Clayton County Board of Commissioner’s Vice-Chairwoman Sonna Singleton Gregory passed away on Thursday, May 27, after losing her long-standing battle with Ovarian Cancer.
Gregory represented Clayton County’s District 1 for four terms, since January 2007 when she was sworn into office. And was the Board’s Vice-Chairwoman since January of this year.
“Commissioner Sonna Singleton Gregory was passionate about serving the citizens of Clayton County and dedicated herself to enriching the lives of our young people through education and community service. She will be missed” said Clayton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jefferey E. Turner.
As a commissioner in Clayton County, Gregory worked to lower the county’s unemployment rate and build strong relations among its businesses in the community. Through her efforts, she was able to help bring thousands to the county and its residents through QuikTrip Kitchens, Castellini Foods and the e-commerce center.
She also helped develop the Clayton County Public Schools Firefighter Academy, in another effort to create more local work opportunities.
In this program, a collaboration between the Board of Commissioners and the Clayton County Public Schools, students are able to complete training to be firefighters in high school.
Upon graduation and age 18, the students will be eligible for hire by the Clayton County Fire Department where current yearly salaries range from low to mid $40 a year.
“Commission Gregory epitomized what being a true civil servant represents,” said Chief Operations Office Detrick Stanford. “Her legacy will continue to live through us all and we express our sincere condolences to the Gregory family and all of those who support and love her.”
Gregory led the Board in the creation of the Clayton County Youth Commission, an effort to get young people involved in policy.
Additionally, she was extremely proud of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (S.P.L.O.S.T.) initiatives, which funded projects like the Northeast Senior Corridor, improvements at Rex Park and Rhodenizer Recreation Center, widening of Anvil Block and Panola Roads, the Panola Road beautification project and many more projects on behalf of Clayton County citizens.
Gregory, a graduate of Tennessee State University and a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., is originally from Snow Hill, North Carolina and has been a resident of Clayton County since 1992.
She is married to Officer Willie Davis Gregory Jr., Army veteran and 25-year Clayton County Police Department veteran. He’s also a pilot.
Gregory enjoyed spending time with her family at their Ellenwood, GA home and flying with her husband in their single engine airplane.
The couple have a daughter, Jordyn Speakman, is a graduate of Clayton County Schools, who attended Howard University and Clayton State University. An accomplished cellist, Speakman is now an orchestra teacher at Eagles Landing Middle School in Henry County.
Gregory was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in 2016. Afterwards she became an advocate for Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance and spoke with Emory University Medical students in an effort to help them understand the disease and its early symptoms as so many women are only diagnosed when treatment is too late.
“I have learned so much from Vice-Chairwoman Sonna Singleton Gregory over the years,” said District 1 Constituent Aid LaVona Cooper. “My trailblazer led by heart for her community and we will miss her dearly.”