The Walker County community is grieving the loss of school board member Carthell Rogers, who died unexpectedly in his sleep Nov. 16.
Rogers, 65, was a lifelong resident of Rossville, where he spent his days employed as a masonry contractor, heading the Scenic City Football League and, since 1991, working with the local recreation center. Those who knew him well describe him as a loving and kind person with a particular devotion to kids in the area.
Rossville native Renee Caldwell said Carthell was always around in the years when her four children participated in recreational activities. Even though she knew he must have been busy, he always seemed to be present at games and never failed to have a smile on his face.
"Very few have done as much for the kids in this community," Caldwell said. "He spent so much of his time, his own time, making a difference for them. He did it because he wanted to do it, not because he had to do it or because he was getting paid, and you could tell. He was an amazing person with a real heart for Rossville."
Walker County Association of Educators President Debbie Baker said she and the association's other members were praying for Carthell's family and would continue to do so in the coming weeks.
"Our thoughts and prayers for your strength, your healing and never-ending love for your loved one. Love one another and that will sustain each of you each day," Baker said in a statement shared to the organization's Facebook page. "We will continue to lift each of you in prayer. Cling to one another for earthly support and cling to God for heavenly consolation."
Superintendent Damon Raines said Rogers would be dearly missed throughout the community.
"We will truly miss his tireless work with children through youth sports across our county and specifically with Rossville Recreation where he dedicated many years and positively impacted numerous lives and the greater community," he said. "Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers."
Rogers was recommended for a spot on the Walker County Board of Education in June after the resignation of former board member Robert McNabb and took office for the first time in July after a unanimous appointment. His term was set to expire at the end of December 2022.
"I loved having him on the school board," said Rossville resident Linda Powell. "I knew him my whole life and never had a bad thought about him. That's not something you can say about everybody. He was a good man. You could trust him."
As of Monday, it was expected that the Board of Education would appoint someone to fill the remainder of Rogers' term. No information about who might be selected for that role had been released.
Funeral services were held Friday in the Fort Oglethorpe Chapel.
Contact Kelcey Caulder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6327. Follow her on Twitter @kelceycaulder.