Commissioner Gurley dies


Wayne County Commissioner A. Joe Gurley III died last week.

The former emergency services director and Fireman of the Year served the residents of Wayne County in District 4 as commissioner since July 2014. He was appointed to serve as the chairman of the board from December 2018 through December 2019.

Flags at all county facilities were flown at half-staff in honor of Gurley.

He served on the county’s awards recognition committee, Wayne County Solid Waste and Wayne County Board of Health. He also chaired the facilities committee and served on the Wayne Health Corporation’s Board of Trustees.

Gurley was a member of Rosewood First Baptist Church, Wayne Masonic Lodge No. 112 and the Travelers Protection Association. He was a past board member for the Wayne County American Red Cross, Wayne County Days of Caring and Rosewood Middle School Advisory Committee.

Gurley served on Oakland Fire Department for 25 years and was the past secretary/treasurer of the Wayne County Firemen’s Association. He received the G. Edgar Summerlin Award for Fireman of the Year and was a lifelong resident of the Oakland community.

He worked for Wayne County for 36 years in the following departments: Animal Control, Building and Grounds and Office of Emergency Services. During his time in Emergency Services, Gurley was the emergency services director and was a recipient for the Wayne County Department Manager of the Year award.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gurley family, and we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time,” county officials said in a release.

More information will be announced when funeral arrangements have been finalized.




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