Weaver recalled for service to Dalton area and students and educators

Mar. 8—Friends and colleagues remember Bill Weaver as an educator who cared about students and as a public servant who was always looking to make Dalton a better place to live.

William B. "Bill" Weaver, who spent 38 years with the Dalton Public Schools system, retiring as deputy superintendent in 2001, and was active in numerous local groups, boards and commissions, passed away Friday. He was 87.

Born in Middleton, Ohio, Weaver came to Dalton in 1963 for a teaching and counseling position at Dalton High School and lived here for the rest of his life.

"He was all about Dalton," said Mayor David Pennington, who met Weaver when Pennington was a student at Dalton High School and Weaver was a counselor. "If you didn't know he wasn't from Dalton, you'd think he was. He loved this community."

Both before and during his retirement, Weaver was active in numerous local organizations, typically in leadership positions. At the time of his death he was a member of Dalton's Public Safety Commission, which oversees the city's fire and police departments. Weaver served almost 16 years on the commission, including 12 as chairman.

Some of the many other posts Weaver held were president of the Dalton-Whitfield-Murray Retired Educators Association, District XVI director of the Georgia Retired Educators Association, member of the board of directors of the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia, member of the board of directors of Junior Achievement of Northwest Georgia, member of the board of directors of the United Way of Northwest Georgia and president of the Dalton Rotary Club.

"He loved service. He loved Dalton, and he wanted to give back," said City Council member Steve Farrow, who met Weaver when Farrow was a student. Farrow got to know him better through their many years of mutual membership in the Dalton Rotary Club.

City Council member Dennis Mock said he is proud to have called Weaver a friend.

"He managed a couple of my (election) campaigns," Mock said. "He made a big impact on this community in many different ways. This is a big loss for Dalton."

Those who knew Weaver said education and young people were one of his central concerns. Those who worked with him in Dalton Public Schools praised his leadership and collegiality.

Laura Orr, Dalton Public Schools' chief academic officer, said her professional relationship with Weaver began while she was still in college at the University of Georgia.

"I sought his advice about staying for a fifth year to obtain my master's degree," she said. "After finishing graduate school, he hired me on the spot, saying, 'We'll figure out which school later.'"

"He continued to support me and offered his advice throughout my journey as a teacher and school administrator," Orr said. "He was always available to support teachers and staff, encouraging and developing them to become life-long educators. He possessed tremendous wisdom and led others firmly but kindly. His wife, Virginia, was the curriculum director, and both devoted their careers to making Dalton Public Schools a wonderful place."

Former school board member Mark Orr, who is married to Laura, said he met Weaver as a student.

"I have always admired the levelheaded and wise presence of Mr. Weaver, and I always knew I could rely on him to give thoughtful and encouraging advice," he said. "So, when I decided to run for the school board in 1997, I was not surprised that Mr. Weaver called me. He wanted to make sure I knew he was available to offer wise counsel and advice during and after my campaign."

"When I was elected, after he retired in 2001, and for all four terms I served as a member of the DPS school board, Mr. Weaver was always a phone call away and ready to listen," Mark Orr said. "Specifically, I remember him being a strong and calm presence during divisive times among the board and school community. He always acted in the best interest of DPS students, teachers, staff and the greater Dalton community.

"In the last 22 years, anytime I saw Mr. Weaver, he made sure to ask me the latest about the school system. I greatly appreciated his guidance, wisdom, professionalism, mentorship and investment in Dalton Public Schools and I am so grateful for the investment he made in my life as I sought to serve the students of Dalton Public Schools."

A memorial service for Weaver will be on Thursday at 2 p.m. at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 901 W. Emery St. in Dalton. A reception will follow in the parish hall. Weaver was active at the church, where he served on the Vestry as senior warden and as a lay eucharistic minister.