Tallahassee’s Greg Marr recently died from injuries sustained during a tragic fall after hiking to McAfee Knob off the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.
After completing this bucket list item, Greg had planned a one year mission trip to Guatemala. Previously, he had traveled to five continents. It is clear Greg Marr was engaged with the world around him.
He was also engaged with the people in Tallahassee.
As a proud conservative, Greg could, and often did, explain his ideological preference with a unique intellectual style and confidence. The fact that he was in a town that was overwhelmingly liberal did not seem to faze him.
In fact, I think it motivated him.
I first met Greg after my wife and I started Tallahassee Reports. I began giving talks to groups around town and Greg seemed to be involved with many of these same groups. I soon found out why.
Greg Marr was someone you could count on!
Greg served in leadership positions for many of these groups. His meetings were ran with a respect for procedure and he made sure the gatherings were organized with a clear mission.
When not in a leadership position, Greg fully participated in the stated mission of the group.
Greg also hosted dinners at his home to stimulate thoughtful discussions about the local political landscape. It was obvious Greg enjoyed people and the thrill of a political challenge.
A number of local candidates over the last ten years owe Greg a debt of gratitude for his support, and that includes me.
When I decided to run for mayor of Tallahassee in 2009, Greg was there with his resources and time. He walked neighborhoods and was as an avid supporter.
Through the years, as election losses of favored local candidates mounted cycle after cycle, Greg never gave up. He stayed involved and was always encouraging.
Greg’s attitude and actions reminded me of the often quoted excerpt from the Theodore Roosevelt speech, “Citizenship In A Republic”, delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Greg Marr was in the arena, he dared greatly and he knew the triumph of high achievement. He touched many people with his reverence for the great traditions of the United States of America.
His infectious enthusiasm and dedication during each election cycle was rooted in a process that only promised hope, not results. And for Greg Marr, the cause was so worthy and the opportunity so great, hope was all he needed.