Former Mayor Godbold dies

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, September 12, 2010

Former Brookhaven Mayor Bill Godbold, who died Saturday, wasremembered as a straightforward and colorful leader during hiscombined more than 20 years as the city’s top elected official.

“The thing about Mayor Godbold was, you always knew where youstood,” said current Mayor Les Bumgarner, who was alderman at largeduring Godbold’s final term in office. “There will never be anotherone like him.”

Godbold, 83, died Saturday at the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery VAHospital in Jackson. Godbold, whose parents also served as mayor,was mayor from 1965-1973, 1985-1993, and from 1997 until 2004, whenhe left office due to health reasons.

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Services for Godbold will be Sunday at 3 p.m. at RiverwoodFamily Funeral Service Chapel, with visitation preceding theservice from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. A private burial service will beheld at the Godbold Family Cemetery.

Godbold is survived by his wife Linda, one son, three daughters,two stepsons, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

One of Godbold’s last projects as mayor was the city’smulti-modal transportation facility. Bumgarner pointed out that thestill-under construction facility has been named for the Godboldfamily.

“We were hoping it would be finished before he passed away,”said Bumgarner, adding that “our hearts go to his family.”

Police Chief Pap Henderson echoed Bumgarner’s thoughts. Thechief said Godbold was a man he respected very much.

“He was a straightforward man,” Henderson said. “I feel like hedid what was best for the city.”

Ward Two Alderman Terry Bates, who served with Godbold duringseveral of the mayor’s terms, said he admired and respected Godboldlike a father. Bates, who was mayor pro tem under Godbold, saidtheir families were good friends and the former mayor will bemissed.

“To me, he was a great man and great leader for Brookhaven,”Bates said.