Kennesaw City Council member William E. “Bill” Thrash died May 22 after a long battle with cancer. He was 58.
A Texas native, Thrash grew up in Oklahoma and served in the U.S. Army during Vietnam as well as the Colorado National Guard. In his early career, he was an EMT/paramedic and attended nursing school, but he transitioned into security management and spent most of his career in the corporate arena. He moved to Kennesaw in 1992 and served on the Development Authority, Downtown Development Authority, Recreation & Culture Commission and Historic Preservation Commission before his election to the City Council. He was elected to Council Post 4 in 2001 and was serving his third term of office after re-election in 2010. He was named Mayor Pro Tem in 2011.
“We are saddened by the loss of an outstanding public servant and valued friend,” said Mayor Mark Mathews. “In his valiant struggle with cancer, he showed incredible courage and fortitude that inspired everyone around him.”
Thrash was President of the 3rd District, West Region of the Georgia Municipal Association and a past president of the Cobb Municipal Association. He also served on the National League of Cities Council on Youth, Education, and Families and was named Kennesaw Citizen of the Year by the Northwest Cobb Area Council of the Chamber of Commerce and the Kennesaw Business Association. “He embraced public service,” said colleague and fellow Council member Bruce Jenkins. “His election to the Council was the perfect outlet for his enthusiasm and dedication to our city. He will be sorely missed.”
Thrash’s passion was creating programs for the development and advancement of young people in the community. “He actively sought out opportunities for teens to learn and grow,” said City Manager Steve Kennedy. “He initiated the idea of a Youth Council of teens interested in civic involvement and was the driving force behind the founding of an after-school educational and recreational program for at-risk teens in the community which led to the opening of the Teen Center which bears his name.” His other major pursuits were the development of Swift-Cantrell Park and involvement and support of the Police Department.
Mr. Thrash is survived by his wife Suzie, daughter Mandy and sons Robby and Billy Mealor. He requested that his remains will be donated to Emory University. Details about a memorial service will be shared as soon as they become final. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Loving Arms Cancer Outreach in Bill Thrash’s name.