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Lasting legacy

Advocate for seniors mourned

POSTED: March 20, 2013 4:00 a.m.
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Margie Weaver, standing, talks to Kay Summerville at the Dawson County Senior Center. Weaver died Monday at age 74. She had been the director of the center for nearly three decades.

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Family members and countless friends are mourning the sudden death of a woman many called an "angel among us."

Margie Weaver, who served as director of the Dawson County Senior Center for nearly three decades, died Monday at age 74.

Krista West-Bearden, an advocate at the center, said many are feeling heartbreak over the loss of Weaver.

"Her spirit can't even be explained," she said. "She was absolutely an angel on earth."

Weaver was sewing Boy Scout uniforms at a manufacturing plant in downtown Dawsonville when first approached about heading up the Dawson County Senior Center. July 16 would have been her 30th anniversary as the center's director.

During an interview last summer after being named Legacy Link's Senior Director of the Year for the 13-county region, Weaver said she could think of no better way to dedicate her energy than serving as the voice for the county's senior citizens.

"I feel like my job's not done yet. I still think there's other things we need to do," she said.

Most of the center's success directly reflects Weaver's strong desire and compassion for the seniors' health, wellness and contentment, according to many.

"Margie had a heart larger than what most of us could have. She would give anything to anybody and try to help anybody out in any type of need," said Dawn Pruett, center transportation coordinator.

"Margie saw this center from the time it was built to its current form. She was an inspiration to all. We all should strive to live the life that she led."

With Weaver at the helm, the senior center accomplished much, beginning with the county receiving a grant to construct the existing facility.

Many construction upgrades followed, including the recent addition of an elevator that allows seniors with mobility issues to access the center's basement, where exercise programs and art classes are held.

Weaver also worked to grow leisure, health and wellness programs for seniors, as well as improve the center's Meals on Wheels program, which delivers hundreds of frozen and ready-to-eat meals each week.

"She was there for my grandmother delivering meals on wheels and visiting with her back when I was a child growing up," West-Bearden said.

"It has been more than an honor and privilege to get the chance to spend the last five years working by her side."

A native of Pickens County, Weaver moved to Dawsonville 55 years ago.

County Commission Chair Mike Berg called her a blessing for everyone who knew her.

"She has been such a big part of this community, but not just this community, so many people know her and the work she's done here at our senior center," he said. "She's the most unselfish person I've ever met. She never thought of herself. She's a legacy that we're all going to miss."

For Barbara Wallace, an active participant in the center's recreational programs, Weaver was a dear friend.

"When I married my husband, who's from here, Margie lived across the street from us, she said. "I've known her for over 51 years. She was a very, very sweet person, even to me when I was a newcomer to Dawsonville.

"You couldn't ask for a better person than Margie Weaver. She would do anything in the world for you."

Pruett saw Weaver's dedication to the seniors of the county first hand, including times when she took on tasks that may have been too much for her small frame.

"She was in charge of our firewood program ... responsible for making sure that people had firewood at their house," Pruett said. "She would personally go out and deliver that firewood if someone needed it.

"For some of our seniors, that is their only source of heat in the winter."

District 9 state Rep. Kevin Tanner, former county manager, said he had known Weaver all of his life.

"I've often referred to Margie as a saint, because she was touched by God to work with the seniors of our community," he said.

"Margie will be truly missed by all of those who have known her, because she is one of those rare individuals whose legacy and life's work will live on for many generations."

Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church of Dawsonville. Weaver's immediate survivors include her children, mother, grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

 

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