Dawson County lost one of its most influential citizens early Monday when Senior Center Director Margie Weaver died at 74.
Dawn Pruett, an employee at the Senior Center, was still in shock Monday afternoon.
I dont think its hit me yet, she said. She was like a mother to all of us, to the staff, the seniors here, everybody. Anything we needed, she was there to help us with.
Pruett said that it was difficult to inform the seniors at the center of Weavers passing. We had a prayer, and we talked about the good times we had with her, Pruett said. Dr. Jim Gaines with First Baptist Church of Dawsonville went over to the Senior Center to sit with the seniors and staff members who had gathered.
Weaver became director of the Senior Center in 1984, after working as a sewing machine operator for the Sweet Orr Manufacturing Company. She was the strongest and loudest advocate for seniors in the county, according to Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-9).
Most of the services we have for our senior population, we have thanks to Margie Weaver, said Tanner, who is the former county manager.
One of the more recent projects dear to Weavers heart was the installation of an elevator connecting the two levels of the Senior Center. Before, seniors either had to use the stairs or go outside to be able to access the bottom level of the building. And this wasnt always feasible for some of the visiting seniors.
A February 2012 report in the News & Advertiser states that fundraising efforts through Weaver and the Senior Center collected more than $42,000 to help pay for the elevator.
Coming to the Senior Center gives people pleasure in doing something, Weaver was quoted in that same article. The activities we have show you can still have a purpose in life. You can still learn something.
Tanner laughed remembering Weavers tenacity in getting an elevator into the Senior Center. Margie had told me one time that she wasnt going anywhere and wasnt going to retire until the elevator was done. I had joked with her that that was a good reason never to do it.
Another person who has worked closely with Weaver over the years is Lisa Henson, director of the parks and recreation department. During this time, she said, I came to know her as a pure servant-leader with great love for her community and the people of Dawson County.
Henson had a difficult time finding the words to best describe what Weaver meant to the community. Icon, institution, caregiver, friend and angel are just a few of the nouns she heard Monday morning.
Margie Weavers funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, March 21, at the First Baptist Church of Dawsonville. The family was receiving friends at the funeral home on Tuesday, March 19, from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m., and Wednesday from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.