In Memoriam - Fulton County Vice Chair Joan P. Garner

It is with deep sadness that ACCG, Georgia’s county association, shares the passing of the Honorable Fulton County Commissioner and ACCG Third Vice President Joan P. Garner.  Garner passed away earlier today after a valiant fight against breast cancer. Memorial arrangements can be found below.

“Commissioner Garner was a great person that people just enjoyed being around,” said Elbert County Commissioner and ACCG President Tommy Lyon.  “She put her heart and soul into everything that she did – including ACCG.   She is truly going to be missed.”

“We are devastated by the loss of Commissioner Garner, who was a vibrant, selfless leader truly dedicated to public service,” said ACCG Executive Director Ross King.  “She was a friend and colleague to me personally and was also very connected to our staff and her peer network across the state.  She will truly be missed.”

Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves released the following statement, “We will miss her thoughtful service, her passion for equity, and especially, her smile and her warmth.”

According to Fulton County, Commissioner Garner joined the Board of Commissioners in 2011, representing a dynamic and vibrant district in Atlanta.  She put her heart and soul into her service to citizens, with a particular focus on health.  She worked tirelessly to fight against health disparities and became the Executive Sponsor of “All People Are Healthy” priority area.  She also joined Chairman Eaves in co-founding the Fulton County Task Force on HIV/AIDS and championed numerous health initiatives. 

Garner has served as a leader among her peers through her involvement with ACCG, and the National Association of Counties (NACo).  In addition to serving as ACCG’s third vice-president, she was a member of its Policy Council, which helps to set the legislative priorities for Georgia counties for issues before the Georgia General Assembly and Congress.  She previously served in a leadership role on the ACCG Health and Human Services Committee and was actively involved in both the Federal Committee and the Economic Development Committee.  Additionally, she was very involved at the national level, rising to the level of Chairman of the NACo Health Steering Committee.

To honor Commissioner Garner’s legacy, the ACCG Civic Affairs Foundation has announced the establishment of the Joan P. Garner Health & Human Services Internship / Fellowship Program in recognition of her dedication to public service.  This annual award will be presented to deserving, highly qualified college / university juniors, seniors, graduate or law students who exhibit academic talent and proficiency in the field of health and human services.  Specific consideration will be given to those program applicants who plan to focus their professional attention in the public policy field. 

“We look forward to fostering the legacy of the work of Commissioner Garner by giving college students the opportunity to work directly on health and human service issues at the county level,’ said King.  “Through this internship/fellowship program, we are planting the seeds for future community leaders to follow in her footsteps.”

Individuals who would like to contribute towards the Honorable Joan P. Garner Health & Human Services Internship / Fellowship Program may send their donations to:  ACCG Civic Affairs Foundation, 191 Peachtree Street, NE, Suite 700, Atlanta, GA  30303.  Please write Joan Garner Internship in the memo line. 

The ACCG Civic Affairs Foundation is a 501(c) organization created to foster civic engagement and increase public awareness of the role and value of county government programs and services.   The Georgia County Internship Program is one of the foundation’s primary programs and places more than 50 interns in counties annually to give them a hands-on opportunity to work in local government.  

ACCG Executive Director Ross King had the honor of sitting down with Commissioner Garner to speak to her about her time as a county commissioner. Click here to watch the full video.

Memorial services for Fulton County Vice Chair Joan P. Garner have been scheduled.

A Memorial Service will be held:

  • Saturday May 6, 2017, 3 p.m. , Ebenezer Baptist Church, 101 Jackson Street, NE, Atlanta.

Two visitations will be held:

  • Friday, April 21, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., Commerce Club, 191 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta
  • Sunday, April 23, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., Hammonds House Museum, 503 Peeples Street, Atlanta