Lillian Webb: First Female Mayor Of Norcross — Dead At 87

According to AJC, officials have confirmed that Lillian Webb – the first female mayor of Norcross, Georgia, – passed away on Thursday morning following a brief illness. Lillian was 87 at the time of her death.

During her lifetime, Lillian Webb had accomplished a number of different things including:

  • Being a barrier-breaking Republican politician
  • Being the former Gwinnett County commission chairman
  • Being the longtime mayor of Norcross

More importantly, Webb – known as “Mrs. Lillian” — was the very first woman and first Republican to be elected to the Norcross city council back in 1969. Just five years after being on the city council, she was elected to be mayor of Norcross instead.

It certainly isn’t an understatement to say the hearts of residents in Norcross hang heavy after the passing of this brilliant and passionate woman.

WBTV reports that Lillian Webb helped get the ball rolling on the one cent sales tax that was able to fund the building that is the home of the Justice and Administration Center, Gwinnett County Detention Center, and the Civic Center. She also played a huge role in helping achieve the AAA bond rating that Gwinnett County has.

Webb made an effort to oversee the expansion of a number of parks and recreational facilities in Gwinnett County. She created the Recycling Bank of Gwinnett County, she had a hand in building eight new libraries, created the 911 emergency response system for the county, and helped preserve a number of historic sites in the area. She even had a hand in the $3 million renovation of the historic original county Courthouse in Lawrenceville.

Webb had lived her entire life in Norcross and came to know all of the residents there very well. She was also a proud member of the Norcross First United Methodist Church. She graduated from Norcross High School as Valedictorian back in 1945. She went on to attend Georgia State College for Women in Milledgeville. She is survived by the following family members:

  • David F. Webb (her son)
  • John T. Webb (her son)
  • Anne Webb Satterlee (her daughter)
  • Jennifer Webb Brooks, Travis Webb, Holly Stewart, and Jack Satterlee (her grandchildren)

On Thursday afternoon, the city released a statement regarding how “deeply saddening” the death of such a dedicated public servant was. It was no secret Webb had left an “indelible mark” on this city.

“During her years of service, Webb touched almost every road, in addition to every element of infrastructure, in both the city of Norcross and Gwinnett County. Her legacy will live on through these groundbreaking improvements. But more importantly, Mrs. Lillian will be remembered by the people she touched along the way and her deep love for her community.”

Lillian Webb is recognized for paving the way for revitalizing downtown Norcross. In 1974, Webb stopped demolition crews just before they were going to tear down the old train depot in the city. Today, this old train depot is home to a number of different popular shops and restaurants.

“I didn’t want to get out of my car because I was wearing my bathrobe,” Webb said when talking about the incident. “But I told them, ‘You men have to stop. You can’t tear down this depot.'”

In 2009, the city made the decision to name the new downtown park after Webb in her honor. Webb was also given the “citizen of the year” title in 2013.

Lillian Webb is a woman who spent every single moment of her life doing something great for the city of Norcross. The city and the residents of Norcross can only hope they find someone as passionate and committed to making the city as great as Webb did. Lillian Webb is a woman who fought for the city she called home with every breath she had. May she rest in peace because her city and family will never forget her.

Are you saddened by the thought of Lillian Webb? What is your favorite memory of her?

[Featured Image via kieferpix/ThinkStock]

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