Dwain Chambers, known to many Athenians as “Mr. Mayor,” met Jesus face to face on May 5, 2023. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend to many, his earthly body finally laid to rest at the age of 93.
He was born on December 14, 1929, in Homer, Georgia to the late Tyrus and Ruzelle Chambers. The youngest of three boys, the family moved to Athens when Dwain was eight years old. He graduated from Athens High School and then the University of Georgia with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. He married Betty Jean Weatherford of Oconee County, Ga and often referred to her as the “most beautiful woman he ever saw”. They were married for 64 years before the Lord called her home in 2019.
Dwain and Betty had three children: Susan (Ken) of Cartersville, GA, Paul (Suzanne) of Watkinsville, GA, and Bryan of Athens, Georgia. They also had 10 grandchildren: Kent (Ashley), Christopher (Morgan), Karen (Jeff), Chase, Katie (Jon), Mary (Andrew), Chip, Betsy, Patricia, Matthew, and 13 great grandchildren.
Mr. Chambers had a life full of family, friends, faith-based organizations, and civic involvement. A 16-year veteran of the Army Reserves, he was also a member of the Rotary Club of Athens for 62 years. Dwain was elected to the Athens City Council, where he served for 24 years. He was elected Mayor of Athens in 1987 and served in that position until 1991 when the city and county governments were consolidated. As such, many remembered him as the “last mayor of Athens”. Mr. Chambers once chaired the board of the Athens YMCA, was named Man of the Year by the Athens Human Relations Council and made friends in every corner of Athens.
Dwain’s work life is best remembered by his ownership of two local Athens businesses. He owned and operated Sunshine Dry Cleaners on Chase Street for 67 years. He also owned The Carpenter’s Shop Christian Bookstore next door for more than 30 years as well. Mr. Chambers often quipped that “cleanliness was next to godliness”. Dwain always wore a suit and tie to work, even when the temperatures exceeded 90 degrees. He was known by some as “Sunshine” which spoke to not only his business, but his sunny disposition.
Even beyond his family, friends and service, Dwain Chambers will be remembered as a man of great faith. He often testified to making the decision to follow Jesus at the age of nine. He was a member of Prince Avenue Baptist Church of Athens where he once served as Chairman of Deacons and taught Sunday school for more than forty years. Additionally, Dwain was a Gideon partnering with others to share free copies of God’s word worldwide. Mainly, he was known as a great encourager to those he encountered. Dwain was always invested in learning more about others and celebrating their successes.
Dwain Chambers, known simply as “Dad” by his children and “Grandaddy” to the rest, leaves behind a legacy of love, faithfulness, and service.
Following a private burial, a celebration of life will be held on Saturday, June 3, 2023 at 2:00 pm at Prince Avenue Baptist Church, 3691 Monroe Highway, Bogart, GA 30062. The family will receive friends and relatives in the atrium at Prince Avenue Baptist Church at 12:30 pm.
The family welcomes flowers or donations may be made to the Gideons International at www.gideons.org or to Prince Avenue Baptist Church at www.pabc.org/ways-to-give
Lord and Stephens, West is in charge of arrangements.
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