A former state representative and Gwinnett county attorney will be laid to rest today.
George Gibson "Gib" Dean II died unexpectedly Friday - his 73rd birthday.
Emily Freeman, an attorney who worked at Dean's private practice, described him as a cross between Ben Matlock and Clarence Darrow.
"He practiced with passion and expertise that was God-given," she said "He was amazing in the courtroom. He loved to fight injustice but at all times maintained dignity."
According to a biography, Dean was a member of the House of Representatives from 1971 to 1975. He was county attorney from 1983 to 1987.
Among several other honors, Dean was the current president of the Old Warhorse Lawyers Club.
"I tried a case against him five months ago, and he beat me like a drum," said Dick Carothers, who worked for Dean in the 1980s. "He was an outstanding trial lawyer, and he had the compassion of a classic Southern gentleman."
Carothers said Dean, an expert in zoning and land use law, was one of the funniest story tellers he ever encountered.
"He had a great bursting laugh that made everybody else laugh," he said. "He was a real good fellow. I learned a lot from him."
Charles Ashworth, who was county chairman when Dean was named county attorney, said Dean was a close friend.
"He loved life. He loved humor," Ashworth said. "He had a great love for the law, but more than that, he was a close family friend. It's a remarkable loss for me and my family as well as for his other friends."
Dean is survived by his wife, Ann Newton Dean; his daughter, Laura Burton Dean; his son, Gibson Dean III; and two stepsons, Jim Newton and Rick Newton.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. in the chapel of Flanigan Funeral Home with Rev. R. Edward Davenport and Canon Bruce Shortell officiating. Interment will be at Peachtree Memorial Park in Norcross.
Donations may be made in memory of Gibson Dean to the Eagle Ranch, P.O. Box 7200 Chestnut Mountain, GA 30502.
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.