 2020 Many Christmas Parade on Dec. 19.

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