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Becky and Gary Barham

McDONOUGH — Longtime McDonough resident and Henry County Commissioner Gary Barham has died.

Barham was hospitalized in early February with COVID-19. His son, Josh Barham, announced his passing Tuesday morning.

“It is with heavy heart that I inform you that Gary Barham has crossed over and is walking the streets of gold with Jesus this morning.”

Josh Barham said his father was peaceful while surrounded by his family.

“In the moment he left, I could imagine him opening his eyes, taking a deep breath and feeling the sun on his face. In that moment he was accepted into Heaven, and he was made whole. We know that Jesus gave him the biggest welcoming hug, and I know he told him all about us.”

Two community prayer vigils were held for Gary Barham and hundreds of well wishes and prayers flooded daily social media posts.

“Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers, and we appreciate and love you all,” Josh Barham said Tuesday.

Gary Barham was sworn in as BOC District 3 commissioner in January 2013. Before taking a seat on the board, Barham served the city of McDonough for 31 years, including as director of public health.

He also served as a volunteer McDonough firefighter and was on the committee for the Olympic Torch Relay and the Paralympics Torch Relay. He served as president of the Kiwanis Club and was a member of First Families of Henry County, the Henry County Moose Lodge and delivered for Meals-On-Wheels.

Barham was heavily involved in sports, playing baseball himself and coaching Little League, youth baseball, basketball and football. He umpired the first Roberto Clemente World Series held in McDonough and was later inducted into the Henry County Recreation Hall of Fame.

Barham and his wife, Becky, were married for more than 34 years. They have two sons and numerous grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

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