CHATSWORTH — “They impacted our community.”
“They gave to this community.”
“They made a lasting impression on this community.”
That word — community — was used time and time again when talking about five Murray County High School students inducted into the school’s 2013 Hall of Fame Sunday afternoon. The induction ceremony was at the school central office in the Old Rock Building on Green Road.
The closeness of the Murray County High alumni community was perhaps made most evident when those speaking at the ceremony cried or laughed as they honored those living and gone.
Greg Shoemaker, a member of the Murray Board of Education, said while the nation was reflecting on the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination Friday, he hoped “we also never forget the things individuals have done who have impacted this community.”
David Loughridge, 1969 graduate
“There are few occasions in life when you meet someone who truly lives to serve,” Mary Beth Cole said about her father, David Loughridge, a 1969 Murray County High graduate and 2013 inductee.
“He never expects anything in return,” Cole said between crying. “He is one of the most self-sacrificing people.”
And he’s not alone in his induction, joining his mother Nell Ruth Loughridge, inducted in 2003, and family members Carl Davis, 2002 inductee, Michael Davis, 2007 inductee and Ruth Ann Pannell, 2001 inductee.
“This is the largest family group to be inducted into the hall of fame,” Cole said, adding that her father “is a truly rare and special person.”
“If you don’t know him already, I hope life brings you someone as altruistic as David Loughridge,” she said.
Loughridge said he was “really quite honored,” pointing to teachers Carolyn Jinkins, Linda Lunsford and G.I. Maddox, among others, as major influences on him when he was a student.
“Those days were fun,” he said. “This is quite an honor. Thank you very, very much.”
Loughridge currently works as a veterinarian at Murray County Veterinary Services on 344 Duvall Road, which he founded as the first vet clinic in Chatsworth in 1978.
Loughridge was also recently recognized with the 2013 Georgia Cattleman Association’s Veterinarian of the Year Award.