January 22, 2014 Edition

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Best legacies extend
beyond money, property

John Bland
Publisher

Lawrence County has seen more than its share of loss with the deaths of several well-known people in the past few weeks. These losses remind us that the legacy we leave behind is much more than just money and property.

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"Rorex remembered as a generous businessman" was the title of a front page feature written by George Jared in Monday's Jonesboro Sun. Don Rorex died Jan. 6 at the age of 80 after a short battle with cancer.

The Sun story tells about Don's kindness and generosity to those in need, whether hungry or in need of a job. County Judge Dale Freeman said Don helped many high school and college kids who worked for him. He also gave extra help when they struggled.

Don's daughter, Gina Rorex, shared that she and her siblings will continue to operate the three restaurants that Don had owned. Don's family, with good timing, threw an 80th birthday party for him in November and invited everyone in the community.

Dan Mullen, local insurance agent, wrote Don a tribute on Facebook.

"I remember when I was a teenager, and jobs for teens were not that plentiful. There was a family of brothers at that time who owned grocery stores in Lawrence County. They were receptive to hiring teens and young men in the grocery business. Most of those young men and young ladies appreciated those job opportunities and made the most of them as career opportunities opened up and some became attorneys, chiropractors, businessmen and women of different walks of life "

The same family that had the grocery businesses back in the 60's, 70's and 80's then went into the restaurant business in more recent decades, Mullen said. The restaurant business became the new employment opportunity for the teenagers and young men and women of Lawrence County. "Thank you Rorex brothers, for your commitment to employ the people of Lawrence County for so many years. Don, you will be missed by many and appreciated by many people for many years. Thank you from a family that has benefitted as past employees of your business opportunities. Daniel, David, Matthew and Sara Mullen"

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A standing-room-only crowd attended Sunday's memorial service for Lance Phillips. The service was held in the Clover Bend School Auditorium, and with 280 chairs set up, some of the overflow crowd stood to pay their respects to this good and highly-regarded man and his family.

This was the report from Viola Callahan Meadows, Clover Bend native and leader in the restoration and preservation of the Clover Bend School Museum, gym and homestead.

Mrs. Meadows also reported on a sixth-grade basketball tournament hosted in the historic Clover Bend gym by the Clover Bend Historic Preservation Board of which she serves as president. She commented:

"It went really well for a first-time event," she said. "The parents, students and coaches were all great. They all showed good sportsmanship and good citizenship." She said they also received many compliments on the refurbished gymnasium, which they hope can be used annually for this event.

She said the tournament was organized by Tim Doyle, who "did an excellent job." They were also able to use the scoreboard that was given by the Doyle family in honor of Billy Edd Doyle.

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