Moreland Councilman Hurst dies at his home

By JEFF BISHOP jbishop@newnan.com Moreland Councilman James Merrill "Jay" Hurst died Sunday at his home. Hurst was serving his first term as a councilman and had only been on the council for a little more than two months.
"Of course, this is bad news," said Moreland Mayor Josh Evans. "I know it's going to be hard on his family. It's a bad thing to happen. "All the town citizens should keep the Hurst family in their thoughts and prayers," said Evans. "It's a hard situation." He said the council will appoint a replacement to serve out the remainder of Hurst's two-year term. "We'll have to discuss it, but we went through this before, when someone resigned," said Evans. "We will fill the term until the next scheduled election." Hurst was born Jun. 21, 1964, at Cape Fear Valley Hospital in Fayetteville, N.C. Hurst lived in Coweta and Meriwether counties most of his life. He was a graduate of Newnan High School, where he was active in the honors program and was a member of the tennis team. He received a bachelor of business administration from West Georgia College and was a graduate of the Georgia Banking School at the University of Georgia. Hurst served as a banking officer and mortgage broker at area banks, including Wells Fargo. Hurst was a member of the Baptist church and Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He was an avid golfer and Georgia Bulldog fan. Survivors include his son, William Ronald Ballou; mother, Patricia Cato Hurst of Moreland; brother, John Wortham Hurst of Moreland; nephews, Jack Hurst and Whit Hurst; aunts and uncles, Brenda and David Templeton of Ellenwood, Karen and Russell Stitcher of Moreland, Rob and Susan Cato and James and Dot Cato, all of Greenville; and several cousins. The funeral will be 2 p.m., Wednesday in the chapel of Claude A. McKibben and Sons Funeral Home in Hogansville. The Rev. Jonathan Porter and the Rev. Tim Hosmer will officiate and burial will be in the Luthersville Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 5 until 8 p.m. Tuesday night. Condolences may be expressed at www.mckibbenfuneralhome.com . Hurst's father, Kendal Hurst, 66, died in September while serving as Moreland mayor. Mayor Hurst's body was found off Meadows Boone Road, just east of Luthersville, by a man on horseback. The elder Hurst grew up in Luthersville and had lived in Moreland for more than 40 years. He had worked as a building inspector, a town marshal and an animal control officer. He had been sworn in as the mayor of Moreland in January 2007 after serving on the town council for two years before that.

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