“Mayor Pug Mabry devoted his life to Roswell and to bettering our city in extraordinary ways,” said current Roswell Mayor Kurt Wilson. “We will forever be grateful to him and his legacy of leadership and public service. I extend my deepest condolences to Pug’s wife, Sandra, to his family and friends, and to all those who loved and respected him.” William Lee “Pug” Mabry, the 34th Mayor of Roswell, served the community for 31 years, from 1966 until 1997 and passed away April 28, at the age of 95.
Born to William Lee Mabry and Edna Jenkins Mabry on September 3, 1927, Pug received his lifelong nickname from a childhood neighbor who always said he was “as sweet as her dog, Pug.” The family moved in 1956 from Sandy Springs to live in Roswell, where the Mabry family was one of the longest-established and most influential families in the community. Pug was the great-great grandson of Robert Watson Mabry, who moved his family to the area by covered wagon in 1841. Mabry Rock, a historic site near where the family settled, is located within Roswell’s Leita Thompson Memorial Park and was frequently visited by Pug and other descendants throughout the years.
When Pug took office in 1966, Roswell was a sleepy town of about 3,000 residents. During his tenure, he saw the city’s population grow to almost 60,000. Under Pug’s leadership, the city purchased the 63 acres that would become Roswell Area Park, as well as the purchase and construction of the Roswell Municipal Complex, which houses City Hall and the Cultural Arts Center. He was instrumental in buying the land that would become Roswell’s riverfront parks and expanding many of the city’s recreation facilities. In addition, Pug supported the preservation of the historic homes purchased by the City of Roswell and the designation of Roswell’s Historic District to include 656 acres.
In 1988, the Georgia General Assembly honored Pug for his accomplishments and designated a portion of State Highway 9 to be named the W.L. “Pug” Mabry Highway. In 1998, the City of Roswell granted him the honorary title of Mayor Emeritus in recognition of his accomplishments. He celebrated his 90th birthday in 2017 during a special recognition ceremony at Roswell City Hall, surrounded by his beloved wife Sandra, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In addition, he received honors from then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp and U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, as well as former president Jimmy Carter.
In addition to serving the City of Roswell as Mayor, he worked for more than 40 years for Flagler Construction Company, overseeing field operations.
A public celebration of life will be held on Sunday, May 7, at 2 p.m., at Roswell First Baptist Church, 710 Mimosa Boulevard, Roswell. A private, family, graveside service will follow the church service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honor of Pug Mabry to Roswell First Baptist Foundation at FBRoswell.org/give.