For nearly 30 years, Forrest Puckett helped shape development in Buford. As a longtime member, and chairman, of the Planning and Zoning Board, his legacy is part of Buford’s residential, commercial and industrial landscape.
“Uncle Forrest helped guide the city through a major development transition in the history of the city,” said Bryan B. Kerlin, his nephew and Buford’s city manager. “He was always involved with his city and his community.”
Mr. Puckett, a native of Buford, died Saturday from complications of multiple illnesses. He was 82. A funeral has been planned for 1 p.m. Thursday at Flanigan Funeral Home, Buford, which is also in charge of arrangements. Burial will follow at Broadlawn Memorial Gardens in Buford.
Before Mr. Puckett got involved in the development of Buford, he worked in the financial sector. In the 1950s he worked at Buford Commercial Bank, where he served as president for a time. During his time at the bank, and after he left, he ran the Forrest Puckett Insurance Agency, said his daughter, Nena Bruffey.
“For about 40 years, his office was somewhere on Main Street in Buford,” said Mrs. Bruffey, who lives in Atlanta. “And people knew that was where to find him.”
While he sold insurance and served on the Buford Planning and Zoning Board, Mr. Puckett also was a member of the Gwinnett County Zoning Board of Appeals. He served on the county level in the ’80s and continued to serve in Buford until 2000, when he suffered a massive stroke.
Mr. Puckett’s community involvement also included volunteering for the city and county election boards, his daughter said.
“He participated in about everything that he could that was civic in nature,” said Joseph Cheeley, a family friend and a retired Gwinnett County judge. “But he was also a family man.”
In 1951, Mr. Puckett married the former Grace Dollar. The couple was married 42 years when Mrs. Puckett died in 1993.
Judge Cheely said his friend was attentive to the needs of all who lived in Buford, especially the youth. Mr. Puckett was part of a group in the mid-’60s that aided in the expansion of youth baseball and the establishment of girls softball in Buford.
“He wanted to make this better in Buford,” Judge Cheely said. “I think he really did enjoy all of the work he did, and it was good work.”
In addition to his daughter, Mr. Puckett is survived by his son, Greg Puckett of Buford; and two grandchildren.
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