Clayton County Commissioner Sonna Singleton Gregory dies from cancer

Clayton County Commissioner Sonna Singleton Gregory died on Thursday after a long battle with ovarian cancer.

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Clayton County Commissioner Sonna Singleton Gregory died on Thursday after a long battle with ovarian cancer.

Clayton County Commissioner Sonna Singleton Gregory, who championed the involvement of youth in political discourse as well as more social and recreational opportunities for seniors, died Thursday morning after a long fight with ovarian cancer.

The District 1 leader, who was honored Monday by the Clayton County Public Schools district for her work in the community and last week attended the ribbon cutting of the south metro county’s new Northeast Senior Center, died at her Ellenwood home.

“She lost her battle and will be deeply missed,” Clayton Commission Chairman Jeff Turner said. “She was a champion for women to get checked for ovarian cancer.”

Condolences poured in from all over the metro area after the announcement of her passing and the Clayton County Fire Department quickly set its flags at half-staff in her honor.

“The Clayton County family is heartbroken over the passing of our dear Clayton County Board of Commissioners Vice Chairwoman and District 1 Commissioner Sonna Singleton Gregory, an outstanding leader, faithful servant, and citizen,” Franklin wrote in a Facebook post. “Commissioner Gregory fought the good fight giving her all to her family and constituents she wholeheartedly loved and served willingly and devotedly since 2007.”

U.S. Rep. David Scott, whose district includes Clayton County, agreed, saying on Twitter: “We mourn the loss of Clayton County Commissioner Sonna Singleton Gregory. Over more than a decade of public service, Commissioner Singleton dedicated her time and talent to uplifting our communities as a champion for women, the arts and working families.”

Gregory, whose husband Willie Gregory is a helicopter pilot for Clayton County, has been on the commission since 2007 and was named vice chairwoman in January.

She had a passion for youth and helped in the creation of the Clayton County Youth Commission, an organization that encourages young people to get involved in government policy, according to her commission bio.

“We don’t want to wait until people turn 30 to try to get them to understand why local government is important,” she said in the bio. “We need to teach our young people the importance of policy making and how it affects their everyday life.”

Among other priorities were improvements at Rex Park and the Rhodenizer Recreation Center, widening Anvil Block and Panola roads and the beautification of Panola Road project.

“Commissioner Gregory epitomized what being a true public servant represents,” Clayton County Chief Operations Officer Detrick Stanford said. “Her legacy will continue to live through us all and we express our sincere condolences to the Gregory family and all those who support and love her.”

A graduate of Tennessee State University, Gregory enjoyed flying in a single-engine airplane with her husband, an Army veteran.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by their daughter, Jordyn Speakman, a cellist who attended Howard and Clayton State universities. Funeral arrangements were not available.