James C. ‘Jimmy’ Booth, Jr., 82, founding publisher of Today in Peachtree City

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Jimmy Booth of Dawsonville, Ga, age 82, passed away suddenly at his second home on St. Simons Island, Ga., September 26, 2019.

Jimmy was born in Hahira, Georgia, to Helen and Cecil Booth. He graduated from Emory University, served his country in the Air National Guard, and had a long, productive career as a journalist and PR consultant.

Jimmy was married for 52 years to Margo Booth. Together they had two sons, Matt and Jon, and Jimmy also had a daughter, Tracy, from an earlier marriage.

From his college days when he edited the Emory Wheel, Jimmy’s life was devoted to journalism, always focusing on producing an outstanding product. He served as editor of several small Georgia papers including The Fayette County News, and worked briefly in public relations before starting his own paper.

Peachtree City was a new and growing Georgia town in 1974 when Jimmy, a resident of Peachtree City, decided the town was ready for a newspaper of its own. This Week in Peachtree City was born; it was the realization of a personal goal of Jimmy’s and a highlight of his career. The paper thrived and earned many state, regional and national awards in the seven years that he and Margo owned it. After selling the paper Jimmy continued his career in PR, managed two congressional candidate campaigns, and began a collection of regional newspapers, the Extras, for the Atlanta Journal.

Like his parents before him, Jimmy was committed, throughout his lifetime, to supporting and participating in the civic life of the community around him, often in a leadership role. He served as president of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce and president of the Peachtree City Rotary Club for many years. He served for many years on the Development Authority of Peachtree City and worked with the fledgling Peachtree City Library. He was instrumental in forming Christ our Shepherd Lutheran Church in Peachtree City. Through his role as publisher of the young town’s first newspaper, he helped shape the character and identity of Peachtree City.

A life-long avid sports fan of local teams at all levels and of all sports, he especially supported and followed Atlanta United, Liverpool FC, and the Atlanta Braves. In his younger days, he coached youth soccer and assisted coaches at higher levels of competition.

Jimmy moved to Dahlonega in 2006 where he continued to operate his PR business while adjusting to semi-retirement. He served as a committee chair for Bear on the Square festival for about 10 years, donating his PR skills to promote that event, and he has served on the board of Georgia Pick and Bow Traditional Music School, an organization he helped bring to fruition, for about 12 years. He was a member of St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church where he was a former vestry member, and he had served on the board of the Lumpkin County Historical Society.

Jimmy was a voracious reader. He was also a student of current events. He spent hours every day reading the Atlanta Journal and watching news commentaries on TV and enjoyed discussing politics with others. For over 10 years he has been a member of the “Friday Movie Group,” a group of Dahlonega friends who meet for lunch, a movie, and drinks afterward on a weekly basis.

Jimmy’s friends remember him for his sense of humor, his sharp wit, and his friendliness.

Jimmy is survived by his wife, Margo Schwab Booth; son Matt Booth and partner Constantina Psomas; son Jon and wife Rachel; daughter, Tracy Strange Rosnes, and grandson Spencer Rosnes.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, October 19, at St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church, 1188 Hamp Mill Road, Dahlonega, Georgia, 30533. Visitation will be held at 10 a.m. prior to the 11 a.m. service. Ashes will be buried in the church memorial garden and a light lunch for all attendees will follow.

The family requests any donations be made either to St. Elizabeth’s Elevator Fund at the address above or to Georgia Pick and Bow, P.O. Box 1801, Dahlonega, Georgia, 30533.