Paul Armstrong was Sid Putman's favorite Columbia County commissioner.
"He was one of the first guys that moved us forward," said Mr. Putnam, a former Columbia County Republican Party chairman.
"We'd still be a backwater place if it weren't for Paul Armstrong, in my opinion.''
Mr. Armstrong was among the first Republican majority elected to the Columbia County Board of Commissioners in 1988, serving two of his four years on the commission as its chairman, Mr. Putnam said.
On Friday, Mr. Armstrong, 61, died after surgery for complications related to esophagus cancer, his family said. Those who knew him said Monday that his legacy of accomplishment in Columbia County would not be forgotten.
"It was through Paul Armstrong's endeavors that John Deere came to town,'' Mr. Putnam said, referring to the tractor-manufacturing company in the Horizon South industrial park in Grovetown. "He was a guy who was a mover and shaker behind that.''
Mr. Armstrong's daughter, Jenny Armstrong, said her father also was involved in the development of the county's Savannah Rapids Pavilion, where she said family and friends will gather from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday for a memorial celebration to honor his life.
Ms. Armstrong said her father had moved in the past year to Florida and had been working as a manager for an assisted living home company.
On Monday, she remembered her father as someone who enjoyed traveling and spending time with family.
"He's my hero,'' she said.
Mr. Armstrong is survived by his wife, Sandra; his daughter and son; three grandchildren; and a stepson, his daughter Jenny said.
Reach Preston Sparks at 868-1222, ext. 115, or firstname.lastname@example.org.