Laurel mourns loss of beloved employee

April 5, 2023

On Sunday, April 2, Rejeana “Little Bit” Loper passed away after an extended battle with cancer. Loper had worked as a supervisor in the city’s parks and recreation department since 2010 and was beloved and admired by her coworkers for her positivity, friendliness, kindness, hard work, dedication, and “can do” attitude.

“Everyone loved her,” City of Laurel Parks and Recreation Director Elvin Ulmer said. “You couldn’t help but to love her. That was just her personality.” Ulmer stated that she was one of his best employees of all time. “I used to call her Shorty. I would tell my guys, ‘It takes five y’all to make one of her!’ She only had one speed and that was 90 miles per hour all day!”

He called her a “blast of energy”; while another co-worker called her “the hardest working little dynamo.”

“It is still hard to believe,” he said. “We are going to miss her dearly!”

“The entire City of Laurel staff offer their sincere condolences to her family and friends during this difficult time,” Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee said. “She will be remembered here with much love and admiration.”

Loper’s obituary can be found at

Services are scheduled for Saturday, April 8th. Visitation will be held from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. with a memorial to follow.

The City of Laurel, established as a lumber town in 1882, is conveniently situated approximately two hours from larger destination cities such as Jackson, Biloxi, New Orleans, and Mobile. In recent years, the city has become a destination all its own thanks, in part, to its starring role in HGTV’s popular “Hometown” series. As Laurel, and interest in it, continues to grow, we are committed to providing the resources necessary to help all of our residents and businesses reach their full potential.
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