The local business community is mourning the weekend death of a leader who they say was passionate about Dawson County.
Sandra "Sandy" King Ward of Dawsonville died Sunday at the age of 74.
"Sandy Ward was a mentor to me as a leader in Dawson County," said Stephanie Mathis, who worked with Ward for many years at Chestatee State Bank.
"Well-respected and willing to work hard, she had the ability to bring the right people together to reach a common goal. Her service to our community has made it a better place to live and work for us all and she will be missed."
Ward was active in the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, the bank's advisory committee and served as chairman of the Dawson County Planning Commission.
"Sandy was a dear sweet lady who never met a stranger," said friend Doris Cook. "She was ... always a gracious hostess at the Chestatee Bank Advisory Committee meetings and was compassionate about kids and the Dawson community."
Ward loved her pets, her family and her lake home in the Dawsonville community.
"She loved her family and friends, always talked about the good times they had at their lake home and she seemed to have lost a part of herself when her husband died," Cook said.
A memorial service will be held at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Bethel United Methodist Church. Dr. Orin Sampson will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Dawson County Humane Society, www.dawsoncountyhumanesociety.org.