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Valdosta city leaders reflect on life of councilman Sonny Vickers

Vickers died Thursday
Posted at 10:20 PM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 22:20:17-04

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — Thursday, city of Valdosta councilman Joseph "Sonny" Vickers passed away leaving his colleagues, community, and family with immense gratitude and large shoes to fill.

"I'm going to miss him a lot," city of Valdosta District 5 councilman Tim Carroll said.

Born in 1942, Vickers, a Valdosta native, served as a councilman since 1985 and was even Azalea City's first black mayor. Having grown up in District 3.

He passionately led this area during his time as councilman.

"Well he's an icon. Some other councilmen refer to him as the godfather. Councilman Vickers is known citywide. His reputation for being and excellent servant to the people," Carroll said.

Vickers was passionate about his community and cared about making a difference.

"The Joseph Sonny Vickers Memorial Overpass and he was just so—had his hands in that since day one. Worked many years to get that done so the railroad didn't block that portion of the city. So that's one of his biggest accomplishments," Mark Barber, Valdosta City Manager said.

Though he was known to tell a joke or two, he often lent wise words and was highly respected amongst his peers.

"Not only was he a councilman but he was a mentor. I learned so much from Mr. Sonny and he was a special friend, and I was very lucky to have that friendship with him," Barber said.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced yet and no plans have been announced on if or when the city will fill the vacant seat.

According to the city of Valdosta bio page on Vickers, his current term is scheduled to expire Dec. 31, 2023.