Community pillar Pierce Cline died Saturday morning at the age of 85.
In an email to friends, Cline's wife, Margie, said "Pierce died as peacefully as he lived."
A memorial service will be Sunday, Nov. 11 at Allen Memorial United Methodist Church in Oxford.
Cline was known for many things, including playing a large part in bringing a Georgia Perimeter College campus to Newton County, developing high-quality neighborhoods, supporting numerous service groups and projects and being a lifelong friend to Oxford College.
He recently received Oxford College's lifetime achievement award, the R. Carl Chandler Award, named for the college's first board chairman.
"(I've) had a long, healthy adventurous life. I am most grateful and have few regrets. Oxford College and education have been a magnificent part of my life," Cline wrote in his remarks for that award ceremony. "(The) receipt of the Carl Chandler Award is a lifetime achievement and I am deeply honored."
Close friend Rob Fowler III presented the award and called Cline the "consummate path finder and mentor to me."
"I talked about Pierce in many different ways, from a nomad and wanderer of the earth, a visionary of what can be, a tribal elder and even an eccentric," Fowler said.
The two traveled around the world to hike, including the mountainous country of Nepal, Hadrian's Wall in England and the Appalachian Trail.
During a trip to St. Bart's in the Virgin Islands, Fowler had a fall that required 18 stitches in his face. He said it was after the fall that Cline helped Fowler understand the meaning of life.
"Leading, loving, helping, imagining the impossible and dreaming."
Fowler praised Cline's vision in finding the future location of Georgia Perimeter College's Covington campus, off Ga. Highway 11. Cline is often seen as GPC's biggest supporter locally.
Cline also supported Project Adventure, which was an education program for troubled teens. Fowler said the program saved many children's lives while it was open in Newton County.
Finally, Cline's real estate development company, Cline Properties and Development, was responsible for several neighborhoods in the region, including River Cove Meadows near Social Circle, where he lives now.
"There were people who said, ‘Why should we do this or that?'" Fowler said. "Pierce would said, ‘Why not?'"