Deaths of Note

Published on April 20th, 2015 |

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Mother of Sandy Springs, Eva Galambos, dies at age 87

Eva Galambos may not have been known as well in households throughout Buckhead as she was in Sandy Springs, but those who follow strong, determined leadership and public stewardship knew well the “founding mother” of Sandy Springs.

Galambos, who for 30 years led the push that culminated in Sandy Springs cityhood in 2005 and served eight years as the city’s first mayor, died Sunday afternoon of cancer at age 87.

Eva Galambos, Sandy Springs mayor, 2005-2013.

Eva Galambos, Sandy Springs mayor, 2005-2013.

“Flags around the city of Sandy Springs will be lowered to half-staff, marking the passing of the city’s founding mother,” said Sharon Kraun, spokeswoman for the city.

“This is a great loss for the city and a great loss personally,” said current Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul. “Eva was truly our city mother. Her efforts led to the city’s creation. She cared and nurtured the city, and the strength of our community is due greatly to her unwavering love and devotion to creating something better for us all.”

“She led by example and infused an optimism and dedication that remains pervasive throughout the community today,” added Sandy Springs City Manager John McDonough.

Former State Rep. Edward Lindsey recalled Galambos’ struggle to create the city of Sandy Springs in an online posting Monday: “Many called it a foolish effort and powerful political opponents declared that “Pigs Would Fly!” before they allowed it to happen. Eva Galambos was undeterred and optimistically kept up the fight for 30 years as the leader of the Committee for Sandy Springs.”

As a freshman legislator in 2005 representing southeastern Sandy Springs, Lindsey was a co-sponsor of the legislation to create the new city. “Through the legislative process, Eva Galambos insured that every aspect of the bill met her detailed oriented mind’s high standards,” Lindsey wrote.

Eva Cohn Galambos

Eva Cohn Galambos

On Dec. 1, 2005, Sandy Springs became the first new city in the state in 50 years, and Galambos served two terms as mayor, stepping down in 2013.

“Mayor Galambos carried these high standards to the Sandy Springs mayor’s office for eight years. She was demanding in her call for excellence and optimistic that any challenge could be overcome,” Lindsey wrote.

“From personal experience, I can attest that ‘it cannot be done’ was not a phrase in her vocabulary. She was also not too keen on hearing the word ‘no’,” he added. “She was a life force like few others in politics.”

Under the leadership of Galambos, Sandy Springs became a model for how local governments should run in the 21st century, with public-private partnerships instead of departments bloated with city employees and limited long term debt. Through her leadership, public services and safety improved for the residents of the new city.

“In short, she left her community better than she found it and there can be no higher praise than that for a public servant,” Lindsey concluded.

For her work leading to the creation of the City of Sandy Springs, Galambos was honored by Georgia Municipal Association with the 2010 People, Place and Purpose Award. Mayor Galambos was also the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University.

Galambos is survived her husband, Dr. John Galambos, three children and six grandchildren.

The funeral for Eva Cohn Galambos will be held at Temple Kehillat Chaim at 1 p.m. Tuesday, according to Kraun.

She said that in lieu of flowers, the family requests consideration of a donation to the Anne Frank in the World Exhibit in Sandy Springs or to a charity of one’s choice.

Details were to be released Monday on a memorial in Galambos’s honor planned by the city of Sandy Springs, Kraun said.

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