Community members are mourning the passing of former Rome City Schools Superintendent Larry Atwell.

The following is a statement posted to the RCS Facebook page –

“With great sadness, Rome City Schools learned of the passing of retired Rome City Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry B. Atwell. Dr. Atwell began his career with Rome City Schools in August of 1980 as Title I Director. Two years later he was named assistant superintendent and was named superintendent in 1989. Dr. Atwell retired in 2003. During his tenure, he successfully merged East Rome and West Rome junior high and high schools to form the current Rome Middle School and Rome High School. Dr. Atwell continued his support of Rome City Schools well into his retirement years. He was a true fan of the Rome Wolves.

We are sending our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends. He will be greatly missed.”

Atwell’s daughter, Erin Atwell Hernandez, shared the sad news with friends on Facebook. Here is her post –

“It is with heavy hearts that we share that my dad has passed away. This spring has been filled with happiness, spending time with friends and family, and a particularly beautiful day out and about yesterday with his bride of 53 years. And as he has for so many years, he attended choir practice at church Wednesday evening. Lauren and I both were able to visit and chat with with him yesterday, sharing the exciting things going on in our own lives and the lives of our families. As always, he was our biggest fan! Anyone who knew my dad, knew him to have the most generous heart and never ceasing kindness toward others. He was a teacher and a mentor at heart and I am so proud to see his legacy alive in our community each and every day. He taught us everything we know, and we truly see his impact in the lives of our own children daily. He was also an avid sports fan, known for cheering on his beloved South Carolina Gamecocks, watching the Braves, and spending almost every fall Friday night at Barron Stadium cheering on the Rome Wolves. We will miss him immensely and cannot yet wrap our heads around not having our gentle giant in our daily lives. While our adjustment will be difficult, hugs and condolences greatly appreciated, we hope friends and family will share their favorite memories of him with us! Dad loved a good story! As plans for services are finalized, we will be sure to share.”

Plans for Atwell’s services have since been finalized. The family will receive friends this Sunday afternoon from 1:30 pm until 3 pm in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Rome. A memorial service will be held at 3 pm.