'Visionary' Wayne Shackelford dies

LAWRENCEVILLE - Former state transportation commissioner and county administrator Wayne Shackelford died Tuesday at age 75.

The son of a sharecropper who came to Gwinnett in 1960 and made an indelible impact on the community died at Emory Eastside Hospital after ailing for years.

"Today, Gwinnett, Metro Atlanta, and Georgia lost a true leader and one of the most amazing, visionary, and courageous men many of us have ever known," Gwinnett Chamber President Jim Maran said of Shackelford, a past Chamber board chairman.

"While we mourn his loss, we know that Wayne is finally at peace, and we are heartened by the fact that we were the ones that were truly blessed by having known him these many years.

"Wayne is one of the few, rare souls that left a significant legacy for the public and countless memories for those of us in private that will be remembered for generations to come."

The Snellville man began his career as a county extension agent, and dedicated decades to continue to promote agriculture, coordinating livestock shows at the Gwinnett County Fair.

In 2007, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia 4-H Foundation.

He served as the county's top administrator in the 1970s then went on to a career as state transportation commission.

In 2007, the newly rebuilt interchange at Interstate 85 and Ga. Highway 316 was named in Shackelford's honor.