Earl Wetherington, 87, of Valdosta passed away Thursday after a lengthy illness, but his legacy of service to the community will live on.
Wetherington served for many years on the Lowndes County Board of Assessors, a dedicated member of the Kiwanis Club, and was still delivering Meals on Wheels until just a short time ago.
His list of activities and memberships is extremely long, and stretches all the way back to his service in World War II. His attitude was always one of service, and that didn’t stop even when he wasn’t feeling well. He kept going.
Earl and I became acquainted several years ago while he was an Assessor and we spent a lot of time emailing and talking over the years. He sent me photos of various events at the Kiwanis Club and asked me to be his guest there several times, which I gladly accepted.
His love for the community was boundless, his commitment was limitless, and through it all, he was a true Southern born and bred gentleman from another era.
His obituary and funeral details are in today’s paper, but I wanted to share one thing from Earl in honor of the man who was so kind to me. He frequently sent me emails with sayings, quotes, some funny, some thought provoking, that he found on the Internet or that someone had forwarded to him. If he liked them and thought they were worth sharing, he did, and the last one I received from him was less than two weeks ago. It’s a very fitting tribute to a kind-hearted man who devoted himself to creating a better community for us all..
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Stay Young My Friend: We all need to read this one over and over until it becomes part of who we are!
How to Stay Young
1. Try everything twice. On one woman’s tombstone, she said she wanted this epitaph: “Tried everything twice. Loved it both times!”
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain get idle. ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’ And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s!
4. Enjoy the simple things.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with him/her.
6. The tears happen: Endure, grieve and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life is ourselves. LIVE while you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
8. Cherish your health. If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.
10. Tell the people you love that you love them at every opportunity.
11. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second chance...
Remember! Lost time can never be found. Be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
Rest in peace, Earl.