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Posted: April 6, 2009 4:43 p.m.

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Social Circle city council member passes away unexpectedly

Social Circle city council member David Terry passed away Sunday afternoon.

Terry, 77, a member of the city council since 2002 and chair of the public safety committee, was found deceased in his home around 2 p.m. by a neighbor who came to check on him after Terry’s daughter was unable to reach him by phone. He reportedly appeared to have died of natural causes, although the official cause of death is still being investigated, according to Public Safety Department Chief Steve Shelton.

Mayor Jim Burgess, who was working in his office Sunday when he heard the news, was shocked at hearing of Terry’s sudden passing.

"He represents a great loss the leadership of our city," said Burgess. "He was a visionary member of the city council; he truly had the best interests of the city at heart."

Burgess described Terry as a dedicated public servant with an insightful long range view on the city’s direction and growth.

"He was very in tune with the issues of the city," Burgess said. "He was a true team player on the city council and he worked well with the other members."

City Manager Doug White recalled that Terry even had an "I love Social Circle" sticker on the back of his mailbox. "He cared for the citizens of his district, but he never drew lines. He supported citizens from all parts of the community," said White. "He was certainly a true friend of all the city employees. He retired from BellSouth and took the time to stop by the fire station, where he knew everyone by name, or city hall just to say hello."

Joan McMillan, a close family friend, said Terry was an active and leading member in many organizations in town, including the local AARP chapter, the Historic Preservation Society, Better Home Town in Social Circle, a past president of the Social Circle Lions Club and a member of the Friends of the W.H. Stanton Memorial Library.

"There wasn’t too much he wasn’t interested in," McMillian said. "He was such an interesting individual. He loved clocks. He was a clock collector."

Terry was also an ordained deacon at Bouldercrest Baptist Church in Atlanta and a member of the Social Circle United Methodist Church and had served eight years, reaching the rank of sergeant, in the Georgia National Guard.

He is preceded in death by his wife Betty Jo Terry and his son William David Terry. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law Richard and Katherine Terry of Covington, daughter and son-in-law Penny and David Keener of Social Circle and two grandchildren.

Meadows Funeral Home, 760 Ga. Highway 11, Monroe, is handling the funeral arrangements. The visitation will be at Wednesday, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The funeral will be held Thursday at 11 a.m.

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