Richmond County lost a vital and caring member of the community when Edward G. Ormsby passed away on Feb. 11, 2012. In 1997 when our family moved from Rockingham to Johnson City, Tenn., Mr. Ormsby honored our family by writing a letter to the Editor about us leaving the community. This was a caring gesture and an act of kindness that I will never forget. In a similar manner, I would like to pay tribute to one of the kindest and most compassionate men I have ever known.
Even though our families attended church together at First Baptist Church, Rockingham, my friendship with Mr. Ormsby really flourished when I was teaching at Roberdel Children’s Center, and he became our principal. Mr. O, as we affectionately called him, was concerned about the unique and special needs of our students. He truly cared about each child, his or her family, and what we as a team of educators could do to help each student reach his/her maximum potential. One of my fondest memories is a field trip that Mr. Ormsby planned where we took the entire Roberdel student body and faculty to the aquarium at Fort Fisher. A former science teacher and nature lover, Mr. O wanted each student to experience first-hand the beauty of the ocean. Also, an avid dog lover, he was instrumental in our school getting “Snuggles,” a golden retriever therapy dog that was loved by students and faculty alike.
Mr. Ormsby went on to become the principal of Ellerbe Jr. High, and later, a member of the Richmond Co. Board of Education. He was a member of numerous civic organizations and an outstanding citizen of our community. He was an advocate for ALL children. As we bring another school year to a close, I trust that we have a guardian angel who is smiling down upon us. We miss you and love you, Mr. O! God bless!
Bess Y. Shuler