Roper was Gentle Giant: A man not afraid to get his hands dirty
by Chris Collett
September 29, 2012 12:51 AM | 4942 views | 1 1 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chris Collett<br>Columnist
Chris Collett
I was saddened this week to learn of the passing of Sonny Roper. Sonny was married to Sue McFarland and they have two children, Stacie and Scott. In addition to being one of the hardest working men I have ever known, Sonny was a member of several civic organizations to include the American Legion, Hickory Flat Masonic Lodge, Cherokee Shrine Club, and the Patriot Guard.

He and his family are also members of Chalcedonia Baptist Church.

Sonny always called me Chrisco. I am not exactly sure where he came up with that nickname, but since Sonny was one of the biggest men I have ever known, I didn’t question it.

Although he was large in stature, this man was a gentle giant. He loved his family, he loved his church, and he loved to work.

I write this because I feel the kindness Sonny showed me in my lifetime deserved recognition.

I was a member with Sonny and his family at Chalcedonia.

I remember seeing this gentle giant shed tears many times during services because he would be moved so greatly by the things going on around him.

He wasn’t one to say much in church, but you can be guaranteed that Sonny was steadfast in his beliefs. And he wasn’t afraid to show emotion.

He was who he was and he was always comfortable just being Sonny.

Every year the American Legion holds a special ceremony and dinner for all of the public safety in Cherokee County.

Sonny was a big part of this process. He would make sure that everyone got fed and do his best to make you feel welcomed on this special night.

I have no doubt that Sonny worked hard in all of the organizations he was involved in.

I also have no doubt that Sonny was the one to volunteer for the jobs that no one else wanted to do.

He wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and preferred to be doing his work in the background.

He didn’t do it for recognition. He did it because he was a good man.

He did it because he wanted to make a contribution to society. Not so he would receive an award, but because he truly wanted to make a difference.

It would not surprise me that during his lifetime, he was probably taken advantage of because of his kind heart. But even if he was, he would have never said anything.

I know Sue, Stacie, and Scott are hurting right now. But I feel confident that the day will come when they will be able to look back and know how blessed they have been.

I hope all of the people Sonny helped during his life will make time to tell his wife and children of their appreciation.

Sonny said this to me many times, “Chrisco, if I can do anything for you, just let me know.” Now a lot of people say this out of politeness, but Sonny meant it when he said it.

We live in a world now where people clamor about doing things so they might see their name in print somewhere. It’s a world where we take for granted the people that actually make things happen.

We flip a switch and the lights come on. We turn the handle and water comes out. We push buttons and we are automatically heated or cooled.

Yet most of us have no idea beyond the buttons, switches, and handles of how these things really operate. Sonny was a man that knew a lot about many things.

In the days to come, Sonny’s family will go about their lives because that is what we have to do. It will be difficult know doubt for the next few days, weeks, and months.

There will be another American Legion Public Safety Night. There will always continue to be services held at Sonny’s Church.

But make no mistake; Sonny Roper will be missed by not only his family, but his church and all of the civic organizations he belonged to.

There will be occasions where people will say how we do this or that because Sonny always took care of it.

Please allow me to finish with this.

We will miss you Sonny. Because of the man you were and the gifts you left behind. And because you passed on to a better place, we may have to learn to get our hands dirty to get the job done.

Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County.

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Kim Chastain Queen
October 01, 2012
Chris that is a great article about Sonny. He will be missed by all. Thanks for sharing..
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