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A heroic standard to live by

Scottsville lost its hero when Mayor Emeritus Raymon Thacker, who was 106 years old, died on Sunday, Feb. 21.

Thacker — an undertaker by trade — had an influence that went well beyond Scottsville, one that affected the entire region surrounding the bend in the James River due to his public service and dedication to the community.

According to his obituary, both he and Dr. Luther Stinson were instrumental in having the Uniroyal rubber plant locate to Scottsville — a firm that employed many people from Buckingham County and the region until its closing.

Thacker organized the Scottsville Volunteer Fire Department, the Scottsville Lions Club and assisted in the organization of the Scottsville Rescue Squad — all while keeping his day job and serving on the Scottsville Town Council and as mayor, a post he would occupy for over 30 years.

Thacker was instrumental in getting Piedmont Virginia Community College to locate in the area, serving as chairman of a group of neighboring counties seeking a community college in the Scottsville area.

Thacker not only honorably served his community, but he also protected it. He was the driving force behind the Scottsville Levee Project, one that would eventually save the town from frequent horrific flooding that plagued it for 20 years prior to 1988. Thacker worked with countless local, state and federal officials — including former U.S. Sen. John Warner — to get the levee built, and it would be later named in his honor.

Mayor Thacker — as he was affectionately known — did more than serve the community with dignity and respect. He set the bar high for community leaders and local, state and national politicians.

He also set the standard for how each of us can make a difference in our neighborhoods and communities.

Jordan Miles is managing editor of The Farmville Herald. His email address is jordan.miles@farmvilleherald.com.