HONORED: Rotary names new scholarship after Sherroll Tatom

Published 11:20 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Donald Johnston, Jr. and his wife, Ferdie, are always looking for ways to give back to the communities they have called home.

Johnston is a native of Brundidge and his wife shares his love of the community where he grew up and of the people there. So, it was her suggestion that, now is the time to honor one of the city’s most devoted, dedicated and beloved citizens.

On Wednesday, the Johnstons honored Sherroll Tatom by creating a Brundidge Rotary Club Scholarship in his name.

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Tatom is a native of Banks. He went through ninth-grade there and graduated from Pike County High School. He has great affection for the Brundidge “suburb” but his heart is in Brundidge.

Tatom was a member of the Brundidge Lions Club for 25 years, a 16-year member of the Brundidge City Council and a leader in the Brundidge Banking Company and in Brundidge United Methodist Church.

“Everybody respects and loves Sherroll and he loves Brundidge,” Donald Johnston said. “Ferdie and I wanted to thank him for what he means to us and to the city that he loves and that we love.”

Tatom’s daughter, Teresa Horn of Montgomery, was asked to present the recognition plaque to her dad, but found it almost too emotional, so, in true Sherroll Tatom fashion, he jokingly offered to read it.

Tatom is known for his wit and humor but he turned serious in his acceptance.

“The Lord has been good to me. I’m 96 years old. That’s a long time to live and I’ve enjoyed my life … most of it,” he said, with a smile. “I love Brundidge and I love the people here. I’ve been retired for 30 years and that’s a long time, too. But I feel good and I’m going to make it to 100, that is if I don’t fall and break my neck.”

Tatom thanked the Johnstons for the honor and for all they have meant and continue to mean to Brundidge even though they have lived away.

Don Dickert, program chair, said Donald and Ferdie Johnston have given Rotary Club scholarships in memory of other Brundidge residents.

In 1994, the couple gave a scholarship in memory of Harold Rodgers who was a longtime Rotarian and Brundidge postmaster. In 2002, the Johnstons honored the memory of Robert L. Godwin with a scholarship. Godwin was also a longtime Rotarian and founder and owner of Bob’s Feed in Brundidge.

Johnston honored Lawrence Bowden, his company commander in the National Guard, with a scholarship in his name.  Bowden has more leadership abilities than anybody Johnston said he has known.

Dickert said the Sherroll Tatom Rotary Club Scholarship will bring the number of $1,000 Brundidge Rotary Club Scholarships to eight. With this year’s scholarship award the total number of scholarships awarded to local high school seniors will be 119.

Dickert expressed appreciation to Donald and Ferdie Johnston for their support of the club’s scholarship program and for their love and appreciation for Brundidge.