Coronavirus claims beloved metro Santa on Christmas Eve

A metro Atlanta man who portrayed Santa Claus for more than three decades died on Christmas Eve from the coronavirus.

Larry Kenneth Jones, 76, of Dawsonville retired from Chevron Oil after 25 years. He then began working at the Forsyth County Board of Education and also served his community by being the local Santa for 33 years, according to his online obituary.

Larry, only known to us as Santa, brought Christmas joy and excitement to hundreds of special needs children at Cumming Civitan-sponsored parties for Forsyth County Elementary School special needs students.

- Online obituary

Jones was born in 1944 and was a member of Lebanon Baptist Church in Dawsonville.

Santa Larry was greatly loved and will be missed by everyone at AutomationDirect. He was our beloved Santa since the 1990′s and was just an incredible man.

- Online obituary

Jones is survived by his wife of 52 years, two children, five grandchildren and several brothers- and sisters-in-law, and nieces and nephews.