Community mourns loss of CCDA board president

Published 8:25 am Thursday, April 23, 2020

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Former Lanett City Manager and Chambers County Development Authority (CCDA) Board President Bobby Williams died on Tuesday.

“This is such a shock,” Lanett Mayor Kyle McCoy said Tuesday afternoon. “He took part in our council meeting just last night.”

As city manager in Lanett, Williams often filled in as city chaplain and opened council meetings with prayer. On Monday night, he asked the Lord to give local residents the courage and the wisdom to make the right decisions and to protect the ones they loved during the coronavirus outbreak that is sweeping the world, right now.

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Long-time friend and business associate Terry Bishop said he was deeply saddened by Williams’ passing.

“I’m heartbroken,” he said. “Bobby and I go way, way back. We were classmates at Valley High and graduated together in 1954. He was a dear friend and such a good man. He touched so many lives.”

Through hard work and treating people right, Williams rose to leadership roles, first in banking and later in government. He was active in community service throughout his life.

Bishop, who is the president of the Valley office of AuburnBank, said that Williams was at Valley National Bank for a number of years before he hired him to work for First Federal Savings & Loan (later CharterBank and now CenterState Bank) in the 1980s. They have also served together as board members of the Chattahoochee Valley Water Supply District, Bishop representing the East Alabama Water, Sewer and Fire Protection District and Williams the City of Lanett. Each has served as the board chairman.

“Everyone loved Bobby, and he was everything to his family,” Bishop said. “I have many fond memories of knowing him many years ago and up to the present time. He was a gentleman, a dear friend and someone the community will greatly miss. I know he meant a lot to the City of Lanett and the Chambers County Development Authority.”

Also heartbroken is the entire staff of the CCDA, where Williams had been a giant of a man as the board president. Chris Busby said it’s hard right now to find the words to express what he meant to everyone but said they would have a statement later this week.