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Beloved Newton employee Jim Dial dies

Shown with retired mail clerk Jim Dial at the paver dedication at the Newton County Judicial Center are (l-r) Judge Samuel D. Ozburn, Chief Judge John M. Ott, Clerk of Superior Court Linda Hays, Judge Horace J. Johnson Jr., and Judge W. Ken Wynne Jr. (Special Photo)

Shown with retired mail clerk Jim Dial at the paver dedication at the Newton County Judicial Center are (l-r) Judge Samuel D. Ozburn, Chief Judge John M. Ott, Clerk of Superior Court Linda Hays, Judge Horace J. Johnson Jr., and Judge W. Ken Wynne Jr. (Special Photo)

COVINGTON — Jim Dial, a beloved former mail deliverer at Newton County Judicial Center, died Friday at age 50.

Dial, who had Down syndrome, was the first special education student to graduate from Newton County High School. He was said to spread cheer as he hand-delivered and picked up the mail to Judicial Center employees.

“It hurt my heart to hear about Jim. He brightened my day every day for many years,” Superior Court Judge Samuel Ozburn said. “He was a real blessing and an inspiration to me personally and I will miss him. I was glad that he could be honored with the placement of a paver at the Judicial Center while he could enjoy it. He loved the attention and hugs from the ladies especially. I will think of him often and smile.”

Dial was originally hired by Davis Morgan, then-chairman of the Newton County Board of Commissioners. Superior Court Clerk Linda D. Hays worked closely with him.

“Jim holds a special place in my heart and in the hearts of my staff,” she said. “Jim worked as mail clerk in the Judicial Center for 11 years. Jim had an office in the Clerk’s Office, and he was and will always be a part of the Clerk’s Office staff and family.

“Jim made our days brighter and better,” she continued. “He always had a smile, and the smallest things made him happy. Jim had such a big heart filled with love for everybody, especially the people he worked with. My life is richer and better because God allowed Jim Dial to spend 11 years with me in the Judicial Center. This is a sad day for us. Jim Dial was special and will be missed by everyone that had the good fortune to know him.”

In June, Dial was honored by Hays and the judges of Superior Court with the placement of a paver at the Judicial Center.

Dial was a member of First Baptist Church of Covington and enjoyed passing out bulletins.

He was preceded in death by his father, Cleon Dial. Survivors include his mother, Shirley Dial, of Covington; sister and brother-in-law, Iris and James Tyo of Monroe; brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Kelley Dial of Cartersville; and many extended family members.

A memorial service is scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday at First Baptist Church of Covington, located at 1139 Usher St.