Mr. James Reginald “Jim” Mehaffey, age 88, of Lindale, Ga., passed away Saturday evening, August 31, 2019.
Mr. Mehaffey was born on December 8, 1930, in Floyd County, Georgia. A native of Lindale, Ga., Jim received his primary and secondary education at Pepperell Schools. He completed post-secondary education studies at the Rome College of Business and the Georgia School of Real Estate.
Jim proudly served his country as a Communications Specialist, Corporal First Class, in the Infantry Division of the United States Army. Serving in actual combat during the Korean War, Jim and his fellow infantrymen endured one of the coldest winters in recorded history during 1952. As a result, the Republic of Korea presented to veterans, including Jim, the Korean War Service Medal during a special awards ceremony in 2014.
Jim was employed by Inland Rome for over 30 years prior to retirement in 1993. Jim was a faithful servant of his Lord Jesus Christ. As an active member Pleasant Hope Baptist Church, he served as a Deacon and member of the Pleasant Hope Men’s Joshua Sunday School Class. Jim particularly enjoyed the regular Sunday night “after church excursions” with his beloved church friends for burgers or pizza. Calories were never counted–only blessings.
In addition to service of God and country, Jim dedicated his time to endless hours of community service. He was a member of the Floyd County Board of Commissioners for 16 years, serving as chairman for eight of those years. Jim served on the Floyd County Board of Health for 32 years. He was a former member of the Floyd Hospital Authority and the Floyd Airport Commission. Jim was appointed by three governors to serve on the State of Georgia Committee on Behavioral Health. Until the time of his death, Jim continued to serve on the North Georgia Mental Health Community Service Board.
Jim was a founding member of the Lindale Star Preservation Association. He was a member of American Legion Post #5 and served his fellow Korean War veterans by his planning leadership and organization of nationwide reunion events.
Jim was the recipient of many community service and lifetime achievement awards. He was recognized for service with commendations from Georgia governors Jimmy Carter, Zell Miller, Joe Frank Harris and Roy Barnes. Jim worked directly with U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn to secure the old Federal Courthouse for use by the Floyd County government. He was a member of committees which obtained the land and initial charter for Georgia Highlands College (formerly, Floyd College). Jim was actively involved in securing funding for the upgrade of facilities at the Rome airport. During a visit to Washington, D.C., with the Rome Chamber of Commerce in the 1970s, Jim was surprised when invited to receive a personal tour of the White House by First Lady Rosalyn Carter.
An expert on model cars, Jim maintained an impressive collection. Jim was also an avid fan of country and western Music, taking a favorite trip each year to the Grand Ole Opry and Opryland Hotel during the Christmas season. Jim’s most cherished times were those spent in school pickup lines, middle and high school football games, school concerts and dance recitals. Never meeting a stranger, Jim will always be remembered for his outgoing personality, positive energy and willingness to help others.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Lee and Ruby White Mehaffey; by a sister, Virginia Mehaffey Baker, and by a brother, Kenneth Van Mehaffey.
A devoted husband and father, Jim is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Virginia Jones Mehaffey. He is also survived by two daughters: Rise (Alan) Wood, Cedartown, and Lisa (Hal) Goldin, Columbia, S.C. Also surviving are grandchildren: Jamey (Julie) Goldin, Columbia, S.C.; Lauren Wood, Charlotte, N.C.; and Matt Goldin, Columbia, S.C. Jim is survived by two great-grandchildren, Taylor and James Goldin, Columbia, S.C. Several cousins, nieces, and nephews also survive as well as his loving caregiver, Ressie Law, Rome.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, September 6, 2019, at 4 p.m. in the Chapel at Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, South Chapel. The Rev. Jerry Wood will officiate with eulogies by former state Rep. E. M. “Buddy” Childers and Mr. David Guldenschuh. Interment services will follow on Monday, September 9, 2019, at 10 a.m. at Georgia National Cemetery with the American Legion Post #5 Honor Guard presenting military honors.
The family will receive friends at Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, South Chapel, on Friday from 1 until 3:45 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Jim’s honor to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at www.donate.lls.org.
Facebook is filling today with remembrances of former Floyd County Commissioner Jim Mehaffey who passed away Saturday evening.
Attorney David Guldenschuh, pictured with the former commissioner atop the page during a visit at Renaissance last month, shared the following today:
“Very sad to hear of the passing of a good and loyal friend and mentor, Jim Mehaffey. If this community needed a leader, a volunteer, a worker bee, some wisdom, a man who knew how to cross aisles, someone who cared about the disabled, a man who not only talked the talk but walked the walk, Rome and Floyd County had them all in former County Commissioner Jim Mehaffey.
“… Jim was one of those rare few who listened to the people and could rethink an issue without the need to soothe his own ego. They just don’t make ‘em like Jim anymore.”
His daughter, Lisa Goldin, posted:
“Tonight, heaven gained an angel! I love you daddy!! RIP Jim Mehaffey.”
Said Wendy Davis, Rome City Comissioner and a mamber of the Democratic National Committee:
“So sad to hear of Jim Mehaffey’s passing. He was a dedicated community servant and a kind man! The Floyd County Dems were blessed to have Jim as a party leader for decades and were pleased to enshrine him in our Hall of Fame years ago. We send love and prayers to his family!”
Henderson and Sons Funeral Home will be in charge of services.We will have additional details and updates on services as they become available.