Joseph Cheeley, Jr.
Joseph E. Cheeley, Jr., of Buford, Georgia, passed away October 11, 2013.
A prominent lawyer, Judge Cheeley was the only Gwinnett State Court judge for 21 years until 1979. A member of the U. S. and Korean Supreme Court bars, he served as chair of the State Bar Disciplinary Board and on the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors. In the Stokes divorce case, he helped establish the principle of equitable division of property. A lecturer and attorney for the county and various municipalities, he co-authored family law review articles.
High school valedictorian, Joe was active at UGA as a football announcer, Red & Black and Pandora staffs, Student Union President and Editor, baseball team manager and was selected to Whos Who, Omicron Delta Kappa, Blue Key, Gridiron Secret Society, and Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity. After graduating in 1950, Joe continued serving on the law schools Board of Visitors, the UGA Bicentennial Fund Steering Committee, and as Alumni Society Vice President.
In the Korean Conflict, Air Force Captain Cheeley as Assistant Judge Advocate was awarded the Bronze Star and Korean Service medals and the Korean Presidential Citation.
Selected 1963 Gwinnett Man of the Year, Georgia Five Outstanding Young Men and Nations Outstanding Young Men, Joe gave his time to public service, including 2 terms on the Buford Board of Education, delegate to the 1968 and 1972 Democratic National Conventions, Kiwanis Lt. Governor, Gainesville College Trustee, a founder and chair of the Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority, and the State Properties Commission, among others.
A United Methodist certified lay speaker, he taught over 50 years and was active in church committees.
Son of Gwinnett pioneers Joseph Elbert Cheeley and Willie Jo Westbrook Cheeley, Joe, 84, was married to the late Selma Medlock of Norcross. Survivors are 5 children: Joseph E. Cheeley, III, J.D. (Margaret); Robert D. Cheeley, J.D. (Lisa); Susan M. Cheeley; John P. Cheeley, J.D.; James N. Cheeley (Brandi); 8 grandchildren: Kristin Rosencrants (Ben) and Justin Cheeley, M.D. (Mary Katherine); David, Amelia and Harrison Cheeley; Olivia, Gunter and Zane Cheeley; great-granddaughter, Brynn Rosencrants; sister, Dorothy Cheeley Willis (Thomas); nephews and nieces: William Willis, Helen Berry, Chris and April Cheeley, and extended family.
Visitation will be 10/17 and 10/18 from 5 8 p.m, Flanigan Funeral Home. The memorial service will be at Buford First UMC, 10/19, 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Buford First UMC
To express condolences, please sign our online guest book at www.flaniganfuneralhome.com. Arrangements by: Junior Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Buford, GA 770-932-1133.