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Carroll Thackston, South Boston mayor, dies

South Boston News
Carroll Thackston / February 18, 2013
Carroll Thackston, a former Adjutant General of the Virginia National Guard who went on to become mayor of South Boston, died Sunday night at Lynchburg General Hospital. He was 79.

The mayor had been dealing with illness over the past several weeks that required hospitalization. He was unable to preside at the February meeting of South Boston Town Council, a function filled by Vice-Mayor Ed Owens.

In his 40-year plus career with the U.S. Army, Thackston rose to the rank of Major General. He served as the Adjutant General of the Virginia National Guard after being appointed to the post by former Governor George Allen.

He served on active duty for over six years, and spent 35 years in the National Guard. In 2010, he testified in Washington before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs on the looming impact of full integration of the National Guard into Veterans Affairs, noting the extensive use of National Guard units in overseas deployments and the strains that may cause for the VA health care system.

As mayor of the town, Thackston was a constant presence, weighing in on a range of local issues. He first joined Council as the appointed successor to Corky Rorrer and later won a full term in 2000. He was first elected mayor in 2004 and was serving his third term.

In his professional life, he was a retired human resources manager at Daystrom Furniture, helping to organize a reunion of the employees of the defunct manufacturer last year. He also was a former manager of the Virginia Employment Commission in South Boston. During his extensive work career, he once worked as a locomotive fireman and engineer with Norfolk & Western Railroad.

Gov. Bob McDonnell issued the following statement this morning on the passing of retired Major General Carroll Thackston, former Adjutant General of the Virginia National Guard.

“With the passing of Major General Carroll Thackston, Virginia has lost a true patriot and a dedicated public servant. Major General Thackston dedicated his life to helping protect and serve others, from his six years of active duty in the United State Army, to his 35 years in the Virginia National Guard during which he was appointed to the top position by Gov. George Allen, and then his public service as a town councilman and mayor of South Boston after his retirement. Major General Thackston also focused on helping others in his civilian life, having a long career as a human resources manager for Daystrom Furniture.

“Our administration was fortunate to have been able to benefit from his counsel and wisdom during our transition to the governor’s office. Major General Thackston offered his expertise to guide in the selection of the current Adjutant General, and helped ensure that the transition of Virginia’s National Guard command was seamless as a member of my transition team. I know he was also a valuable resource for Major General Long and we appreciated his continued dedication to the Virginia National Guard.

“Virginia is blessed to have so many strong and dedicated public servants among its citizens, but some, such as Major General Thackston, truly stand out. He demonstrated to us all that a career in public service and a dedication to one’s fellow man can make a lasting difference in the lives of all Virginians.”

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Great man, great boss, and great friend and a heck of a mandolin player. He will be missed


What a great person, Great American and just GREAT human Being. He was an outstanding leader who soldiers wanted to follow. He will be missed.


Tremendous loss to this community! He will be missed deeply!


Rest in peace, Sir. God bless his soul. He will be playing mandolin in heaven now.


I served with MG Carroll Thackston in the Virginia Army National Guard for many years. He was a leader of men and his vision and wise council was sought by those around him. He was instrumental in securing the former federal Army facility at Fort Pickett, in Blackstone, VA as a base and maneuver facility for use by the Virginia Guard. His insight, vision and service to the Commonwealth of Virginia have made significant contributions to current Guard personnel.


Maj. Gen Thackston was such a nice, kind hearted gentleman. He was an inspiration in many areas and so full of wisdom . Va National Guard was blessed to have him serve. He was a true friend.


General Thackston was a dedicated professional in all his endeavors ... he truly cared about the members and families of the National Guard. I consider it an honor and pleasure to have been able to serve with him and count him as a friend. He will be missed by all of us who knew him.


Major General,COL, Mayor Carroll Thackston: These are all the names you allowed me to call you. A man of honor, respect, integrity, father figure, family man and the list go on & on & on. MG-COL-Mayor i am missing you already w/tears in my eyes of our last conversation in Jan. I was your Secretary for the VaARNG from 1983-1985 and I am honor to have work for & Outstanding BOSS & that we were able to continue to stay in contact with one another all these years. My heart is heavy but GOD took a fighting solider to be up in heaven w/General Castles and Mr. Jack Richards. I know you telling those Military stories and showing them my Bowling article that you told me you been telling your friends in South Boston. Rest in Peace my dear friend, until we meet again! *****Farewell*****Farewell** MG-COL-Mayor Carroll Thackston. May God Bless & comfort the Thackston family & South Boston community. Theresita (Terri) Pleasants-Lewis, Rich, VA


One of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever had the pleasure to know - my thoughts are with his family.


A great solider,great boss, a great loss to the Army and the Guard!

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