Sunday, January 21, 2024

Monday Night City Council Meeting to be held at Dunwoody High School Auditorium, 6 p.m. - Agenda includes 5 year paving plan, sign code changes, budget modifications and plans for Mt. Vernon

Dunwoody City Council Meeting
Special Called Meeting
Monday January 22, 2024 - 6:00 PM
Dunwoody High School Auditorium
5035 Vermack Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338

 Agenda 6 pm  - City Site Agenda 

City Council meetings are live-streamed on the City of Dunwoody’s Facebook page

They are also available for viewing (no two way communication) on Zoom, or  phone +14703812552,,86390235645#

You can access the video after the meeting on the City of Dunwoody’s YouTube page.

Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance 

Public comments - in person 3 min each / 30 min max with additional at end of meeting if needed.

Capital Project Closeout and Reallocate Funding

Approval of Five-Year Contract for License Plate Readers with Flock Safety

Contract Award for Brook Run Skate Park Concessionaire

Approval of Contract for Shade Structures at Two Bridges Park

SECOND READ: Review and Consideration of a Text Amendment to Amend the Sign Code Regulations and Procedures for Animated Signs, Chapter 20

SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) Bond Results Declaration

On-Call Skilled Trade Vendors

Five Year Paving Plan Update 

The city has budgeted $2,750,000 of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds for 2023 repaving. The Georgia Department of Transportation will also provide $488,000 through the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG).

Paving Plan Map for 2024-2028 & listing streets to be paved each year.

The streets scheduled for resurfacing include the following: Adams Road, Adams Walk, Ashford Dunwoody Road, Ashwoody Parkway, Bridle Path, Buckline Circle, Buckline Court, Buckline Way, Buckline Crossing, Cambridge Trace, Chesnut Ridge Drive, Equestrian Court, Equestrian Way, Joberry Court, Northbrooke Circle, Northbrooke Lane, Perimeter Center West, Ridgeview Road (south end), Village North Court and Village North Road.

Recommendation from paving study
Increase annual pavement maintenance and rehabilitation funds
In the City of Dunwoody, approximately 14.9% of the pavement (53 lane miles) is classified in 2023 as being in 'poor,’ ‘very poor’, and ‘serious,’ conditions. Although the current annual fund ($3M/year) has been able to keep the overall condition above 70 and backlog at around 15%, it is recommended to increase the fund gradually to $4.0M/year to mitigate the challenges comes with increase materials and construction costs, inflation, and increased weight limit.

Design Contract Amendment with NV5 for Mount Vernon Road Improvements between Vermack Road and Mount Vernon Place

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Dunwoody City Council Meeting at DHS Auditorium - January 22

The Dunwoody City Council is taking a council meeting "on the road" in 2024, and Dunwoody High School has been chosen as the host. The meeting will take place on Monday, January 22 at 6:00 pm, and everyone, including all students (and parents!) are invited to attend. Our day-to-day lives are most impacted by our local government, so come find out what happens at a City Council meeting! Students can even speak for up to 3 minutes during the public comments portion about any issue or topic that matters to you. See Coach Berry or any member of Youth City Council if you have questions.

The formal agenda for this meeting is scheduled to be released around Friday January 19th.

Thank You to the many people who served on Dunwoody Task Forces to start the city, and Thank You to the people who volunteer today to make this community great.

The other day I posted a photo of some of the Citizens for Dunwoody leaders in front of the farmhouse and a friend of mine called me out stating they too were heavily involved in cityhood planing but missed that photo opportunity.  As it turns out, 100's of people attended meetings and added feedback on what they wanted from their new city and then a great many people volunteered to work on committees or task forces to assist the new government with action plans moving forward.  I didn't mean to leave anyone out of recognition or thank you's as a great many people were involved.  In order to thank the appropriate people, I need to tell a story, might as well provide a few documents and I am sure I will still forget to name someone.  Just to be safe, if you were involved in Cityhood in anyway, thank you. 

After the City of Sandy Springs was created but before there was a City of Dunwoody, there was a small handful of people working the political side of possible cityhood at the Capital, namely Senator Dan Weber, Representative Fran Millar, citizens, Brian Anderson, Ken Wright, Robert Wittenstein, Denny Shortal, Tom Taylor, Bev Wingate and a few others.

The main working feasibility document for Cityhood was an independent financial analysis from the Carl Vincent Institute of Government from the University of Georgia that explained expected revenues and expenses which told us in 2008 that the City could be viable.   The Georgia Legislature used this document as part of its decision to approve the formation of the city. (It would be an interesting study to show the city department expectations in 2008 vs the 2024 budget of today, but that is a project for another day and almost not relevant any longer as many if not most resident's arrived after the city was founded.)

With the Legislature getting close to passing the City Charter, citizen task forces were put together to assist the first council and city manager on operation expectations.   Each of the Task Forces collected documents needed to set policy and made formal final reports to assist the future City Manager and Police Chief if the citizen's ratified the City Charter.   There were lots of little sub-committee working towards hiring the first city manager, hiring the first police chief, there were real estate people looking for a city hall, ect, ect.  I am not going to guess at the numbers but a great many people donated lots of personal time to create a city from scratch.

To everyone listed in the Citizens for Dunwoody Task Force Roster below and to the many other people not listed, like those who served on Dunwoody Yes but also helped at the start of cityhood, we appreciate the work and dedication you all provided this city.    I also appreciate the many volunteers who currently serve on City Boards, Commissions, and Committees as well as the Volunteer Court Bailiffs, the Citizens on Patrol and the Dunwoody Ambassadors who volunteer their time back to the community.    Without dedicated volunteers, the City of Dunwoody would not have existed nor would we be able to have the quality community that we strive to improve everyday.    

Thank you to the many people in this community who volunteer with the City as well as the many non-profits; you are all deeply treasured!

Task Force Rosters


Bob Lundsten, Linda Ballow, Bill Phillips, Steve Spiegel, Michael Erfani, Joe Stich, Travis Reid, Jon Greiver, Chip Perry,  Bob Dallas, Ken Thelen, Joan Weiss, Stacy Abbate, Kevin Crow, Jeff Glick, Maurice Blumberg,  Jill Glascock, Bob Klingensmith


John Heneghan, Tom Montgomery, Keith Hodgson, George Vail, Dennis Crean,  Brett Hensley, Arnold Heller


Ryan Currie,  Charles Auslander,  Paul Baiser, Charlie Brown, Donna Ciclet, Karen Currie, Laura Horlock, Dave Levy, Richard McCully, Wade McGuffey, Louis R. Richey, Mike Weinstein, Rocio Woody


Villard Bastien, Anne Keegan, Worth Wells, Pater Cranston, Geri Penn, Denis Shortal

Parks & Rec       

Don Converse, Queenie Ross, Alan Mothner, Su Ellis, Richard Ellis, Eve Schneps, Bob Dial, Richard Drake, Marie Drake, Bill Mccahan, Bill Robinson, Tom Sims, Ken Brockschmitt, Rich Reynell,  Bob Meehan, Terry Strode, John Valentine,


Al Tiede, Bernie Wasserman, Bill Tobin, Bob Durkis, Carl L. Franklin, Cheryl Summers , David Brown, Donald B. Barden, Frank A. Figueroa, Graham Andoe, Jay Sampsel,  Jeff Coghill, Jim Gaddis , Jim Maroney, Jim Sturgis, John Coffey,  John Dickerson,  John Keegan,  Ken Curry,  Larry Echikson, Michael A. Caldwell, Mike Mcgannon,  R. Kyle Thompson, Ron Silvers,  Scott Bennett, Tom Taylor, Tracy S. Redding


Addie Alberghini, Debi Elkins, Terry Strode, Dwight Hawksworth, John Weiss, Charles Collins, Elizabeth Gill, Rick Otness, Fred Brandt, Suzi Stich


Bruce Duff, Ed Kountz, David Kupel, Martha Fallwell, James White, Bruce Northrop, Nick Lundhild, Buck Gilbert, Belinda Maaskant, David Spain, David Winters, David Clinch, Jan Maaskant, Daniel Kish, Dan Geist, Joe Devita, Mindi Crozier,


Bill Grossman, Charles A. Jury, Kyle Epstein, Geoffrey Gill, Jack Rau, Claude T. Murphy, Melissa A. Henderson, Tom Dwyer, Bob Klingensmith, Gerri Penn, Bill Grant, Kenneth J. Thelen


David  Konits, Jo Tate, DJ Gordineer, Tom  Gordineer, Bryan C.W. Tate, Joe  Stitch, Maurice  Blumberg, Lee Eastwood, David  Winters, Maria Richmond, Steve  Griffeth, Ian Ferdinands, Debra Jackson, Cindy  Andersen, Norton Schneps, Vickie Patton, Sue Hansen, Charles Collins, Steven Blaske, Danny Ross, Richard Boswinkle, Richard  Roth, DeAnn Hargis, Al Alberghini

Thursday, January 11, 2024

John Heneghan sworn in for fifth term, Rachel Waldron fills Park Director role, Chief Billy Grogan announces his retirement and the Dunwoody City Council to meet at the high School on the 22nd.

Look at the smile on that ladies face above, it brings me great joy whenever I see this photo.   Good thing too as I'm still very happily married to that young lady.

Monday I had the honor of being sworn in for my fifth term on the Dunwoody City Council, having served since original incorporation.  Looking back to 2008, I am very proud of all this city has accomplished, but as a newly sworn City Councilman I need to rededicate myself to continue looking forward, always trying to do the next right thing for my community.

That being said, there are new residents who are unaware of our history so here is a link from 2018 highlighting my Ten Year recap of cityhood where the post has links and stories going much further back in time.   Maybe I'll do another recap at my 19th year mark, at the conclusion of this term?   God willing.

Serving in this capacity is a responsibility I do not take lightly as the challenges the City is facing now, may be different than in our start up years but it is no less daunting.  I have full faith in the City Manager, Staff, the Mayor and the Council to continue moving this City forward by providing quality service to its citizens, pushing though capital projects that foster the greatest good while still encouraging the business community to keep investing into our community.

Changes are happening within City Hall as we recently lost our Parks Director Mr. Brent Walker to the City of Sandy Springs but after an extensive interview of possible outside candidates, our Deputy Parks Director Rachel Waldron has already been named as his permanent replacement.   Rachel has been with us for many years and will continue to do a great job for us.   

In other news, Chief Billy Grogan also announced his pending retirement on June 1st after 40 years of policing.  Kudos to Chief Grogan for all that he has done for our community and I wish him well in is pending retirement.  We have known this retirement announcement was coming as some point and City Council pushed for an external review of the police department to have an action plan that has already been started and I would expect the next chief, to quickly implement the many suggestions in the Berry Dunn report.  It is my intention for Council to hopefully find the funds to make the requested staffing improvements that we need to make as well.  As we now have a few months to start a search for replacement for Chief Grogan, I am unsure what our City Manager and Mayor will do as I also have great respect for Deputy Chief Mike Carlson and believe he is ready to step up into the main role.

Monday is the Martin Luther King Holiday and a day of service is planned within the community with tree planting, daffodill planting as well as general clean up of the Book Run Playground, details are here.   There is also a food collection happening and if you would like donate there are details in the link above - please do if your are able.

In a couple of weeks, it appears that the Dunwoody City Council meeting of January 22 will be taking place at Dunwoody High School at our usual 6 pm start time to join the Dunwoody Youth City Council to foster some interesting discussion and public comment.  The last time we did something similar at the high school, I gave out 100's of hugs.  I will probably do the same this year just not sure of the format as it is also a formal meeting?   Guessing more details will be coming soon.

Talking to your middle school son about suicide is not easy, explaining that everyone is special therefore deserving of respect and love was much easier. #hugs

As usual this time of year, I review and rededicate myself to the City of Dunwoody Mission, Vision and Values and usually publish them.  The Mission and Vision statements were updated a few years ago and as much as I respect the changes, the original statements still mean something to me too, so I published them both.

Finally, I came across this photo of the core group of the Citizens for Dunwoody who worked on incorporation planning for years before finally becoming a city.   Damn we all looked so good.

City of Dunwoody - Mission, Vision and Values

 Mission Statement

Updated - Dunwoody is the choice for residents, businesses and visitors seeking a connected community that is safe, friendly and engaged. Through excellent services and forward-thinking planning, Dunwoody continues to enhance the quality of life for those who live, work and visit here.

Original - The mission of the City of Dunwoody is to provide the highest quality of life for those who live, work or play in our community and to foster an environment where business can prosper. We will serve all stakeholders in a transparent manner with resourceful, efficient, progressive and professional leadership.


Updated - Dunwoody fosters a thriving, vibrant, and inclusive community with exceptional neighborhoods and an innovative, responsible business environment.

Original - Dunwoody is a city located in metro Atlanta, in northern DeKalb County, Georgia. Dunwoody officially incorporated as a city on December 1, 2008. The City of Dunwoody will provide quality service to its citizens and support the largest economic engine in the Southeast by planning in a careful and thoughtful manner. The City of Dunwoody will be inventive, transparent and embrace responsible progress, tempered by the city’s rich history and strong desire to maintain a close and vibrant community atmosphere that values family life and the entrepreneurial spirit. The City of Dunwoody will continue to support and nurture a community dedicated to the preservation of family, education, religious institutions, and the environment.


The goals of the City of Dunwoody and its governing body are to make Dunwoody a better community, built on mutual respect and trust, and to promote and maintain the highest standards of personal and professional conduct among all involved in City government – elected officials; City staff; volunteers; and members of the City’s boards, commissions and committees.

The proper operation of democratic government requires that decision-makers be independent, impartial, and accountable to the people they serve. The City of Dunwoody representatives intend to act pursuant to the ethics as delineated in the Charter in order to promote and maintain the highest standards of personal and professional conduct in the City's government. All elected and appointed officials, City employees, volunteers, and others who participate in the City's government will subscribe to those ethics, understand how it applies to their specific responsibilities, and practice its values in their work. Because we seek public confidence in the City's services and public trust of its decision-makers, our decisions and our work must meet the most demanding ethical standards and demonstrate the highest levels of achievement in following this code.

As the governing body of the City of Dunwoody, we represent as follows:

(1) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be ethical.
(a) We are trustworthy, acting with the utmost integrity and moral courage.
(b) We are truthful, do what we say we will do, and are dependable.
(c) We will make impartial decisions, free of bribes, unlawful gifts, narrow political interests, and financial and other personal interests that impair the independence of our judgment and actions.
(d) We will be fair, distributing benefits and burdens according to consistent and equitable criteria.
(e) We will extend equal opportunities and due process to all parties in matters under consideration. If we engage in unilateral meetings and discussions, we do so without making voting decisions.
(f ) We will show respect for persons, confidences, and information designated as "confidential."
(g) We will use our title(s) only when conducting official City business, for information purposes, or as an indication of background and expertise, carefully considering whether we are exceeding or appearing to exceed our authority.

(2) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be professional.
(a) We will apply our collective knowledge and expertise to our assigned activities and to the interpersonal relationships that are part of our job in a consistent, confident, competent, and productive manner.
(b) We will approach our job and work-related relationships with a positive attitude.
(c) We will keep our professional knowledge and skills current and growing.

(3) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be service-oriented.
(a) We will provide friendly, receptive, and courteous service to everyone.
(b) We will be attuned to, and care about, the needs and issues of citizens, public officials, and city workers.
(c) In our interactions with constituents, we will be interested, engaged, and responsive.

(4) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be fiscally responsible and transparent.
(a) We will make decisions a er prudent consideration of their financial impact, taking into account the long-term financial needs of the City, especially its financial stability which are transparent to the City residents and businesses.
(b) We will demonstrate concern for the proper use of City assets (e.g., personnel, time, property, equipment, funds) and follow established procedures.
(c) We will make good financial decisions that seek to preserve programs and services for City residents.

(5) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be organized.
(a) We will act in an efficient manner, making decisions and recommendations based upon research and facts, taking into consideration short and long term goals.
(b) We will follow through in a responsible way, keeping others informed, and responding in a timely fashion.
(c) We will be respectful of established City processes and guidelines.

(6) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be communicative.
(a) We will convey the City's care for and commitment to its citizens.
(b) We will communicate in various ways that we are approachable, open-minded and willing to participate in dialogue.
(c) We will engage in effective communication, by listening carefully, asking questions, and determining an appropriate response which adds value to conversations.

(7) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be collaborative.
(a) We will act in a cooperative manner with groups and other individuals, working together in a spirit of tolerance and understanding.
(b) We will work towards consensus building and gain value from diverse opinions.
(c) We will accomplish the goals and responsibilities of our individual positions, while respecting our roles as members of a team.
(d) We will consider the broader regional and Statewide implications of the City's decisions and issues.

(8) As representatives of the City of Dunwoody, we will be progressive.
(a) We will exhibit a proactive, innovative approach to setting goals and conducting the City's business.
(b) We will display a style that maintains consistent standards, but is also sensitive to the need for compromise, "thinking outside the box," and improving existing paradigms when necessary.
(c) We will promote intelligent and thoughtful innovation in order to forward the City's policy agenda and City services.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Dunwoody City Council Meeting of Monday January 8, 2024 - Swearing In of four members, new police officer and Flock contract.

New Council same as the Old Council

Monday January 8, 2024 - 6:00 PM


Agenda 6 pm  - City Site Agenda 

City Council meetings are live-streamed on the City of Dunwoody’s Facebook page

They are also available for viewing (no two way communication) on Zoom, or  phone +14702509358,,84919972403#

You can access the video after the meeting on the City of Dunwoody’s YouTube page.

Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance 

Administration of Oath of Office to Mayor-Elect Lynn Deutsch, Council Member-Elect Stacey Harris, Council Member-Elect Joe Seconder, and Council Member-Elect John Heneghan (The Honorable Judge Stacey K. Hydrick)

Administration of Oath of Office to Officer DeMario Tinsley

Public comments - in person 3 min each / 30 min max with additional at end of meeting if needed. 

City Manager's Monthly Report

Election of Mayor Pro-Tempore

Approval of Five-Year Contract for License Plate Readers with Flock Safety

>>>>>>>> Back on Tuesday Morning for Facilities Meeting <<<<<<<<<

Tuesday January 9, 2024 - 8:00 AM

Agenda 6 pm  - City Site Agenda 

City Council meetings are live-streamed on the City of Dunwoody’s Facebook page

They are also available for viewing (no two way communication) on Zoom, or  phone +14702509358,,87615678359#

You can access the video after the meeting on the City of Dunwoody’s YouTube page.

Public comments - in person 3 min each / 30 min max with additional at end of meeting if needed.

Administration of Oath of Office to Public Facilities Authority Members (Honorable Judge Stacey Hydrick)

Room Naming – Spruill Center for the Arts  - "Nancy W. Moschis Community Room"

Revision of Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild Contract

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Dunwoody Zoning Board of Appeals meets Thursday to discuss three new Tilly Mill Homes with a possible requirement for a 12 foot sidewalk on just one parcel.


Interesting case coming in front of the Zoning Board of Appeals on Thursday night.  There is a minor variance to place three homes on the corner of Tilly Mill & Renfroe Lake across the street from the JCC which should be approved with little fan fair, but there is a catch.  The City wants 12 feet of easement and a 12 foot wide concrete path constructed on that "donated" land.   There is already a five foot sidewalk constructed within the current right of way along Tilly Mill but because the city council approved a Trail Master Plan which includes a Tilly Mill Path, the builder might have to construct that path on just that one parcel. 

Here is the issue I see that isn't highlighted in any of the proposed documents, the Trail Master Plan states on pages 47 & 48 that the trail will be built in the current right of way with Tilly Mill Road being realigned "moved" to the West.  Since the city isn't going to realign the street anytime soon, the developer shouldn't be forced by the City to give right of way that isn't part of the plan, the Zoning Board of Appeals has many options.  They could rubber stamp the request of the staff and force a 12 foot sidewalk to be donated and built on that one parcel (which might look silly for a few years until the city to has the funds to complete it) or they could be creative.  The ZBA on Thursday could recommend that right of way is not required to be donated as the Master Plan doesn't call for it and then they could recommend in accordance with section 16-220 & 221 that a financial amount be held in escrow to pay for the path once the city decides to move the street.  Maybe to be real equitable, there could even be a stipulation in there that after a specific number of years, if the city doesn't construct the path on Tilly Mill and use the funds, the escrow would revert back to the subdivision or it might be forced to be used for additional tree cover or landscaping in that section of Tilly Mill.  

The City Council doesn't have a dog in this fight as the ZBA needs to make decisions on the specific request and then the City Community Development Director needs to use his discretion as to what is best for the future of the city.  Does the improvement require a 12 ft dedication to the City when not in a plan and is it best to construct those huge sidewalks in just one segment now when the recent bond referendum on trails failed?   Another question, if a trail segment is forced to be constructed, does the builder have to install the pedestrian lighting too?  It should be an interesting meeting and it will be live streamed at 6 pm.

ZBA 23-20: Michael Phelps, applicant for 5383 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody, GA, 30338, requests a special exception from Chapter 27, Section 147 (3) to allow relief from contextual lot characteristics standards and variance from Chapter 16, Section 241 (e) to allow relief from design standards for new lots for a four-lot subdivision.

ZBA 23-20 Application
Decision date: January 4, 2024 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting.

Southern heritage home builder is requesting a special exception to allow for 3 lots that meet r-100 requirements but due to neighbor 2 homes in Renfroe lakes subdivision. The new homes being built will be 4000 plus square ft with 3 car garages starting at 1.4 million dollars. The site plan currently meets all r-100 requirements and falls in line with Renfroe lakes subdivision lot size and home styles. We hope to start construction in the summer of 2024.

The image on page 47 illustrates a previously planned sidepath along Tilly Mill Road at the intersection with Holland Court. This segment of trail offers key connections through Central Dunwoody. The sidepath uses existing right of way and shifts the travel lanes to the west.

The image on page 48 illustrates a sidepath along Tilly Mill Road at the entrance to Stephens Walk, in
conjunction with a road realignment
that allows for a turning lane into the Marcus Jewish Community
Center. By repurposing an existing deceleration lane into a sidepath, this concept is minimally invasive to
existing landscape buffers and creates opportunity to plant more shade trees along Tilly Mill Road.

Alternative 2 places the 12-foot wide shared-use path with a 3 to 5-foot buffer on the east side of Tilly Mill road and adds sidewalk where there is currently a gap on the west side of the road. The path would cross fewer driveways in this alternative than the west side of the road, and more than half of the crossings would be low-to-moderate traffic side streets where the path could potentially meander to create a safer crossing.  Temporary easements and/or narrow strips of right-of-way would be required from up to 20 properties. Since the outfall of the existing drainage networks of Tilly Mill Road are along this eastern side, the drainage improvements would be simplified and there are fewer utility poles on this side. The estimated cost for Alternative 2 is $4.2 million including pedestrian lighting.

In 2022, city staff recommended Alternative 2 based on two considerations:

  1. There are more residences that could access the path on the east side of Tilly Mill Road without having to cross a major roadway.
  2. There is less traffic entering and exiting the driveways and side streets on the east side of Tilly Mill which reduces conflicts with trail users.

Don Converse, past President of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association, instrumental in City Founding has passed. Funeral is Friday at All Saints.

Don Converse was the kindest man and always had an encouraging word for me; therefore I like a great many people, will miss him very much.  Prior to Cityhood, Don & I worked closely as he was the Chairman of the Parks Committee for the Citizens of Dunwoody that formulated strategy for operating the parks in the new City of Dunwoody.  He was a past-President of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association, instrumental in the community garden at Brook Run and as fellow Catholic, he was a member of he Knights of Columbus where we worked the fish fry's together.  Don was a true renaissance man in so many ways, please take a moment to read his obituary; he was always moving and impacting the world around him.

Funeral is Friday at All Saints.

Donald R. Converse passed peacefully at home on December 13, 2023 after a short illness. He was 80 years old. Don was born in Springfield, MA, in April 1943. His twin brother Alan preceded him by a few minutes. The family had strong roots in New England since the time of Deacon Edward Convers’s arrival to the Massachusetts Colony in 1630. Great great grandfather Justin C. Converse of Bakersfield VT fought with the Vermont Thirteenth at Gettysburg.

Don’s father served in the Navy during WWII and went on to have a career in the Navy. The family was stationed in Yokohama, Japan during the Korean War 1951-1953. The boys attended school on the base, played in the Japanese ammo caves and roamed freely on the streets of Yokohama without fear. Upon return to the USA they spent the remaining elementary school years in Hamilton OH, followed by Junior High and High school in Coronado CA, where Don enjoyed an idyllic teenage existence while earning money with his paper route and lawn mowing jobs. The boys’ father was transferred to Fall River MA in their senior year, a culture shock to the boys. There they played football and graduated from B.M.C. Durfee High School in 1961.

Don attended Miami of Ohio University for two years and then transferred to Syracuse University, where he met his future wife, Karen Holmes. He graduated in 1967 with a B.A. in Political Science. He took a job as a Management Trainee with a major mail order house, soon learned their system of short order scheduling, and went on to a career as an industrial engineer consultant, working in a wide variety of industries across the U.S.A and Canada. Don and Karen had two daughters, Wendy and Jennifer. The family lived in the Syracuse area until 1978 when they moved to Dunwoody, GA.

In Dunwoody Don enjoyed activities in community affairs as President of the neighborhood homeowners’ association and then co-president of the Dunwoody Homeowners Association in 1987. He was a member of the citizen groups that did feasibility studies and planning which culminated in the formation of the new City of Dunwoody in 2009. He was also a founding member of the Community Garden at Brook Run Park in 2009 and Chair 2012-2013. During the Dunwoody years, the family were members of All Saints Catholic Church 1980 –2014. Don joined the All Saints Council of the Knights of Columbus and enjoyed working on the Lenten Fish Frys.

Don was an enthusiastic volunteer for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, working on the Opening and Closing Ceremonies team where he was in close proximity to many of the celebrities. He organized the Trailridge Olympics for many years of neighborhood fun during that time.

Don belonged to the Atlanta Track Club for 40 years and earned a t-shirt in each of 32 years running the July 4 Peachtree Road Race. He ran two Atlanta marathons 1979 and 1980, many 5K and 10 K races, and volunteered as a course monitor for several marathons. In 2001 after reading “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson, Don joined the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club. Hiking became his passion; his dream was to hike the entire 2000-mile trail, in sections, from Georgia to Maine. After retirement, he completed all the sections from Georgia to New Hampshire, lacking the White Mountains in NH and all of Maine. His last hike of the AT was in 2017.

Don and Karen moved to Canton GA in 2014 to be closer to his beloved mountains. Don had become a “trail maintainer” soon after joining the GATC and continued to maintain a one-mile section of the AT through September 2023 when his illness prevented him from continuing. He served as a District Manager and then “Trail Boss” of the entire Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail 2015-2017. He also acted as a Trail Ambassador, spending overnights on the AT in early spring to guide and advise new thru hikers who were just starting out. Don was President of the 750-member GATC in 2020- 2022.

Upon watching the 2010 movie “The Way”, Don learned about the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain. He decided to walk the 500-mile pilgrimage of the Camino Frances from St. Jean Pied de Port in the Pyrenees to the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela Sept – Oct 2018. This spiritual journey was very important to him and he recruited Karen and friends to walk parts of it with him. In 2022, he recruited a group again, including Karen, to walk 140 miles of the Portuguese Camino from Porto to Santiago de Compostela.

Don and Karen were fortunate to move into the wonderful community of Soleil Laurel Canyon in 2014. Don was well known and had many friends in Soleil. He was active in the Landscape Maintenance Committee, Book clubs, Writing Club, Hiking Club, Soleil Men’s Cooking Club, and
the informal Beer Tasting group. He wrote a number of short stories, did readings at Soleil Reader’s Theater and had stories and articles published in the Soleil Living magazine. He continued to help Our Lady of Lasalette Council of Knights of Columbus with various tasks, including the setting up and taking down of American flags at individual homes in the surrounding area on national holidays. He was a member of the “Dough Boys”, organized by his friend Fred Weems, distributing day old baked goods to local charities. Don and Karen spent many happy winter weeks with Fred and Judy Weems at their shared property in Mexico.

Don was known to all for his wry wit, fun loving nature, determination, intelligence, trivia knowledge, and kindness. He was a fan of Turner Classic Movies and dark beer. Many will remember his signature line on his emails: “The trail goes on forever and the adventure never
ends.” He borrowed this line from an outlaw country song and changed it to suit his style. One of his short stories was inspired by the same song.

His family loved him for his strong leadership, good advice, generosity, and the many adventures he took them on. He always encouraged the grandchildren to focus on their education and be the best that they could be.

Preceding him in death were his mother Hilda LaBelle Converse and his father Justin Childs Converse. He is survived by his wife of almost 58 years, Karen Holmes Converse, daughters Wendy Jones (Roger dec.) of Carrollton GA and Jennifer Hetherington (Donnie) of Murfreesboro TN; granddaughters Holly Sprayberry Polk (Teron) of Powder Springs GA and Amber K. Barnes (Jason) of Carrollton GA; grandsons John A. Campbell IV of Toledo OH and Alexander Hetherington; great grandchildren Isaiah Barnes, Martin Barnes, Abbie Barnes, and Willow Polk; brother Alan J. Converse (Melinda) of Colorado Springs CO. Extended family includes nephew Peter Holmes (Libbie) of Alameda CA; nieces Christina Converse VanCamp and Lisa Converse Sweet (Cody); great nieces and great nephews; and first cousin Frederick L. Converse (Chris) of Central Square, NY.

Don was thankful for his family and for his many friendships in Dunwoody, Soleil Laurel Canyon, GATC and beyond. He was especially grateful for the love, prayers and support that surrounded him and Karen in his last weeks, especially from his best friend Fred Weems who visited every day of his illness, his close friends and neighbors Gary Selden, Rob Kraus, and Bruce Digby who helped with numerous tasks, his many prayer angels, and Bruce Geibel who collected a wonderful array of pictures.

Special thanks to the Trinity Hospice nurses and chaplain as well as some very special caregivers who watched over Don in his last days.

The funeral mass will be at 2:00 p.m. on Friday January 5, 2024 at All Saints Catholic Church, 2443 Mt. Vernon Road, Dunwoody GA 30338. Interment in the All Saints Columbarium will immediately follow. Family and friends are invited to share remembrances at a reception in the
All Saints Social Hall following the interment.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research or Pancreatic Cancer Action Network  “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest or your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16