Last night, Virgil Starks died unexpectedly.
Virgil's university title was Senior Associate Athletic Director, Student Services. He also was Auburn Junior High PTA President, a Sunday School teacher, and a former board member to the Lee County Red Cross. He is survived by his wife, Donna, and 3 daughters.
I have known Virgil through church, kids' ball teams, dance classes, gymnastics, PTA, and work.
Whenever I saw Virgil, he always had a friendly, firm handshake. At ball games, he encouraged the kids; he was never critical to his girls or anyone else on field.
At work, Virgil challenged conventional and traditional thinking, sometimes becoming an irritant to those who had to deal with his outspoken and zealous stance.
There were only two instances where I stood on the opposite side from Virgil --it was not fun. Though the issues ended in "my favor", Virgil's resolve helped me improve the way I communicated, the policies I advocated, and the decisions I made.
By standing up for the "little guy", the unpopular, and the disadvantaged, Virgil challenged us to be more emphatic, understanding, and giving.
We will miss Virgil Starks.