According to a Facebook post from Thomaston Mayor Hays Arnold Friday evening, Thomaston 3rd District Councilman Dr. Jim Richards passed away Friday night. Arnold’s post read:
“I was shocked and saddened at hearing the news that Dr. Jim Richards passed away this evening. He was a friend and a dedicated council member, who studied the issues and always made sure he understood the issues before expressing his opinion. Jim will be missed by all city elected officials and city employees. Our prayers go out for Barbara and their family.”
Richards won the District 3 post two years ago in a special election to fill the remaining term of the late Ed Bell. He qualified in August this year to run for re-election and was declared the winner when no one qualified to challenge him for the post.
While not from Thomaston, Richards claimed it as his home. He married his wife, Barbara, who is a Thomaston native, in 1958. They have two daughters, Jaimee and Paige, and four grandsons.
After teaching at several colleges and universities, they moved to Thomaston in 1973 when he went to work at Gordon College. After spending 50 years as an educator, he retired in 1997 and has since spent his time volunteering with the local school system, serving on the library board, the housing authority, the West End Neighborhood Association, and is a charter member of the Thomaston Upson Arts Council. He has been a member of First Presbyterian Church, where he served as an Elder and choir member.
Richards is the second Thomaston Council member to die this year. Long time District 1 Councilman Wallace Rhodes passed away in June.