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‘Mr. Mayor’ Dies At 95

Wyatt Washinton “Buddy” Spann, “Mr. Mayor,” died Sept. 14 at the age of 95.
Few people, if any, have had a greater influence on the growth and prosperity of Hazlehurst since its founding in the 18th century than did Buddy Spann.
A 1944 graduate of Hazlehurst High School and a veteran of the U.S. Army and Navy, Spann was a career businessman in Hazlehurst for decades but was perhaps better known for his contributions to the city and southeast Georgia during his many years of service with the Hazlehurst City Council, with which he served for more than 30 years.
He was first elected to the city council in 1961, taking office in 1962 and serving until 1973. He was then elected mayor, serving from 1974 to 1984, and from 1987 to 1999. He served once more on the City Council from 2008-09. Buddy was mayor for more years than anyone else in the history of the City, bringing grace, integrity and principle to the office.
The city park on Plum Street was named Buddy Spann Park in recognition of his decades long service to the city.
Born Feb. 8, 1927, in Jeff Davis County, Buddy married Mary Louise Dean Spann, the love of his life, in 1948. He began his business career with Farm Equipment Company, which later became C&S Buick-Pontiac-GMC, which Buddy owned until his retirement.
He was survived by his children, Wyatt W. Spann Jr. and wife Emily Irwin Spann, Jerry Spann and wife Becky Finley Spann, and Gail Spann Miller and husband Percy Miller; grandchildren Bryan Spann, Leigh Spann Hughes, Tracy Spann, Jerry Spann Jr., John Miller and Kelly Miller Story; great-grandchildren Delanie Story, J.P. Miller, Finley Spann, Wyatt Spann, Ivey Jane Story, Harrison Spann, Emmett Spann and Chase Poppell; and brother, Gene Spann and his wife, Grace.
Services were held Sept. 19 at Hazlehurst First United Methodist Church.
For more information, see the obituary page.

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