The Scherpings: an Appreciation

Published 1:32 pm Wednesday, November 30, 2022

We met Dave as the groom when he and Carlann married. I had met Carlann when she was still teaching at Saluda school; I had commented then that it would not matter what kinds of subsequent teachers the children had, because Carlann had prepared them very well for success in their future lives.

We attended her wedding and several of her Christmas parties at her home. The only reason we stopped was because we started spending the Christmas Holidays with our son in Asheville. Carlann retired, but Dave continued as computer technology head in the school system main office.

Ronette Dill was principal of Saluda School when as a Columbus Lion I went to her school to “Celebrate Liberty.” She was soon moved up to positions with the schools administration. She commented that Dave was the “Google” for her; he knew the answers for all the questions she asked of him over the years. She also mentioned Dave’s community involvement with Thermal Belt Outreach and the Rotary club, among others.
Former Superintendent Bill Miller also said of Dave that he was the “ultimate employee”— in there doing the dirty work, unbidden and under-appreciated by the general public. His last major project was overseeing the multimillion-dollar overhaul of the HVAC system at the High School.

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Our friend Aaron Greene refers to Dave as his “Swiss Army knife.” Dave was willing and able to do anything asked of him, developing the people he helped in the process.

Let’s hear it for Dave Scherping, Assistant Superintendent extraordinaire!

It seems that happiness is always tempered by sadness. Polk County lost a friend in former County Commissioner Jesse Foy. I was acquainted with him mostly by name; I visited him here in White Oak Medical in recent weeks. The last time I saw him he had pulled his wheelchair up near the supervising nurse’s station. I sat down in a chair next to his and enjoyed a good visit with Jesse.

Now for some more happiness: I discovered that my long-term friend (we went to Tryon School together!) Ruth Pace Foy was in a room across the hall from Georgia Huntsinger Pace, another long-term friend from our years at Tryon School.

Ruth Pace was a lovely classmate who has a joyous disposition reflected in her ready smile. I remember sweet little Georgia as a girl who seemed to love everybody, including me! Both of these ladies married well, and were inseparable from their husbands while they lived.

I never saw Ruth without Earl; I found them once at a party in the log cabin at Harmon Field. I photographed Earl draining the last drops from several large soft-drink bottles he was gathering for disposal. I gave Ruth a copy, which I dubbed “Earl swigs.”

I enjoyed seeing Nelson “Bud” Pace as a fellow craftsman as he busied himself with maintenance at our First Baptist Church. He rebuilt the stone retaining wall when part of it failed. I remember that he was number 29 of his siblings, and for that reason did not want to produce any more Paces! A real shame, for I think he and Georgia could have given us some outstanding offspring.

As with so many of my tribute columns, this one includes long references to other outstanding people. I hope this does not take anything away from my honoree, but rather will just add to their lustre as belonging to a special class of our contemporaries who have distinguished themselves by their service “above and beyond.” May their tribe increase!