He ended up meeting that man from the commercial. He learned how much that man liked sweet tea. He befriended that man. Now, he’ll miss him — the first man ever drafted by the Atlanta Falcons.
Nobis died Wednesday at age 74 in his Sandy Springs home after years with dementia.
“The sports world was one thing, but he had an impact on people with disabilities,” Simms said. “And when you’re disabled, it’s easy to give up, feel sorry or yourself and not even try. He was an inspiration and encouragement. Over the years, thousands of people benefited from his encouragement.”
The Nobis center has put more than 25,000 people with physical and developmental disabilities to work since opening 40 years ago, said CEO Dave Ward.
“Many times, people feel that you’re disabled and the quality of the work is going to be inferior, but that’s not true ... if you’re trained and have pride in what you do, you’ll put forward what’s best,” Simms said.
He said he and others work so hard because of the affection and attention Nobis gave them.
“Doors can be cracked, but it’s up to us to keep those doors open. And the only way those doors can stay open is with that encouragement. He instilled that in all of us,” Simms said.
“Those who knew him, we’re not going to give up. His past is going to intensify our willingness to carry on his legacy.”
Ben Brasch is the reporter tasked with keeping Fulton County government accountable. The Florida native moved to Atlanta for a job with The AJC. If there's something important to you going on in Fulton, he wants to know about it. Help him better metro Atlanta by dropping a line, anonymously or otherwise.