Most communities would tell you they want to be known and remembered for something special, perhaps a particular product, beautiful scenery or a valuable resource. Many are remembered for a particular resident, hopefully one that reflects on the best a community has to offer of it's people. Southern communities are known for their dignity and manners, their commitment to cause and kin, their warmth and love for others. Such communities are made up of special people. Special people are defined by a strength tempered with humility, a courage confirmed through responsibility, a drive and ambition proven to be yoked with a willingness to sacrifice for the good of another. Tough cookies with solid gold soft hearts for people who reflect the best their community could possibly offer in a resident.
The Armuchee Hall of Fame should include a woman who is extraordinary in defining the term special. Marica Cox Ely is an outstanding reflection on her high school alma mater and the community.
Marcia is a missionary in an unusual sense. She still lives in the Armuchee area, but gave her heart to missions at age 12. Organizing an annual Christmas breakfast for the homeless, spending time with the less fortunate of Rome's housing projects, providing a quiet dignity and love for Mardi Gras drunks and runaways, motherly advice for Honduras teens, and free dental care in Peru, Brazil, and Africa are but a few of her many "short term" missions. But her great mission and accomplishment is one of simplicity.
She simply lives out what she believes- that all people should be treated with dignity, that all children should feel caring arms around them, and a voice telling them they are loved at least once in their life. That it is worth the time, pain and tears to make a difference in someone's life, even if briefly. Any community would be honored to have such a person in their midst- Armuchee would do well to honor her for being in theirs.