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Longtime Decatur resident Eli Dodson passed away, leaving his legacy behind

Crime and public safety Decatur

Longtime Decatur resident Eli Dodson passed away, leaving his legacy behind

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Eli Dodson.


Longtime Oakhurst resident, Eli Dodson passed away last week.

Dodson moved to Decatur in 1987. Over the years, he’s been an active member in the community, participating in programs at Oakhurst Elementary School, and volunteering with the City of Decatur Visitors Center, City Welcome Desk at the police department, and Citizen’s Assisting Public Safety (C.A.P.S.).

In a Facebook post, early on Oct. 25, the City of Decatur Police Department said, “Eli was a bright light in our community. Simply being in his presence, seeing his smile and outlook on life was therapeutic.”

Dodson was in a wheelchair for the latter part of his life, due to a car accident. One of Mayor Patti Garrett’s fondest memories of Dodson was his work with Oakhurst Elementary School, showing first graders accessibility in different areas of Decatur through his experience in a wheelchair.

“They learned a lot from what it was like to just be in his presence, but they were also learning about differences and how to value those,” Garrett said. “I think that was an amazing lesson at a very young age.”

Back in 2015, the City of Decatur deemed Dodson a Hometown Hero, an award to acknowledge someone who has bettered the city.

“When I think about Eli Dodson, I think about his infectious smile. He always had a smile for people,” Garrett said. “He connected with adults and children alike, and his passing is a loss for our entire community. He will definitely be missed, and his influence will be missed.”

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