Peachtree City’s second mayor dies


Ralph Norman Jones, a resident of Peachtree City since 1961 and who served as its second mayor, has died at the age of 80.
He was born and raised in Franklinville, N. C. and was a graduate of North Carolina State with a degree in Civil Engineering. He had served as a 1st lieutenant in the United States Army and served 15 months in the Korean War.
After his tour of duty he had worked for Exposaic Architectural Stone Co., in Greensboro, N.C. for six years before moving to Peachtree City in 1961 to operate one of its first industries, Mabie Bell.
He was elected as the second mayor of Peachtree City in 1966 and served until 1969. During his term he was responsible for the creation of the city’s Public Safety and Recreation departments, purchased the first fire truck, for the grand sum of $4,400, and appointed the first fire chief, county native “Brother” Myron Leach.
A Little League baseball committee was formed in 1967 and in 1968 Phipps Land Company donated an acre for the first fire station which was located at Paschal Road and Ga. Hwy. 74. The sum of $16,000 was approved to construct the fire station.
During his the last year of his term, an ordinance establishing Peachtree City’s Police Department was put in place and Haskell Barber was appointed police chief. It’s sole patrolmen was Orville Harris with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department responding to calls at night.
Jones was executive vice president of the Atlanta Market Center until his retirement after which he opened the first Valvoline Instant Oil Changer franchise in the city.
He was a charter member of the Peachtree City First Presbyterian Church was a founding member of the Peachtree City Rotary Club.
Said Joel Cowan, who served as the city’s first mayor, “Ralph was a very important part of a core group who came here early on. You just didn’t serve as a mayor but more as a leader, whether this was in the area of your community, church or civic duty. Ralph served as a fine example in each of these categories.”
A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009 at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church.
He was preceded in death by his parents, B. C. and Iula Jones, and a brother-in-law, John A. Hambleton.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Margaret “Brownie” Swann Jones; children, Norman V. and Lisa Jones, Kristina J. Milner, and Karen A. Jones; grandsons, Staff Sgt. Larry Milner, Jacob Jones, David Jones, Specialist Matt Milner, Nathan Hunter Jones and Jet Jones; a great-grandson, John Allen Millner; and sisters, Sarah “Red” Hambleton, and Gracie and Tommy Allred.
Memorial donations may be give to the First Presbyterian Church of Peachtree City, or the Peachtree City Fire Department.
Carl J. Mowell & Son Funeral Home, Peachtree City, was in charge.