BRASELTON — Former mayor and councilman Henry Edward Braselton passed away Monday, according to town officials.
He was taken by ambulance Monday morning to Barrow Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to Town Manager Jennifer Dees.
"He was the mayor who hired me," she said Monday morning. "It really shocked me."
Henry Braselton, one of the sons of town founder John Oliver Braselton, served as the town’s mayor from 1988 until 2001. He also served for more than 40 years as a town councilman and lived in the white house at the corner of Ga. 53 and Ga. 124 in downtown Braselton.
"We mourn the passing of Mayor Henry Braselton, the consummate mayor who embodied the good life of small town America," Braselton Mayor Pat Graham said in a statement issued Monday. "He served with high distinction as mayor of Braselton for 14 years, carrying forth the honored tradition of his ancestors. His efforts to recruit business and industry for jobs for the citizens of Braselton are unparalleled. His love for the historic traditions of the town will be long remembered. We express our profound sympathy to his family as he was a legendary Southerner with a wonderful sense of history and place and pride. Forever, we will remember his oft-spoken gentlemanly invitation, ‘Come to see us.’"
Henry Braselton was born Jan. 8, 1927, and was a lifelong member of Zion Baptist Church. He served in the Georgia Home Guard and the U.S. Navy. He attended Emory University and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Georgia, according to Graham’s statement.
In addition to his tenure as mayor and his time on the Braselton Town Council, Henry Braselton also served on the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Commission board, the Northeast Georgia Soil and Water Conservation district board and was a charter member and past president of the West Jackson Lions Club.
Graham’s statement also said Henry Braselton was credited for recruiting several businesses and industries to town, including Chateau Elan, Sears Logistics, Haverty’s, Panoz Automotive, Mayfield Dairy, Braselton Poultry and others. He also directed the upgrade of the town’s public works including water tanks, water and wastewater plants and started the town’s first full-time police force.
He was married to the former Janice Martin of Gainesville for 48 years. They have three daughters, three granddaughters and two grandsons.
Little and Davenport Funeral Home is in charge of the funeral arrangements.