Remembering Charles DeVaney

By: Meredith Taylor Email
By: Meredith Taylor Email

January 29, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Charles DeVaney accomplished much during and after his term as mayor of Augusta.

The Riverwalk is the place he wanted to be his legacy, and it's the seed that really took growth while DeVaney was in office.

You can't put one man's name on the Riverwalk project. It took years to make it happen, starting with Ed McIntyre's time in office.

But Charles DeVaney was clearly proud of the riverside paths, gardens, park, and amphitheater that came to be built during his tenure as mayor.

After talking with the people close to DeVaney, we're learning the Riverwalk is only one of many accomplishments in his lifetime.

Former congressman Doug Barnard has lots to say about Charles DeVaney.

"He loved his neighborhood in Old Town and did all he could to rehabilitate it," Barnard told News 12.

As a congressman, Barnard took an active interest in DeVaney's moves as mayor.

"We got a federal grant of $7.5 million to start of the development of Riverwalk."

Barnard also remembers DeVaney's push to get federal grant money for Bush Field...and much more.

"He worked hard on all the historic things in Augusta, and then it was interesting that he wound up working for Dr. Still at Doctors Hospital, heading up the foundation there."

Years after leaving office, DeVaney took his seat as executive director at the Southeastern Firefighter's Burn Foundation in January 2000.

Tina Seeger came on board about a year ago.

"You know, I saw him every morning," she recalled. "We laughed and joked about our weekends over coffee on Monday mornings and then got down to business from there."

DeVaney's biggest issue lately was working on an expansion of the Jeff Chavis House for burn victims' families.

DeVaney helped raise about $10,000 for the foundation just before his death.

"It's going to be a severe loss for us, and if you look around Augusta, the things he did as mayor, I believe it will be a severe loss for a long time," said foundation president David Griffin.

People tend to forget how active Charles DeVaney was after leaving the mayor's office. There's still more even after what we just mentioned.

He taught at ASU, was the executive director of Augusta Tomorrow, and worked with the Augusta Neighborhood Improvement group.


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