Former supervisor lauded for life’s work

The Warren Sentinel

FRONT ROYAL — Friends and family members shared anecdotes of a life devoted to family, faith and service Sunday as the Front Royal Women's Resource Center honored former Warren County Supervisor Cliffie "Scottie" Thomson at its third-annual Spotlight on Women presentation.

Cliffie Adeline Scott, now known as "Scottie Thomson," was born Jan. 23, 1927, in Glen Alpine, N.C. Friend Vada Timbers described Thomsonís upbringing as one of nine children while she sat in a comfy chair a few feet to Timbersí right.

"She was immersed in an atmosphere that celebrated strong spiritual persuasions," she said.

Thomson shared a few anecdotes of her own, highlighting how she picked up a love of music from her mother, who often played classical or ragtime piano. That upbringing stayed with her years later as she sang in the choir of a church she helped to establish, Rockland Community Church.

"I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't sing in a church choir," she said.

She also noted that her father worked for the Southern Railroad. Times were different then. Her mother sometimes would pick up his paycheck at the train station. Occasionally, she would send Cliffie and her sister to pick it up, but they were a little apprehensive about it.

"We didn't like the train master," she said. "There was something about him we didn't trust, so we carried a broom with us."

After World War II, Cliffie ventured to Washington, D.C., to work for the federal government, as her older sister had done a few years before. While in Washington, she met Augustus Prembroke Thomson, who was serving in the Navy. They married and had four sons.

Augustus had a dream of owning an orchard, so they moved to Warren County and operated Golden Acres Orchard. Their all-natural approach to growing apples was featured in a 1985 Washington Post article.

They also were pioneers in preserving the rural nature of the Rockland area, entering the orchard into a conservation easement that prohibits future development on the property. They were among the first local landowners to do so.

After Augustus died in 1986, Cliffie sought out ways to serve her community. She ended up serving for seven years on the Warren County Board of Supervisors, starting in 1989. Over the years, she also served on the Warren Memorial Hospital Board of Directors and as president of the Warren County Garden Club, as well as with the Friends of the Shenandoah River, the Occupational Information Center, the Council on Domestic Violence, the North Warren Fire Department and the Isaak Walton League.

And, of course, she was a founder of the Rockland Community Church. The Rev. Dr. Vince McLaughlin, pastor of the the church, described her as a sunflower, which is deeply rooted and constantly turns toward the sun until it matures and always faces east.

"Where will our King come from? The east," he said.

McLaughlin read an Order of Ecclesiastical Reception in her honor that had been proclaimed that day at St. Andrewís Cathedral in Scotland, her familyís ancestral homeland.

"You are honored, not only here in America — the colony," he told her. "You are honored in your homeland that claims you as a daughter."

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