Judge Pat Hardaway was posthumously honored Tuesday night with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce’s seventh annual awards banquet.
The award was given to the former Columbia County probate judge’s husband, Doug, and daughters Penny Saggus and Pam Postell.
Since being elected county probate judge in 1980, Hardaway held the position unopposed until she died in July at age 75.
“Although she was not a native Columbia Countian, she certainly loved the county, especially Appling,” said current county Probate Judge Alice Padgett, who presented the award to Hardaway’s family.
As president of the Columbia County Historical Society, Hardaway was devoted to restoring historical sites throughout the county, Padgett added.
Hardaway’s career with the county started 48 years ago. She served on the county’s first airport authority, development authority and board of elections, Padgett said. Hardaway also worked in the county clerk of superior court’s office and commissioners office, and sat on the planning board for the county’s courthouse in Evans.
“The role that she played in the development of this county will be felt long after all of us are gone,” Padgett said.
Saggus told the crowd of business people and professionals in attendance that her mother loved and was dedicated to the county.
“We know that Mom would be both honored and humbled by this recognition,” she said. “In all the things that Mom did and helped to do and tried to do for Columbia County, it was never self-serving, but just her wanting what was best for the county and the people in it.”
Also getting awards during the banquet were Georgia Bank & Trust, Business of the Year, and Steed’s Dairy Farm, Small Business of the Year. Others who were recognized include Julia Heyman, of Rescare Home Care, for Volunteer of the Year; Charles Bennett, of Queensborough National Bank and Trust Co., for Ambassador of the Year; and Hardy Meyer, of Office Max, for Diplomat of the Year.
Tiffany Forrister, of Best Western Hotel, won the James O. McCormick Hospitality Award.
In addition, Yvonne Meeks stepped down as the Chamber’s chairwoman. David Duncan, with Georgia Power Co., is the new chairman.