DOBSON — The Surry County Board of Commissioners threw its support behind a plan to rename a Mount Airy street in honor of the late Commissioner Garry Scearce this week.
The action came as the board met for its regular meeting at the Surry County Government Center in Dobson.
In presenting the proposal, Mount Airy Mayor Deborah Cochran told the board that the impetus for the name change was the result of a conversation with a county resident.
“I was approached by Judy Dehart about a month ago with an idea about renaming that little road the runs down to the EMS building off Forest Drive in honor of Garry Scearce,” she told the board. “We want to rename it Scearce Way, and after talking to Judy I immediately talked to (county Emergency Services Director) John Shelton.”
Saying Shelton “embraced the idea,” Cochran then decided to bring the idea up to the county commissioners.
During Monday’s meeting, Cochran said the one hiccup in the plan was felt when she learned the the road is actually owned by the adjacent Holiday Inn Express.
Cochran wrote a letter to Dan Quam, the property owner and resident of Aberdeen, S.D., explaining why she wanted to rename the street.
“Surry County Commissioner Garry Scearce retired from the Surry County EMS after 30 years of service,” she wrote in the letter. “His dream was to become a Surry County commissioner, and that dream was fulfilled after he ran for office and won. Unfortunately, he succumbed to cancer at the age of 51 after serving as a commissioner just shy of two years.”
Cochran said she received a phone call from the owner with his blessing late Monday afternoon.
“They wholeheartedly endorsed the idea as well,” she said.
At this point, Cochran and the county board are awaiting a formal okay for the renaming from Quam.
“After we receive it in writing, the city and county commissioners will meet with John Shelton and determine a date to change the road name,” she said.
“This is a way to keep Garry’s memory alive,” Cochran added. “Seeing his name will remind us all of his commitment to helping others.”
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.