LEESBURG, Ga. -- A longtime Leesburg and Lee County resident and public servant died Saturday at the age of 73.
Morris Leverett arrived in Lee County 45 years ago when he accepted a job transfer with a former employer in Waycross.
Leverett also managed a Harvey's Supermarket and owned and operated Leadfoot's Petro from 1995 until 2009.
Leverett is probably best known as a Lee County public servant. He served on the Leesburg City Council for 25 years and was the former mayor pro tem until he moved into the county and was elected to serve on the Lee County Commission. He was named chairman in 2006 after Jackie Sizemore resigned the post.
"He was a Leesburg man forever," said Leesburg Mayor Jim Quinn. "He would always do what's best for Leesburg."
The Leesburg mayor said Leverett, who was a Navy veteran who'd served during the Korean conflict, was the epitome of a public servant and a driving force for promoting development in Lee County.
"Commercial development, that's what you've got to do to take the burden off the taxpayers," Leverett was quoted as saying in 2008.
"He was a great guy, and I always enjoyed being on the council with him," said Quinn.
The Leesburg mayor described Leverett as a serious man who was determined to serve Lee County and Leesburg as best he could.
Leverett once said he enjoyed serving as chairman of the Lee County Commission despite the position's unique challenges.
"It's a lot of responsibility, but I don't mind it. I enjoy what I'm doing. You're in the hot seat," he said about serving as the Lee County Commission chair.
Quinn said Leverett enjoyed making Lee County better for everyone and that his service to the community will not be forgotten.
"Leesburg is going to miss him," said the mayor.
Matthews Funeral Home is handling funeral arrangements for Leverett, and a memorial service for the public servant and businessman will be held today at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Leesburg.