Dr. Weaver’s legacy touches five local students

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 21, 2007

MURFREESBORO – Nearly 10 years after his death, Dr. J. D. Weaver still inspires the community he once served.

On Saturday, five high school seniors were bestowed the Dr. Joseph D. Weaver Scholarship at the Dr. Joseph D. Weaver Scholarship Foundation Awards Banquet held at the Nebo Family Life Resource center just outside of Murfreesboro.

“Dr. Weaver was a country doctor and proud of it,” said Dwight Ransome, vice chairman of the Weaver Foundation Board. “He would take care of people regardless of their ability to pay.”

Weaver was remembered through speeches and song for his humanitarian acts as a medical doctor.

Weaver was born in 1911 and grew up in Winton. He received both his bachelor of science and his doctorate in medicine from Howard University.

After graduating, Weaver served as a 1st lieutenant in the Army in 1942 and was honorably discharged two years later.

He then began his medical career, opening his first office in Ahoskie. Throughout his career he treated the residents of the Roanoke-Chowan area and served as medical examiner for both Gates and Hertford counties.

State Senator Ed Jones (D-4th), the keynote speaker for the evening, remembered Weaver as a gentleman “who always had the time to talk” and urged parents and future generations alike to continue his legacy by serving the communities they live in.

“If it was not for Dr. Weaver many of us wouldn’t be here,” said Jones. “His commitment was to service.”

Jones said parents needed to educate their children on compassion and help create more Dr. Weavers.

Quoting Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to the United States Congress, Jones said service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.

“What are you doing to pay the rent on this earth,” Jones questioned the audience.

For five of the audience members, the night was a lesson in both history and consideration.

“They really deserve these scholarships,” said DuPont Davis, chairman of the Weaver Foundation Board and Hertford County commissioner.

Davis shook the hand of each of the recipients as they came up on stage to receive a framed certificate.

Each of the five soon-to-be high school graduates will used their $1,000 scholarship for tuition costs at their selected colleges or universities.

“It’s an honor and I’m excited,” said Paige Lewter, 18, of Ahoskie.

Lewter, a Hertford County High School student, plans on attending North Carolina A&T and major in electric engineering.

“It feels pretty nice…it’s something that will help me out in life,” said Clarissa Williams, 17, of Windsor about receiving the scholarship.

Williams, a Bertie County High student, will attend East Carolina University (ECU) and major in nursing.

Katie Watford, 18, of Windsor said she had heard her mother talk about Weaver before and she was glad to be receiving the scholarship and finally graduating school.

Watford, a Bertie County High student, will attend ECU as well and major in early childhood development.

Bethany Pickering, 18, of Ahoskie will be attending Meredith College in Raleigh and major in childhood development and minor in psychology.

“I love working with children,” said the Hertford County High student. “I want to make a difference in their lives.”

Northampton County High School-East student Calvin Bradley, 18, will attend Norfolk State and major in biology and pre-med.

Bradley, from Creeksville, said he hopes to become an oncologist and return to the Roanoke-Chowan area to work.

All five recipients are graduating with a 4.0 grade average or higher.