Friends and family are mourning the weekend death of Dawson County Building Official Wayne Elledge.
Elledge, of Dawsonville, died Saturday at Northside Forsyth Hospital following a sudden illness. He was 66.
Elledge began his career with Dawson County in January 2004 as a building inspector, and climbed the ranks to building official, supervising four employees.
Recently, Elledge became one of the few certified building officials in the north Georgia area, a designation Dawson County Director of Community Development Lynn Tully said he worked tremendously hard to achieve.
“He had been working on this for a full two years,” Tully said. “For such a small county, to have someone who put in the effort to get that designation, that’s a pretty significant achievement.”
Originally from Arizona, Elledge moved to Dawson County in 2002, after living a number of years in California.
“He came here to Dawson County to start a new chapter in his life,” said friend and co-worker Robbie Irvin. “He was one of my very best friends. Every morning when I got to work he’d be outside waiting on me.”
Irvin, the county’s code enforcement officer, and Elledge spent many days together over the years as they carried out their tasks for the county.
“We spent a lot of time together, talking and getting to know each other,” Irvin said.
“He was a humble, very intelligent man with a lot of experience in life. He lived a full life,” he added.
A cookout and dedication ceremony at Rock Creek Park on Friday was the last time many of his friends and coworkers saw Elledge, who was one of several county employees that built a walkway and bridge at the park as a management development community service project.
Elledge, who was a self employed building contractor in California before moving to Dawson County, volunteered to participate in the management development program to better understand management in the public sector, Tully said.
“He was always trying to better himself,” Irvin said.
The group of fellow management development graduates plan to erect a plaque in honor of their friend to be displayed near the bridge and walkway at the park.
“Even though he moved here leaving friends and family behind in California, he came into a new family here,” Irvin said.
Survivors include his wife, Pamela Elledge of Dawsonville; children, Tammy Elledge of Marietta, Todd Elledge, Traci Elledge, both of California; brother, Benjamin Elledge of Virginia; sister, Peggy Hutton of Soledad, Calif.; six grandchildren; various other relatives also survive.
Funeral services for Elledge are today at 2 p.m. at Bearden’s Funeral Home Chapel, with Pastor Don Allen officiating.
Irvin, Elledge’s daughter Tammy Elledge and former Dawson County building official Bobby McCurdy will also offer words during the service.
E-mail Michele Hester at Michele@dawsonnews.com.