When you read this, I will be 69 years old. I don’t feel old except when I experience the death of an old friend. God put Mike Uzzell in my path 38 years ago when he first came to Fayetteville in the banking business. I did business with his bank and we became fast friends because the man who hired him was a golfing buddy of mine and Mike was a golfer. Over the years we played many around together.
Mike died on a Saturday night, June 9th, and his funeral was at Haymount United Methodist Church. It was a wonderful tribute to an outstanding Christian man. He witnessed the Lord Jesus to me in 1998 and gave me my first study Bible. Our joint friend Dolph Berry spoke of Mike’s witness and ended with a parallel to Jesus’ parable about “well done, good and faithful servant” by saying Mike had walked off the 18th green of life and handed his last card to the great scorekeeper of life who said, “Great round you played.” I loved Mike Uzzell as did so many. On his last Saturday morning, the last thing he said to me from his hospital bed was about my late son, Bob: “I will see Bob soon.” He was so right. This is just a temporary farewell because I know for sure I will see him again.
My other farewell, for a second time, is to CityView’s long–time general manager Ashlee Cleveland. She has retired to be at home with her children. Ashlee started with me in 2006 when I was in the printing business where CityView was created. She became our general manager when Mark Branch (see sidebar) moved into sales at my printing company. Ashlee helped grow the company and left in 2010 to have children. She returned to the company five years ago when I begged her to come back. My dad had a company that employed over 60 people, mostly ladies. He told me long ago not to get to attached to good employees because one day they will leave, and it will break your heart. I didn’t take that advice and her leaving broke my heart again. I have been employing people for 40 years and she was undoubtably the best person I have had work for me. God put us in each other’s path and it was a wonderful ride. Thank you, Ashlee, for your dedication to our company and a job well done.