Lansfords passion was service to others

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 9, 2007

…the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic &8212;the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done.

Theodore Roosevelt

Friends gathered last night to celebrate the life of Kyle Lansford and will do so again this morning for there is much to celebrate about a life well lived.

Kyle Lansford, former Circuit Clerk of Shelby County, passed away this past weekend; he was 76.

Lansford did a great deal in his 76 years on this earth, much more than most of us could do in twice that time. Perhaps the simplest description of what Lansford did was to direct his life&8217;s work toward the service of others.

Lansford&8217;s passion in life many times centered on that call to public service and led him to serve Shelby County residents as a lieutenant with the Shelby County Sheriff&8217;s Department for more than eight years.

He also served local residents and our country as a whole in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, holding the rank of sergeant.

Later, Lansford was elected to serve as Shelby County&8217;s Circuit Clerk and held the office from 1971 to 1989.

During that time, he witnessed first hand the beginnings of Shelby County&8217;s explosive growth and the strain it placed on those charged with serving our community and its residents.

Lansford, widely regarded as a public servant&8217;s public servant, approached his time in the Circuit Clerk&8217;s office as a chance to make a difference; he accomplished this and more.

He too was a servant to his family and to Wilsonville Baptist Church, of which he was a member for almost four decades; both have the joy today of having known Lansford.

A great but sometimes overlooked distinction exists between being in a position to help those around you, whether through an elected office or simply through good works, and in actually doing it.

Kyle Lansford took the opportunity to actually do something for his family, his church and his community and in so doing became a benchmark by which others will be measured