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Hoffman, Covington radio pioneer dies
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In 1957 Bill Hoffman reached out to much of the Newton County community through the airwaves.

Hoffman, recently relocated to Covington, Georgia from Covington, Tennessee operated the local radio station, WGFS, from the late ’50’s on, for the next 25 years. But that wasn’t the only way he became involved with Newton County, his home through Tuesday, when he passed away at his house at the age of 90.

Hoffman was a board member at Newton General Hospital for 10 years, served as chairman of the Newton-Rockdale District Atlanta Area Council Boy Scouts of America, senior vice commander of the American Legion Post 32, past president of the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce and treasurer and then president of the Covington Rotary Club.

“The way his personality was, he always wanted to give back to the community,” Sam Ramsey said. “Bill and I got to be real good friends. Bill was a fine Southern gentleman. We’ll miss him around here.”

He was also a founding member of the First National Bank of Newton County, where he served 15 years as president. Additionally he was a member of the Covington Elks Lodge No. 1806 and operated the radio station with his wife, Betty.
Hoffman ran WGFS, first at the home of the Belmont Dennis/Mallards, who were the first owners of the Covington News, and then on the Access Road off Hwy. 278.

According to Alisa Johnson Brown, WGFS really gained in popularity due to the ice storm of 1960.

“Hoffman stayed on the air the entire storm and informed citizens about road conditions, electrical lines down and weather reports coming out of Atlanta,” said Brown on the Covington, Ga. And Things I Remember Back When Facebook page.

A graveside service for Hoffman was held Thursday at 11 a.m. at Lawnwood Memorial Park.

“In 1982, Covington lost a great little radio station,” Brown said. “And (Tuesday) Covington lost a really great man. God bless your loved ones during this time, and may you rest in peace, Mr. Bill Hoffman.