Big shoes to fill

Published 11:38 am Monday, July 11, 2011

In a day and age where volunteerism is perhaps at an all-time low, it was extremely refreshing to see two local men so dedicated to the communities of Hertford County that they often went far beyond the normal description of being a volunteer.

If you ever shared company with either Charles Wesley Liverman or James Oliver “Jim” Sellars, then you will completely understand the passion they possessed when it came to freely serving the citizens of Hertford County as well as those visiting or passing through the local area.

Over a span of 24 hours this past weekend, Hertford County lost these two giants in the realm of volunteer emergency services.

Liverman, the veteran Fire Chief of the St. John Volunteer Fire Department, succumbed Friday, July 1 of a heart attack.

Sellars, retired after spending 20-plus years serving as chairman of the Ahoskie Rural Fire Department’s Board of Directors, passed on to a better world on Saturday, July 2 following a courageous battle against heart and kidney disease for a number of years.

Both men accurately defined the meaning of volunteerism. The thousands of hours of training and administrative duties they unselfishly gave over a number of years came without the slightest hint of compensation. They opted to give back to the communities in which they lived through their faithful service of performing the tasks necessary to save lives and protect property.

When duty called, they were there…no matter how that service interfered with their daily lives. Personal functions were often missed due to the dedication and love Liverman and Sellars had for their fellow man.

To their families, especially their widows and children, we offer our sincere thanks for sharing your loved ones with Hertford County and we offer our condolences. It doesn’t take perfect 20-20 eyesight to see the mark these two men left behind.

To those considering volunteering their services in any capacity, you would be wise to closely study the fine examples these two men set for others to follow.

– The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald