Copperas Cove community groups plant tree in honor of Ronnie Viss for Arbor Day
By PAMELA GRANT
Ronnie C. Viss was an active member of the Copperas Cove community, doing what he could to make a difference and touching the lives of everyone he met, but his life was cut short by a tragic boat-loading accident earlier this year.
To honor his memory and to show their appreciation of all that Viss accomplished in his life, Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful (KCCB), Operation Stand Down Central Texas (OSDCT), and The Exchange Club of Copperas Cove teamed up to plant a tree in his honor on Friday morning.
The tree, a Monterrey Oak, was planted outside of the OSDCT building on 201 Carpenter St. in Copperas Cove.
“I first met Ronnie several years ago when I joined the Copperas Cove Morning Exchange Club,” said OSDCT Director Joann Courtland. “He was a really big supporter of Operation Stand Down Central Texas. He always helped us out when we needed it and so when we lost him this year, I got together with our board and our volunteers and said I would really like to plant a tree in Ronnie’s honor.”
Courtland said that Viss had been involved in so much. She called him a “true serving heart”, talking about how passionate he was and how easily he made friends with everyone around him.
Courtland said that since they already wanted to plant the tree, they teamed up with KCCB to make it part of their annual Arbor Day celebration.
Each year KCCB either plants a tree in memory of someone or they do a big tree planting event.
“He was just someone who always had a smile,” said Roxanne Flores, KCCB Executive Director. “He was such a positive person. When I found out that they were doing this tree in memory of him, I was immediately like – yes, we want to do it.”
Ronnie Viss was a member of The Exchange Club of Gatesville and The Exchange Club of Copperas Cove. Through both organizations, and volunteering to help others as well, Viss did a lot of good for the community. Viss was also a longtime funeral director and the owner of Viss Family Funeral Home in Copperas Cove.
Kipp Miller, Volunteer Field Representative for the National Exchange Club and Past President for the Exchange Club of Copperas Cove, talked about how active Viss was and how he helped out with their various community services.
“We miss him and we sure do love him,” said Miller.
“Ronnie was just one of those people that made life better for everyone around him,” said Joe Burns who spoke at the event, sharing his own memories of Viss.
Burns talked about how Viss helped out people and how he wanted to make life for others better.
“If you needed someone willing to work. If you needed someone willing to be a part of something, to contribute, to give up their time, effort, and energy, Ronnie would be the first one,” said Burns. “We miss Ronnie…I miss him terribly, but you know what, he’ll always be here in my memory…I was blessed to have known Ronnie Viss.”
Viss’ father, Guy Viss, attended the event. He said that it was nice to see how many people showed up to honor his son. He described his son as compassionate and said that Ronnie Viss loved the Lord, loved to help people, and loved to serve. He said that Ronnie Viss would have been humbled by the ceremony.
“He’s loved by lots and lots and lots of people,” said Guy Viss.