The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Franklin County lost a friend and leader Sunday when Larry A. Heaton, 55, was killed in a traffic accident in Patrick County. Mr. Heaton was dedicated to his family, community and Franklin Community Bank, where he had been president and CEO since the bank's inception more than 10 years ago.
Mr. Heaton's impact on the county has been immeasurable. Not only did he help establish a successful local business in a very competitive field, he was involved in countless community projects, from helping youth to raising money so all county residents could enjoy the annual Independence Day Festival at no charge. He was a Rotarian in every sense of the word, unselfishly doing all he could for any project.
As anyone who knew him can attest, Mr. Heaton was one of those rare people who was always the same -- flashing a smile, offering a kind word, helping others -- and doing so with a genuine, caring heart.
At 6 feet, 7 inches tall, he was a gentle giant, and the quintessential athlete, always tackling demanding challenges, from mountain climbing to arduous obstacle courses to long runs. He tackled his job and community in the same dedicated fashion, always striving to be better, regardless of the hard work involved. And he did everything with integrity and a contagious enthusiasm.
All who knew him are better people for it, and that's quite an achievement in itself.
Mr. Heaton was a friend to all who met him, and he helped many, many people who never knew him. He may have left this world way too soon, but his presence will have a lasting effect.
Franklin County has indeed lost a rare gem.
Our hearts go out to Mr. Heaton's family. We grieve with them, and we thank them for sharing him with us.