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Robert Broady attends the 40th anniversary of the city of Dobbins Heights in May 2024. RO archive photo

DOBBINS HEIGHTS – The last living founder of Richmond County’s newest community has died.

Robert Broady died on Thursday, July 4, at the age of 82.

Broady, a Navy veteran, was elected to the first Dobbins Heights City Council after its formation in 1984. He served alongside Paul McLendon, BF Diggs and Channie McManus, with Halbert Jackson as the first mayor.

In 2015, Broady – along with McMannus and Gracie Jackson – was awarded the Order of the Longleaf Pine.

Broady was honored earlier this year at the city’s 40th anniversary celebration.

Click here to learn more about the anniversary.

“Broady, blessed with vision and patience, had dreams for Dobbins Heights decades ago,” said a memorial for the leader on the city’s Facebook page. “Some of those plans were realized early on. The most ambitious of those plans are now beginning to become a reality.”

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary, Mayor Antonio Blue recalled Broady’s goal of building housing in the city.

“Nobody could have imagined this vision,” Blue said, adding that the Rockingham Housing Authority was granted $2.6 million for such a project last year. “It’s taken 40 years, but they’re coming.”

“The full history of Richmond County cities will always include Robert Broady Jr.,” the city’s post concludes, “a remarkable man who believed in the power of citizens to work together and improve their own lives.”