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September 30, 2012

Godfrey remembered for character, service to Dalton

Friends and former colleagues say Dalton is a greener city today because of Harlan Godfrey.

“He helped found the Tree Board. He was a driving force behind Civitan Park. He helped start the recycling center,” recalled former Mayor Ray Elrod, who served with Godfrey on the City Council. “He loved being outdoors. He always had a garden. Green things were always very important to him.”

Godfrey, 74, died Friday at Hamilton Medical Center.

“Harlan always wanted what was best for the city. He was hard working. He was conscientious. He always took the time to study every issue and hear everyone out,” Elrod said.

Elrod says he knew Godfrey even before the two served on the City Council.

“We went to the University of Georgia at the same time, and my wife graduated high school with him,” Elrod said.

Born Jan. 4, 1938, in Dalton to the late Jamie and H.L. Godfrey, Godfrey graduated from Dalton High School in 1956, when he eloped with his high school sweetheart Carolyn Bryant. He went on to study at the University of Georgia School of Business, where he played on the basketball and baseball team, graduating in 1960.

Godfrey owned and operated G&C Rubber Coating Co. and was a Civitan member for more than 40 years.

“He was one of the finest people you could ever get to know,” Elrod said. “He was very active in the community. He absolutely loved the city of Dalton.”

Mike Robinson served on the City Council after Godfrey, but he knew him for many years. Godfrey was one of the founding members of Rock Bridge Community Church, which Robinson also attends.

 “He was one of the best men of character I’ve ever met. If Harlan said he was going to do something, you knew he would do it,” Robinson. “He was firm in his beliefs. He was dedicated to his family and his church and to the city of Dalton. I’m going to miss him.”

Robinson agree that Godfrey was very interested in making Dalton a greener and more attractive place to live.

“When I was on the council I was the liaison to the tree board for quite a while, and I recall Harlan often attended those meeting. He thought the work the tree board was doing was very important and wanted to stay informed,” Robinson said.

Godfrey is survived by his wife of 56 years, Carolyn Bryant Godfrey of Dalton; three daughters and sons-in-law, Tarre and Pete Green of Atlanta, Dawn and Scott Sellers of Dalton, Kara and Doug Allen of Atlanta; grandchildren, Barrett and Connor Green, Payton, Hutton and Worthington Sellers, Adeline, Portman and Myers Allen; sisters, Peggy and Clayton Causby of Dalton, Susan and Rick Belford of Savannah, and brother, David and Kay Godfrey of Orlando, Fla.; nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends at Love Funeral Home today from 2:30 to 5 p.m.

There will be a private family burial in the historic section of West Hill Cemetery.

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