Tribute to the Honorable Clovis Biggers Momon
Clovis Biggers Momon was most widely known as a community leader in Haralson County, especially her hometown of Buchanan. She served as mayor of the city during the closing years of the 20th century, 1996-2000. But she also labored in many other civic organizations, including the Haralson County Chamber of Commerce (serving as a board member), Downtown Buchanan Revitalization, Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary, and in multiple offices of the Haralson County Historical Society. In this last role, she was honored during 2003 in Georgia State Senate Resolution 526, that mission helping accomplish restoration of the historic county courthouse, which today serves the entire county as a meeting center and home of the Buchanan-Haralson Public Library.
Clovis was known by countless children as their instructor, for she taught in the public schools of Buchanan for 30 years, until her retirement in 1994. Always willing to learn new things herself, she was an avid user of the Internet. The Haralson County Historical Society is endowing a scholarship fund to honor her education career.
Clovis was compassionate to those in need, and had a sense of humor, but was no wilting flower. As a mark of her determination, this diminuative woman nonetheless competed in high school basketball as a junior. Clovis was never afraid to speak in behalf of what she thought was right. She was an able speaker, crafting a balance between reason and emotion, and respectful of the time of her audience.
Although she spent nearly all her life in Buchanan, she had the opportunity to tour England, Wales and Ireland in 1995, just after her retirement from teaching, and immediately before her years of leadership in public service. She ardently believed America was a special place and those born and raised here members of its national family, and so guarded against those things she felt would compromise this important value.
Clovis loved the Methodist Church and her local congregation. In her last days, as Buchanan looked to develop a worthy project to honor a calling dear to her heart, she nonetheless adamantly insisted that not one square inch of church grounds be sacrificed to such secular ends. While Amazing Grace was her favorite hymn, this tribute plays All Is Well because it was featured in a recorded musical church recital she commissioned.
Most of all, Clovis was a friend to children in need. When she achieved success by her own determined efforts, she never forgot about all those still in want. Many times, out of her own modest funds, she purchased shoes, clothes, food, books, paper and pencils for children, underwrote the cost of field trips, took them to the doctor and paid their bills, and even sat with her students when a parent had passed away. When the local Friends of the Library recently bought a computerized wand that can read printed text aloud to help struggling readers, she immediately offered to underwrite its entire cost.
Clovis married once, but no offspring were produced from this union. As her life comes to a close this 31st day of March 2007, we are reminded of the 1939 film Goodbye, Mr. Chips. As the eponymous British boys boarding school pedagogue lay dying in the film, younger colleagues vocally lament the absence of children from his single, brief, tragic marriage. This stirs the old fellow from his reverie to offer one last correction as a teacher: I thought I heard you saying it was a pity... pity I never had any children. But you're wrong. I have. Thousands of them. Thousands of them... and all boys.
Clovis Biggers Momon had innumerable children, too, who lament her passing - as do her siblings, their descendents and all her many friends.