March 16, 2013

‘A true servant to the community’

Randall Maret remembered

By Christopher Smith

— Through a career as a pharmacist spanning almost 60 years to serving 20 years on the Dalton Board of Education, Randall Maret “was someone you could count on,” according to his younger brother.

“We shared lots of things together,” said Charles Maret, who worked alongside his brother at the downtown Dalton Maret’s Prescription Shop for 37 years. “Discussed a lot of things. There were ups and downs, but you could always talk to him. He was a very active person in the community and a good family person. He’s certainly going to be missed.”

Family and friends remembered Randall Maret, who passed away Thursday, as a dedicated public servant and community-minded citizen. He was 80.

Dalton resident Chip Sellers served on the board of education with Randall Maret, who was board chairman from 1985 to 1996. Sellers described Randall Maret’s passing as a “loss for our community.”

“Randall was a consensus builder, with the school board, with the staff, with the community,” Sellers said. “He was a firm leader. He was a really compassionate person, passionate about education and students. That was reflected in everything he did ... that was something he brought to every situation ... he lived a life of service. He is to be commended for that.”

Students were “the focus of his heart,” Sellers said.

“He cared for the students of the schools,” he said. “He was a true servant to the community and to Dalton Public Schools. He promoted the highest level of education possible for the students in the system. He did everything he could for them.”

Maret served on several boards including the trade center, Family Promise of Whitfield County and the Downtown Dalton Development Authority, among others.

“He was very giving,” said Ross Maret, Randall Maret’s son. “He was very serving. He served not only our family, but the community ... he was the best ... He came from a big family ... 11 brothers and sisters. His family was very close ... we got together, two or three times a year.

“Dad was big in making sure that continued on. We had what we called the Maret Christmas party. We went this year with him when he was still well. Family was very important to him. He was just ... self-sacrificing, a hard worker and unconditionally loving. He was extremely loyal to family and community and extremely honest.”

Those traits transferred to his desire to better the community.

“He was so much a community person,” Charles Maret said. “A very active person in the community and a good family person.”

The brothers ran Maret’s Prescription Shop from 1964 to 2001.

“We had a pretty good working relationship to cover for each other when the other was busy,” Charles Maret said. “It’s great to work with your big brother all those years ... we got closer as the years went by. I could always count on him.”

Randall Maret’s children could count on him, too.

“A pharmacist works 10 to 12 hours a day, six days a week,” Ross Maret said. “But he was at our games. He coached me. He was at all his children’s games. That’s how he taught us the importance of hard work, of family.”

Frank Thomason, former city schools superintendent, said Randall Maret was “just someone you could depend on.”

“He served this community very well,” Thomason said. “The best way to describe him was ... a friend. He was very supportive ... it was good to know him and to be associated with him ... Working with him professionally, he wanted to learn all he could about schools. He was active in the Georgia School Board Association. He approached the job with a professional standpoint. We had a great school board (under him as chairman).”

Bill Weaver, a former city schools assistant superintendent, also spoke glowingly of Randall Maret’s work on the school board.

“Randall was dedicated to the young people in our community and our school district,” Weaver said. “He was equally dedicated to the staff and worked very hard to secure benefits for the members of our public school staff ... He represented the public schools wherever he went in a positive, supportive way. He really lived for the Dalton Public Schools.”

Ross Maret offered a poignant synopsis of his father’s views on the children of the community.

“Dad wrote something in a farewell letter after leaving the school board,” he said. “It reads, ‘Ask not what the Dalton schools can do for you, but what you can do the children in our community. They’re the future.’”