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9-20-07 “Senator” Steve Reynolds of Commerce and Gwinnett County was friend to Oconee and NEGA

. “Senator” Reynolds frequently mentioned area folks and especially his Commerce roots. He was a conscientious and dedicated public official. He was also a courteous and self-effacing gentleman that many of us called a friend.

AVOC

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September 19, 2007

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“Senator” Steve Reynolds of Commerce and Gwinnett County was friend to Oconee and NEGA

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By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc

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Many of us were saddened to hear of the death Monday of Steve Reynolds, former Senator and Member of the GA DOT Board.

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“Senator” Reynolds was Oconee’s district GA DOT member during the time that we were part of Congressman Linder’s district.   When I first heard that we would have a Gwinnett representative, I had concerns but he was a former colleague and friend of our Senator Paul Broun who introduced us. He was also a native of Commerce.

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“Senator” Reynolds removed any concern right away.  He was a modest, low-key gentleman who was widely known and had much influence in Transportation matters.

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“Senator” Reynolds made many trips to Oconee County.   He visited my office at the Courthouse and rode “around the county” with me and Hugh Tyner, the District GA DOT Engineer.   He was attentive to and comprehending of our local needs.He supported our road improvement and resurfacing projects.

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The Senate Transportation Committee and DOT members once met at the Oconee County Civic Center and toured the County.    At that time, we had a number of projects going on:Watkinsville By-Pass, GA 316, Epps Bridge Parkway, future plans for U S 441 and local projects.  This type exposure was great for our county and the area.

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“Senator” Reynolds frequently mentioned area folks and especially his Commerce roots.   He was a conscientious and dedicated public official.   He was also a courteous and self-effacing gentleman that many of us called a friend.


The Gwinnett Daily Post

http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/main.asp?SectionID=6&SubSectionID=84&ArticleID=4014

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September 18, 2007               OBITUARIES

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Steve Reynolds, 87, dies in hospice care


Steve Reynolds

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By Camie Young
Senior Writer

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LAWRENCEVILLE - After 60 years in public service and two battles with lung cancer, Steve Reynolds died Monday at age 87.
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The late senator and transportation board member asked his friends not to cry at his death, his son said.
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Instead, Reynolds will be honored with a "celebration of life" later this week.
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"We're going to celebrate his life, and it deserves to be celebrated," son David Reynolds said, remembering how proud his father was in 1991 to accept the naming of a Duluth-Lilburn road in his honor.
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First elected to a city council post in Commerce 60 years ago, Steve Reynolds served as a state senator for Lawrenceville for more than a decade, including 12 years as chairman of the Transportation Committee.
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After retiring from that position, he was elected to the State Transportation Board. He served there for 20 years, retiring in 2004 because of the reoccurrence of cancer. He died in hospice care after a long illness.
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"He had an iron constitution with politics, but he was patriarch of this family and he was the rock," his granddaughter Anna said.
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She said he once searched the country to make sure the right Cabbage Patch doll was under the tree Christmas morning, and she remembers sitting on his lap while he conducted business at the state Capitol.
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"He put us above all. He was a terrific grandfather," she said.
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That tenacity to make his granddaughters happy was the same spirit that drove Reynolds into public service, said Bill Atkinson, his neighbor and the former county chairman.
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"He did a great job for Gwinnett as senator, and he did a great job for all the counties as a member of the transportation board," Atkinson said. "He tried to help anyone in Gwinnett who called him."
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David Reynolds said his father was frustrated at not being able to do more to help people in his last couple of years, but he still had the political drive.
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When a family friend called a few weeks ago and said, "I guess we can't run with the big dogs anymore," Steve Reynolds quipped, "I guess not, but we can surely growl at 'em," his son remembered.
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Wayne Shackelford, the former state commissioner of transportation, said Reynolds worked to ensure the 3 percent motor fuel tax adopted in 1979 was dedicated to transportation.
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"He constantly was a force for good on the transportation board," Shackelford said. "He was so committed to our state. ... All of us who worked with him have lost a friend."
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Current Transportation Commissioner Harold Linnenkohl said Reynolds' contribution has been felt throughout the state.

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"As a member of the General Assembly and then as a member of the State Transportation Board, Steve did so much for transportation in this state - not just for Gwinnett County and the northeast - but for all of Georgia," Linnenkohl said. "He was a true public servant."
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Reynolds was preceded in death by his wife, Rebecca.
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The family will hold a visitation from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Lawrenceville chapel of Wages and Sons funeral home.
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Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Lawrenceville Presbyterian Church.


The Athens Banner-Herald

http://onlineathens.com/stories/091907/news_20070919037.shtml

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Reynolds, Jackson native, dies

Road influence

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By Merritt Melancon  

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JEFFERSON - Flags across Jackson County flew at half-staff Tuesday in honor of one of the county's most influential native sons.

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Steve Reynolds, a former state senator, Transportation Board chair and a proud Commerce native, died Monday at 87 after a long battle with lung cancer.

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"He was certainly a great Georgian," said Commerce Mayor Charles Hardy. "But he never forgot his hometown."

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Reynolds was admitted to a hospice Thursday night from his Lawrenceville home after his condition began deteriorating rapidly, said his son, David Reynolds of Birmingham, Ala.

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The Commerce native and World War II veteran held a variety of local posts on the Commerce school board and city council before moving to Lawrenceville in the early 1960s. Beginning in 1968, he served 14 years in the Senate, staking out territory where he would concentrate his legislative career: Transportation. He served 12 years as chairman of the Transportation Committee.

After leaving the Senate, Reynolds served for two decades on the state Transportation Board, many of them as chairman. The board allocated more than $ 1 billion each year for road construction in Georgia.

Reynolds always made sure that Jackson County got its share, said Pat Bell, chairwoman of the Jackson County Commission.

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While county and city officials had worked with Reynolds for years, it didn't take long for Reynolds to make an impact on a person, said Jody Thompson, Jackson County's youngest county commissioner.

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"As a rookie politician, I found him inspiring because he gained a lot of respect from people by doing everything right," he said.

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"He was tremendous Georgian - a great citizen of Georgia," Bell said. "But he was one of ours, and we always let him know that. We were proud of him."

• The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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