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Memorial to a citizen-soldier dedicated in South Boston

The Town of South Boston honored the memory of late Mayor Carroll Thackston at a ceremony Monday dedicating a new flagpole structure at Oak Ridge Cemetery.

South Boston Mayor Ed Owens and town council presented Frances Anne Thackston and her family a framed memorial honoring the former mayor and his service to the town.

Owens also unveiled a special plaque at the base of the flagpole structure memorializing Thackston.

The resolution detailed the strides the town has made while Thackston served as mayor, including establishment of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center and Innovation Center; The Prizery; the Crossing of the Dan Exhibit and riverfront park; the Washington-Coleman Early Learning and Community Centers; and a number of affordable housing projects for low and moderate income families.

The resolution also noted Thackston’s “unique leadership ability…clearly evident in his service as the Adjutant General of the Virginia National Guard under Governor George Allen and his successful years as the human resources and personnel leader of the Daystom Furniture Company.

“It is important that current and future residents of South Boston and Halifax County remember the very special Virginian that Carroll Thackston was: graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, Class of 1955; Major General, United States Army; Mayor of South Boston; loving husband and father; and compassionate public servant who truly kept the needs of his fellow citizens close to his heart,” the resolution reads.

Etched into the plaque honoring Thackston at the base of the flagpole structure is a quote from George Washington, “When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen.”

Those words were appropriate in remembering Thackston, according to comments made by Owens and Councilmen Coleman Speece and Bob Hughes.

“On behalf of the Town of South Boston and town council, we hope you accept this dedication for a husband, father, grandfather and an unwavering supporter of this community,” Owens told Frances Anne Thackston.

“He was not the epitome of a general, of any general I ever knew because his whole dedication was to please people, the citizens of South Boston,” said Speece.

“Anybody who came to a council meeting, he usually knew their name, and they were made welcome.”

“There are people we meet who impress us, others we meet who absolutely impress us, but there are a few who leave their footprints on our heart,” said Hughes.

“Carroll was one of those. When he was your friend, he wasn’t your friend in name, he was your friend indeed.”

“Carroll was in my life since I was 16,” said Frances Anne Thackston, who expressed her gratitude and that of her family to the town.

“He really was my best friend, and we were very blessed to have such fun and happiness and good times.

“You all were so respectful when we came out of the church, all of you standing there, and it touched me so to know you all truly had such respect for him.

“We miss him terribly, but life goes on. We just take it day by day, but I must thank all of you.

“We’re very humbled by it.”

Halifax County Board of Supervisors, South Boston Town Council and Halifax Town Council also remembered Thackston by presenting a joint resolution in his honor to the late mayor’s family Monday night.