Remembering some deceased Lions

Published 9:17 am Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Seeing former Lion Alyssa Jackson in Dr. Viar’s office reminded me that I should pay tribute to a baker’s dozen of deceased Lions. I made a “permanent” poster with framed prints of them; this came back to me when the Columbus Lions Club shut down and cleaned out our meeting room at Calvert’s restaurant.

  Lion Frank Smith got a separate print because it commemorates “Frank Smith Day” in Columbus, as proclaimed by the County Commissioners at my urging. Frank was bigger than life because of his dairy, the road named for it, his long tenure as a rural mail carrier, and his election to be the “bull commissioner” (as I called him) for Polk County.

Frank was a close personal friend as well; we cherish a photo of him holding our little granddaughter near one of his young bulls on a visit to his farm.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

This leaves me about 36 words for each of the others; not enough to do them justice . . .

Lion Ed Weeks was one of our “wheelchair mechanics,” who lived more than 101 years. When Fran’s mother visited, she always sat between Ed and Frank at our meetings. I enjoyed their banter as I usually sat across from Frank instead of at the head table with the president.

Lion Chuck Trevathan was our Treasurer and was my mentor as I became Secretary. Chuck actively promoted admitting ladies to be Lions on his watch; several of them served multiple terms as our president. We got a lot more done when they were running things!

Lion Bob Stuedell was Treasurer before Chuck, and was a stickler for doing things “by the book.” His father had built a house on Rippy Hill, which Bob and Joan inherited. They were therefore part of Aunt Mildred’s group at Hardees; remnants of the group later moved to TJ’s. 

Lion Doug Stelle was also a “wheelchair mechanic,” who kept them running by ordering parts as necessary. We gave up our Medical Equipment Closet after Ed and Doug died because we decided that we could not sanitize the equipment properly.  

Lion Pat Recker was our eyeglasses chairperson. Her deep voice made me think her husband had answered the phone, so I asked for her, and we laughed when she said that she was “speaking.” 

Lion Jack Porter was chair of our Lighted Cross committee. His all-wheel drive Subaru made many trips to the top of Tryon Peak to service the fluorescent light fixtures that made up the Cross. New owners took our Cross off their tower and disposed of it; our efforts to replace it got nowhere. 

Lion Clare Lauffer was chair of our litter pickup. We generally ate breakfast at Hardees; Clare promised “entertainment afterward.” We gave up that activity because we decided we were getting too old to dodge the speeding cars on the roads around Columbus. We Lions planted a tree in Stearns park to memorialize Clare. 

Lion Jim Kearney came to us from Tombstone, Arizona. He served as our President before his aortic aneurysm burst, abruptly ending his life.

Lion Fred Eaton always put in a Happy Dollar, saying simply, “I’m just happy.” He was cheerful and enjoyed being part of anything good that was going on.         

Lion Ed Cantrell was a faithful Lion whose hobby was clock making.

Lion Davis Butts was an active Lion whose credo was really the Lions motto, “We Serve.” Dave commissioned a water fountain in Stearns Park memorializing his wife, Doris.  

Lion Ken Batchler was another faithful Lion who was taken from us prematurely.

I hope you have come to appreciate the work of Lions!

Thanks to some local residents, a new Alzheimer Dementia caregivers support group has been formed in Our Area.* The first meeting is scheduled for March 30 at the Meeting Place.  Call my White Oak neighbor Peggy for details. 828-859-6339. *Capitalized in memory of my late colleague, Bob Witty. 

Garland would like to hear from you at 828-859-7041 or email