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Our thoughts...Shadow of a giant
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"Men of genius are admired, men of wealth are envied, men of power are feared; but only men of character are trusted."
- Unknown author

Last week we lost another one of our county's pioneer leaders, Roy Varner. In Sunday's paper, our story in honor of his life was titled "Giant among men."

We did not call him a giant because of his height; we called him that with the deepest of respect and admiration.

Roy Varner was in a class of men who loved their families, their country, their land and their home. The majority of Varner's generation of Americans had an abiding love for their God. It was a generation that brought about positive change for our country.

Varner was a World War II hero who, after serving in the military, came to Newton County to help his grandfather tend his farm.

He met the love of his life, Charlyne, and decided to stay in Newton County. The couple raised two children within Newton's borders.

While continuing to work the soil, Varner resolved to repay the kindness he had received from Newton County residents.

He decided to run for the position of chairman of the Newton County Board of Commissioners in 1976. Like most everything in his life, he won the position and served his beloved county with honor until 1992.

Along the way he personally saw that a bypass was installed to prevent traffic congestion in Covington. His biggest achievement was ensuring that Newton County had a reservoir to meet its drinking water needs for years to come.

Lake Varner today is the envy of counties throughout the state.

Roy Varner was the type of man who would look you in your eye and respectfully tell you the truth even if it wasn't what you wanted to hear.

Because of his ability to compromise, he never met a goal he couldn't achieve.

His character was above reproach; his sincerity was legendary.

We are fortunate in this county to have had a man like Roy Varner in a leadership role. He stood as a giant among men and the shadow he cast remains even after his passing.