VIDALIA, Ga. (WSAV) – Mayor Ronnie Dixon, who served the City of Vidalia since 1978, died Wednesday morning. He was 77.
“He made a tremendous impact on Vidalia and our community as a servant of the citizens,” a statement from the city reads. “His decades of influence have been felt throughout the entire State of Georgia.”
Dixon became a member of the Vidalia City Council in 1978. Sixteen years later, in 1994, he was elected as mayor — a role he served until his passing.
According to Vidalia City Manager Nick Overstreet on Friday, Dixon tested positive for COVID-19.
Toombs County Coroner Ronald Hall told News 3 the mayor and his wife had been in self-quarantine prior to his death.
He said it’s been nearly two weeks since the couple took a coronavirus test.
It’s unclear at this time if Mrs. Dixon tested positive as well; neither Overstreet nor Hall had an update. The coroner said, however, she will continue to self-quarantine at home until the results return.
Mayor Dixon is remembered as a faithful leader who led his community “in a progressive manner that has always allowed it to become an economic hub for the area,” the city stated.
“Always reserved, Mayor Dixon’s love for our community was at the forefront of his mission as a public servant,” the statement continued. “We send our love to his family, friends, and our citizens during this time.”
Funeral arrangements have not been made at this time.
According to the City of Vidalia’s charter, the Mayor-Tem John Turner will fill in in the interim. The city council will vote to call for a special election and a new mayor will be elected at that time.