By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
Dr. Larry Weaver, the Dean of arts, sciences and humanities at Navarro College, died Tuesday at the age of 57.
Weaver fought cancer for years prior to his passing. He came to Corsicana to start the Air Force ROTC at Corsicana High School, later moving over to work at Navarro College as an instructor before moving into administration at the college. Just weeks ago, he announced he would retire in January.
“I cannot put into words what this man did for Corsicana ISD,” said Sam Thompson, now retired from CISD. “We spent a week together in Montgomery, Ala., when the ROTC was first being set up in CISD. He set the bar. Not only with the ROTC but with his actions, life and dedication to Northside Baptist Church.”
A graduate of the Air Force Academy in 1977, Weaver was a rescue helicopter pilot for the Air Force until retiring as a major in 1994. He and his wife, Susan, moved to Corsicana in 1995.
He was a staunch Christian and dedicated member of Northside Baptist Church, where he was a deacon, Sunday School teacher and musician. Weaver also worked with the Corsicana Camp of Gideons International, and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. He was a sponsor of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“He was one of the finest men I’ve ever met in my life,” said Pastor Rick Lamb.
Weaver served on the pastor’s search committee that recruited Lamb, and Weaver was one of the first local residents Lamb was to meet.
“Never have I known a better, more dedicated servant of God than Larry Weaver,” Lamb said. “He was just a courageous man, he kept teaching Sunday school up until about week ago. He just willed himself to keep going. He was a very dear friend. He certainly fought the good fight.”
Dr. Tommy Stringer worked with Weaver for years prior to Weaver retiring just a few weeks ago from the college.
“He was a quiet and gentle man,” Stringer recalled. “One word that comes to mind when I think of him was ‘class.’ He was just a man with class. Character, integrity, honor, all those are words that describe him. He was just one of those guys that touched everybody. He probably didn’t realize the wide circle he cast.”
Dr. Richard Sanchez, president of the college, said Weaver was an important figure at the college.
“Larry was perhaps one of the finest men I’ve ever known,” Sanchez said. “Anything the college needed to have done, Larry was always there to see how he could help. He’s going to be missed dearly. He was respected by everyone, and we jut have such strong feelings for him.”
Weaver came to the college as an instructor before becoming an assistant dean on the Corsicana campus. He then went as dean to the Mexia campus. It was there that he began a scholarship fundraiser, boosting donations to help students pay for school down there. He returned to Corsicana in 2006 to become dean of arts, sciences and humanities. He reactivated the theater program, and was part of the design team on the Waller classroom building. He also developed the new honors program for Navarro College.
“He was an outstanding young guy,” said Dr. James Price, Navarro College trustee. “He had his eye on the goal, and wouldn’t look to the right or left until he finished his goal,” Price said.
Linda Davis, the current dean at Mexia, said he showed the way.
“He always exemplified and made me realize the importance of being a servant leader,” Davis said. “And sometimes you have to lead with your heart and not your head.”
Weaver is survived by his wife, Susan Weaver of Corsicana; son, Patrick Weaver and wife Terri of Midlothian; daughter, Stephanie Weaver of Houston; granddaughter, Gwenyth Weaver of Midlothian; mother, Vicki Weaver of Tyler; brother, Keith Weaver and wife Denise of Tyler; father-in-law Sam Slaydon and wife Billie of Lufkin; brother-in-law Robert Slaydon and wife Cathy of Midlothian; brother-in-law Michael Slaydon and wife Lisa of Plymouth, Indiana; sister-in-law Sherri Due and husband Keith of Rockwall; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with his new granddaughter.
“The first word that comes to mind is ‘heroic,’” said Mike Cox, who knew Weaver through church and other civic efforts. “He was a dedicated Christian; he lived his faith.”
Visitation will be Thursday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home. Services will begin at 2 p.m. Friday at Northside Baptist Church. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Byron Cook, Mike Cox, Brad Haney, Richard Tate, Noel Webster, and James Wright.
Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at email@example.com. Want to “Soundoff” to this article? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com