Roger Short, 72, a man synonymous with sports and recreation in Lowndes County, passed away early this morning at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle.
Short worked for years with the Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority, eventually becoming executive director, a post he held for about 12 years. He retired in 2014. After the CLRA was dissolved in 2017, he was named director for Lowndes County’s recreation department where he still served.
Lowndes County Board of Supervisors President Trip Hairston said the loss was a major one for the community.
“Roger was a mentor and a friend to a lot of people,” Hairston said. “Many people looked up to him. His passing leaves a big hole.”
Short was the driving force behind the development of the Lowndes County sportsplex, currently under construction off of Highway 82 West, Hairston said.
“I’m grateful that he got to see the groundbreaking,” Hairston said. “He thought it was going to be a game-changer for the county.”
District 4 Supervisor Jeff Smith said he was shocked by the loss.
“I knew Roger for over 30 years,” he said. “It’s a big shock, a big loss, I’m praying for his family.”
Smith not only worked with Short under the CLRA and later the Lowndes County Recreation Department, but both men officiated in the area for years.
“He officiated football, basketball, softball, he did it all,” Smith said. “As he got older he slowed down, but was still calling football and basketball games. Those were the big ones.”
Former Ward 6 city councilman Bill Gavin remembered Short fondly.
“I knew him for many, many years,” Gavin said. “He was a good family man, a good Christian. Roger was real innovative, with a lot of ideas about bringing programs to town and new ideas to help the city grow and help the youth of the city.”
Funeral services had not been announced by press time.
Brian Jones is the local government reporter for Columbus and Lowndes County.
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