This column seems more necessary as time flies by. There once was a time when we all were not so busy, that paying tribute both in print and on the electronic media meant much more than it apparently does today.
And I'll admit as I grow older, it seems the younger generations simply do not see all the grandness and greatness of some of these men and women who did more than just do a job and grab a paycheck along the way.
Why, some of the people on this list are responsible for ideas, actions and policies that make and made our portion of this state the vibrant and growing part of Arkansas that it is.
So here we go.
Some of my suggestions are obvious, others you may be scratching your head over, but all, in my way of thinking, deserve some mention.
I'll start with the tragic death of Officer Stephen Carr of Fayetteville, the 27-year-old policeman shot and killed outside the downtown police headquarters on Dec. 7, 2019.
Another member of the law enforcement community, former Fayetteville Police Chief, Richard Watson, died Nov. 22, 2019. He is best, perhaps, remembered as one of the creators of the Bikes, Blues and BBQ Festival.
One more law enforcement salute goes out to Arkansas State Police's William Boyd "Bill" Baskin, an investigator who died March 28, 2019. Bad guys didn't like this hard-nosed criminal investigator.
A giant in the banking, education and philanthropy in NWA, Walter Lee Turnbow of Springdale, died Sept. 9, 2019. Serving on many community boards, including the Beaver Lake Water District and Springdale Schools, he changed NWA for the better.
Another businessman who served admirably was High Brewer, an engineer who helped healthcare advance. He died March 22, 2019.
Gordon Morgan of Fayetteville the first African-American faculty member of the University of Arkansas and a gentle pioneer of tolerance died Dec. 18, 2019.
Another long-serving public servant, Deputy Fire Chief Travis White, of Siloam Springs, also ended almost 34 years of public service of firefighting, following a lengthy illness on Sept. 7, 2019.
Someone who changed the lives of hundreds if not thousands of young men and women, George Lamar Cole, a former executive with the Arkansas Activities Association, died March 3, 2019. He had moved from Central Arkansas to NW Arkansas in retirement. He was a former band and choir director.
Two great former Razorbacks, Glenn Ray Hines Sr., died Feb. 1, 2019, and Jerry Lamb, a quiet, yet great player on the 1964 National Championship squad, died in early December.
A member of the media family, Richard S. Drake, the former writer/editor for The Grapevine in Fayetteville and later for all kinds of programming on the Fayetteville Public Television channel, who would later write a column, "Street Music," for the Arkansas Times down in Little Rock died March 3, 2019.
A persistent "gadfly" in the media and Letter To The Editor writer champion, Wallace Arthur "Budd" Saunders, died June 15, 2019. The causes of underserved veterans and wayward politicians dreaded Budd's pen.
A blow to the acquisition/sale and promotion of good books, succumbed on Aug. 13, 2019, when Charles O'Donnell, half of the ownership team of Dickson Street Booksellers, passed away.
The Washington County Legal community lost two of its pioneers this year.
First, the Street Lawyer of North College Ave., Erwin Davis, died Oct. 30, 2019; also Peter Gay Estes, a noted legal leader, died Oct. 9, 2019.
The medical communities lost two long-ago leaders, Dr. John Warren Murry who died Feb. 8, 2019, and Dr. Wade Walker Burnside who died Dec. 15, 2019.
There have been others, I am sure, who made an impact upon their communities and Northwest Arkansas during the past year. As we end 2019 and begin 2020, let's look ahead and note those among us who still lead and hold the communities they serve in high regard.
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Maylon Rice is a former journalist who worked for several northwest Arkansas publications. He can be reached via email at [email protected] The opinions expressed are those of the author.
Editorial on 01/01/2020
Print Headline: Remembering those who need remembering