Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- News 12 has learned former Richmond County Sheriff Charles Webster has passed away.
Webster died early Saturday morning after being diagnosed with liver cancer two weeks ago. We're told he was under hospice care days before his passing. Webster was 80 years old.
Former Georgia senator and commissioner J.B. Powell said, "He was kind and compassionate and he was a good fishing partner."
Powell said Webster was like his grandfather.
Powell recalled, "As I endeavored into politics, Sheriff Webster was there to help me and to guide me and always there to give me advice."
Webster began serving the people of Richmond County in 1984. He was considered a staple in south Augusta politics and a mentor to politicians like Powell.
"He told me, he said, 'Son, take your hand out of your pocket and shake those people's hands and hug the ladies and kiss the babies and don't get it confused,'" Powell said.
Webster would go on to serve four terms until retiring in 2000.
In an interview with Webster during his tenure, Webster told News 12, "Being able to serve Richmond County for better be 16 and a half years soon, it was time for the old man to go, but we've come along way and we've got a good department."
"Sheriff Webster never wanted to get credit for anything. He always wanted to give credit to other people," Powell said.
Credit is exactly what he got when the Phinizy Road jail was renamed in his honor back in 2004, so when it was expanded last year, he simply told News 12, "I'm proud of the people in this county, they've been good to me," Webster said.
Powell told News 12, "They just don't make them like Charlie Webster anymore."
Friends now recall memories and hope his legacy of being a public servant lives on.
"A kind and compassionate person and I think that would sum him up ... and a pretty good fisherman," Powell said.
News 12 spoke to Sheriff Ronnie Strength. Strength says he was a well-respected man and sheriff. He said Webster would often pay people's power bills and never wanted any recognition or anything in return.
Strength says Webster will be sorely missed.
Webster had no children and his wife, Frances, passed away last year from health complications.