Doug Galyon, former Greensboro city councilmember, former Guilford County commissioner and former chairman of the North Carolina Board of Transportation (NCDOT), died Sunday, April 7.

At his funeral on Tuesday, April 9, at Christ United Methodist Church, it was said several times that Doug Galyon was a man “who made everyone feel like someone.”

I know that he did that with me.  When I was getting started in the newspaper business, Doug Galyon was a big deal – a vice president at Guilford Mills and the chairman of the NCDOT, which is one of the most influential and powerful boards in state government.

And at a ribbon cutting where Doug Galyon was the featured guest, he pulled me aside, put his arm on my shoulders and told me I had to do something about the way the highway money in the state was allocated.

I remembered being pretty shocked and asking if, as the state DOT board chairman, he wouldn’t have more to say about that than me.

Galyon said that he couldn’t do much about the spending formula, which was all messed up, but something had to be done.

I agreed and said I would certainly do what I could and wondered what had just happened because one of the most powerful men in the state had just asked for my help.

Of course, Doug Galyon was right; the formula that the state was using at that time didn’t make any sense and eventually he and others in state government got it changed.  I don’t know that I helped, but I sure tried, and after that, like a whole lot of other folks, I was a committed member of the Doug Galyon team.

Doug Galyon made a difference in his community and in his state and he will certainly be missed.