John P. Imlay Jr., 78, minority owner of the Falcons since 1991, died of a massive heart attack at home on Wednesday.
Imlay was chairman of Imlay Investments, Inc., a private investment firm and The Imlay Foundation. He was a member of the Atlanta Rotary.
Imlay, an avid golfer, is credited with creating Atlanta’s software and internet security industries.
In 1994, Imlay was inducted into the Technology Hall of Fame for Georgia and in 1997 received the Entrepreneur of the Year lifetime achievement award. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management from the Georgia Tech.
The Falcons issued a statement on the passing of Imlay.
“Everyone at the Falcons and across the Blank Family of Businesses is saddened by John Imlay’s passing,” according to the statement.
“We will remember John as a highly successful entrepreneur and pioneer in the technology industry; a loving husband, father and grandfather; a true friend; and someone who was sure to make you laugh no matter how bad his jokes were. His frequent presence in Flowery Branch brightened our days.
“John’s contributions to the Falcons date back to 1991 as a minority owner and board member of the club. We were proud that he continued his relationship with the Falcons as a limited partner when Arthur acquired the club in 2002. John was instrumental in that transaction and remained one of our most ardent supporters right up to his death.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to his wife Mary Ellen and all the other family members and friends who had the opportunity to share life with John.”
Back in 2009, Imlay hosted Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson and former Falcons coach Mike Smith on a golf outing.
“I went to Scotland with Coach [Mike] Smith from the Falcons,” Johnson said. “[Minority Falcons owner] John Imlay hosted us in Scotland for a few days, and we played golf and we had a great time. I had never played there before. We played St. Andrews. We played Muirfield, Troon, Prestwick, North Berwick. Mr. Imlay’s well-connected in Scotland.”