The City Council’s Parks Committee voted unanimously last week to rename the park after the late Steve and Virginia Tumlin, parents of current Mayor Steve Tumlin. If the park is to be renamed, it would be hard to find a pair of Mariettans, past or present, more deserving of the honor. The two were mainstays in the civic and social life of the city for six decades.
The late Mr. Tumlin opened Marietta Lumber Co. in 1934 with his father and brothers on South Cobb Drive near the site of the present-day Atlanta Road underpass, and operated it until 1988. He later was one of the five founders of what is now the Kennesaw State University Foundation, and also was a trustee of Reinhardt College in Waleska.
“The Foundation began at his dining room table,” then-KSU President Dr. Betty Siegel once told the MDJ. “He was one of the first individuals to see the importance of a foundation and advocacy group for the university.”
Tumlin founded the Commercial Bank of Cobb County and chaired the Board of Stewards at First United Methodist Church of Marietta. In addition, he was president of the Marietta Kiwanis Club, chaired the Marietta High PTA and was president of the Cobb YMCA, among other such activities.
The late Mrs. Tumlin was the president of her children’s PTAs, a Girl and Cub Scout leader, a founder and president of the Marietta-Cobb Beautification and the longtime president of the Honeysuckle Garden Club. She was named the Cobb Citizen of the Year by the Marietta Daily Journal in 1971, becoming the first woman to receive that honor. And she received the prestigious Liberty Bell Award from the Cobb Bar Association in 1981.
Now that the Council’s Parks Committee has approved the renaming, the proposal will go before the full council at next week’s meeting. And it is one the council should look upon with favor.