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Raw Chatter

One of the most intelligent men I've ever known has died.

George Maner Holliman, a well-known educator and former superintendent of the Warren County School System, passed away Saturday, Oct. 30. He was 85.

Funeral services for Mr. Holliman, whom I had the pleasure of knowing and doing many stories on through the years, were held this past Saturday.

Mr. George, as I always referred to him, was a gentleman's gentleman. He always was polite, considerate of others and highly-respectful.

I can't tell you how many times I interviewed Mr. George over the years. All I say is that it was a lot.

I loved being around him because he always had a way of making you feel good about yourself.

He'd told me that writing was definitely my calling in life. He said when he read my stories that he had no questions afterwards because my stories didn't leave room for any. He called me a thorough reporter.

I took that as a big compliment -- especially coming from someone as intelligent as Mr. George.

He was an excellent school superintendent and a fine servant of the taxpayers' money. He was an administrator who took his role very seriously.

Mr. George loved Warren County and its people. He wanted to provide the students of Warren County the best education possible. And he did.

Aside from loving Warren County and its people, he also loved his country.

He served his country during World War II and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Mr. George was a sergeant in the Army's 28th Infantry Division.

Several years ago, I did a human interest piece about Mr. George. In that story, Mr. George talked about his time in the military and what it meant to him.

I remember telling him and a war friend of his that I considered them both heroes.

In my memory, I still can see Mr. George, a man I considered a good friend, started to shed tears.

He said he didn't consider himself a hero, but rather someone called to serve his country like many others.

"I'm not a war hero," said Mr. George. "I was just a man honored to serve his country during war time."

He was a fine man -- one of the finest men I've ever known. He was so sincere.

About two years ago, I recall going to Warren County High School in Warrenton where the school's auditorium was renamed in his honor.

Mr. George thought that was so special. And it was.

It was a most fitting tribute to a man who had given so much of himself as an educator to the school system in Warren County.

I shall always miss my friend, Mr. George. And when I think of him, I will do so fondly.

Web posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010

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