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Center to be dedicated in memory of late SoBo mayor

The Virginia National Guard will hold a ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday at the South Boston readiness center to dedicate the facility to the memory of the late Maj. Gen. Carroll Thackston, former Adjutant General of Virginia. 

Thackston, the Adjutant General of Virginia from July 1994 to September 1998, passed away Feb. 17 at Lynchburg General Hospital at the age of 79. He served as the mayor of South Boston from 2004 until his passing.

“It is very fitting that we dedicate the South Boston readiness center in the name of Maj. Gen. Carroll Thackston,” said Gov. Bob McDonnell. “Not only did he provide outstanding leadership to the U. S. Army and Virginia National Guard during more than 40 years in uniform, but he continued to serve his community with honor and integrity on the South Boston Town Council and as mayor.”

At the time of Thackston’s passing, McDonnell said, “He demonstrated to us all that a career in public service and a dedication to one’s fellow man can make a lasting difference in the lives of all Virginians.”

McDonnell approved the renaming of the readiness center in honor of Thackston March 20.

Former Governor George Allen appointed Thackston to served as adjutant general early in his term as governor, and he said that Thackston’s leadership in transitioning Virginia Guard operations to Fort Pickett in the late 1990s helped pave the way for the installation becoming the world-class military, public safety and civilian educational facility that it is today.

“General Thackston devoted his life to leading, protecting and serving Virginians in the Guard as well as in civilian life,” Allen said at the time of Thackston’s passing. “A truly great, loyal and devoted Virginia patriot has gone to heaven, but his legacy to the Virginia National Guard, Southside Virginia and the Virginia Military Institute live on.”

Thackston graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and served in the Army Reserve in the first years of his military career. His first assignment with the Virginia National Guard was with the 1173rd Transportation Company where he served as detachment commander and company commander. He also served as the inspector general and commanded the 116th Support Battalion from November 1977 to March 1980.

From March 1983 to December 1986 he served as the state military personnel officer, then as chief of staff from December 1986 to September 1989. He was the assistant adjutant general from September 1989 to June 1993, and then served as the adjutant general from July 1994 to September 1998.

After he left the Virginia Guard, Thackston was very active in his community and served on the town council and as mayor of South Boston. He was elected mayor in 2004, and was serving his third term. 

He served on the boards of the Southfax Sertoma Club, the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce, the Richmond and South Boston United Way, and as a member of the South Boston School Board, the Board of the South Boston-Halifax County Museum, YMCA and the VMI Board of Visitors. 

At the time of his death, he was serving on the Halifax County Educational Foundation, the Virginia National Guard Foundation, The Foundation of the Higher Education Center and the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region Board of Directors.