Dwight Stone Legacy Bench

Dwight Stone was a resident of DeKalb County for over 40 years, 33 of those in the Chamblee area. If you live anywhere in the Chamblee/Doraville area at one point or another you likely encountered the handsome guy in the wheelchair.

Dwight had an infectious smile and  giving spirit. He was married to his high school sweetheart, Deborah,  for nearly 40 years. Deborah planted a memorial garden as a testament to the love they shared, after his passing in 2010.

Dwight Stone
Dwight with Ofc. K taylor at the 2006 fireworks at Chamblee’s Keswick Park.

Mr. Stone believed in working in the community you lived in and he was over the moon with pride when his youngest child, Gudrun, was hired by the Chamblee Police Department in 2006. Dwight would often grocery shop at the newly opened Walmart just to stop by and tease officers about working with his daughter.

When interviewed, Gudrun Stone, spoke lovingly about her father: “My father was a giving person and an advocate for Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (www.fodac.org). The wheelchair that was ever present did not limit him nor did it hinder him from enjoying life. He was a wonderful steward to his church family and a fixture in the Embry Hills neighborhood, always with a kind word and a warm smile for the people he met.”

Keep Chamblee Beautiful helped Gudrun and her family raise the money to honor her father with a legacy bench at the entrance to the Chamblee Police Station. The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held on Sunday, November 22nd at 2pm.

Kay Packard Legacy Bench

Kay and her husband Randy moved into Huntley Hills neighborhood in 1966.  Kay always enjoyed gardening and feeding the birds. Randy was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1984, and although he was bedridden most of the time, he could look out the windows and enjoy watching the birds! So Kay began researching and gathering all the information she could about attracting birds to her garden and when he was up for it, she also took Randy on “fieldtrips” to visit garden spots in the state. That was the starting point for Kay, and over the years, she became very involved with many gardening and wildlife organizations, including: the Georgia Wildlife Federation, the National Wildlife Federation, Georgia Division of Natural Resources, the Chattahoochee Nature Preserve – to name a few! Kay became well known in the gardening community as a gardening expert, teacher, speaker, and advisor.

Kay went thru the Georgia Master Gardener Program in DeKalb County in 1996, and as p
art of that program, Kay designed, planted and maintained the current butterfly garden in the Huntley Hills Park. It was during this time that she started a neighborhood garden club, and began doing classes or programs for garden clubs, schools, and church groups. Kay’s many jobs included tireless volunteering in Clairmont Park, in area stream cleanups and at Huntley Hills Elementary and Chamblee High School.

Kay started working with the neighborhood and community to become Certified Wildlife Habitats around 2000.   As part of that program, she started the annual habitatKayPackard garden tour – to show everyone they can have beautiful and wildlife friendly gardens. After much hard work, Chamblee (zip code 30341) became a Certified Wildlife Habitat Community in 2003.

The City of Chamblee designated Monday, September 22, 2008 as “Kay Packard Appreciation Day” in Chamblee, Georgia to recognize Kay’s contribution to the City’s Community Wildlife Habitat program.

Kay says she always felt like all her work over the years was her “gift” to the community.   And although she enjoys the beauty of the trees, shrubs and perennials, the gardening was/is all about “wildlife habitat” – providing shelter, food, water, and places to raise their young!!

Kay still gardens when she can, and says her inspiration for gardening came from Sara B. Stein’s book “Noah’s Garden”.

J.R. Gibson Legacy Bench

Everyone in Chamblee loved J.R. Gibson!

J.R. was Chamblee’s Animal Control Officer for more than 20 years and worked for the city for 38 years. He had a tremendous love of animals and took special care for them. J.R. had an infectious personality and never met a stranger. He was a brave man and would do anything for anybody. He will truly be missed and always carried in the heart of his loved ones.

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Photo courtesy of the Chamblee Signal.

J.R. was taken by Angels on Saturday, November 8, 2014 peacefully with the family by his side at the age of 58. J.R. is predeceased by his parents Julian and Inez Gibson. J.R. is survived and will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 28 years, JoAnn; his daughters and their husbands, Nicole & Michael Miller, Michelle Gibson & Michael Oliver; his grandchildren, Benjamin Oliver Gibson and Alisa Proser; his sisters and their husbands Diane & Randy Eley and Judy & Carlos Pelham; his brother and his wife Michael & Patricia Gibson and his Nieces and Nephews.

J.R. and his family spent lots of time in Keswick Park and his widow has asked Keep Chamblee Beautiful to help her raise money to install a Legacy Bench in his name, at one of his favorite places in the park.

A memory about JR from neighbor, Susan Eshback: “JR’s kindness and love for animals helped trap ‘what we all thought was a coyote’ last year to only to find out in JR’s words: “She ain’t a coyote, She’s just a scared , lost little dog”.  We named her Hildy of Hildon Circle – she checked out great, lived here for 7 months where JR checked in on her from time to time AND Hildy is now in a forever home having the time of her life!! JR could  have dumped the coyote dog to Dekalb County, but saw how great she was and knew we would take care of her!  He was ONE of a KIND!!”

Mary Goldenburg Legacy Bench

Mary Goldenburg is a legend in Chamblee! 


Mary Goldenburg will give you two reasons why she moved to Chamblee over 45 years ago; “It seemed like a good place to raise a family; and there are plenty of trees!” While house hunting with her (now late) husband, Adolph, back in 1970, she told him they found the right house when she looked out through the big picture window and saw only trees. It was the perfect place to begin her journey as a mother, a business owner, a public advocate, and a community leader.

With a background in law, Mary became active in local politics and had a desire to create a better community. Her first goal, around 1975, was to bring a public library to the City of Chamblee. This involved numerous meetings with the city council and eventually a proposal for the City to buy the land where the library now sits.   To this day, it’s considered one of the best libraries in DeKalb County.

Several years after the library was built, Mary decided to run for City Council. She served on the council for 8 years from 1990 – 1998. In this time, she worked on numerous initiatives, including the designation of a new property for City Hall and a new location for the city’s Public Works Department. She worked closely with Patti Lankford to begin a recycling program, and rolled up her jeans in the Parks to clean up trash. She also proposed the idea to bring the community together for their very own 4th of July Fireworks in Keswick Park, which has evolved over the years to be one of the most spectacular fireworks displays in metro Atlanta! (Some might say it’s even better than Lenox!)

In 1998 Mary Goldenburg was voted in as the new Mayor of Chamblee and continued her drive as an advocate for cooperation and change. This extended to all areas of the City, from Buford Highway to Keswick Road (and everything in between). She was the guiding force behind the creation of an apartment managers’ organization; new sidewalks & streetscape improvements on Peachtree Rd., and a sidewalk initiative for pedestrians to cross Buford highway. She also formed strong bonds with the foreign community and was motivated to create a new generation of Americans.

Following her years as Mayor, Mary was a member of Keep Chamblee Beautiful; She taught English as a second language; held the position of President with the N. Dekalb Lions Club, and continues to believe the world can be a better place. She still lives in the same house where she raised her three children. She enjoys being outdoors, gardening, bird-watching, books & music.