This is reprinted from the Cherokee Tribune...
Prominent Clayton Realtor dies at 68
Barbara P. Jacoby
A Clayton community man who overcame severe arthritis to become one of Cherokee County's most prominent real estate industry leaders has died.
Services for Leonard A. Moody, 68, who died Monday, will be at 2 p.m. today at Hopewell Baptist Church in the Clayton community. Burial will be in the church cemetery.
A Cherokee County native, Moody graduated from Cherokee High School's first class, the Class of 1957, and had looked forward to attending its 50th reunion this weekend.
His son and business partner, David Moody of Canton, said while his father suffered for much of his life from arthritis pain, he never complained.
"His determination," David said of his father's best trait, noting one of his favorite phrases was "keep a goin'. He had to overcome so many obstacles, his health being one of the bigger ones. His whole life was trying to help people. He was a hard, stern man, but he'd give his shirt off his back to help someone."
Ball Ground Mayor Rick Roberts, whose own late father also was a real estate industry leader, said Moody will be remembered for his excellent salesmanship.
"He could sell you the shirt off your back," Roberts said.
Moody began working as a boy growing up on the family farm with four brothers - the Rev. Jerry Moody and Randall Moody, both of Canton, Charles Moody of Ellijay and John Moody of Jasper - and sister, Martha Ann Moody Smith of Canton. He cleaned chicken houses in his teens and went on to grading land.
After going to work for Lockheed in the early 1960s, Moody began his career as a negotiator, first as the local union's business representative and then, in the early 1970s, as the union's vice president. In that role, Moody traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby for the union and served on national legislative planning commissions.
"He helped a lot of people from the local area get jobs at Lockheed," David Moody said. "A lot of people got their start through dad."
Moody retired from Lockheed on disability in 1983 and, after improving his health, pursued a real estate career.
He had become a Realtor in 1972, and in 1988 jumped into the field by opening Georgia Real Estate Evaluation Services. With his son, David, Moody in 1994 opened ERA Sunrise Realty in Canton, which now is the No. 1 ERA franchise in the state and No. 29 in the country. Last year, it was a finalist for the company's top honor, the Gene Francis Memorial Award.
Through his real estate business, Moody had a hand in many significant projects including the RiverStone commercial corridor in Canton, the Herman Miller plant north of Canton now home to Bizchair.com and the Kroger shopping center in Jasper.
"He was a dreamer," David Moody said of his dad, who he also calls his best friend. "He loved to do big things. Nothing was too big."
Canton Mayor Cecil Pruett said he considered Moody a "dear friend."
"He had a tremendous impact in the community - especially in real estate," Pruett said.
Moody was known to many for his strong speeches at public meetings on behalf of projects he supported and willingness to lend his industry knowledge to help others.
"He helped a lot of people with tax re-evaluations on their property and with [Department of Transportation] right-of-way negotiations. He loved doing court testimony and should have been an attorney," David Moody said. "He was a fighter and loved a good fight. It's pretty natural when you overcome all the health problems: he had over 25 surgeries in his lifetime; his feet were fused; his hands had crippled up. But nothing was wrong with the man's mind."
Moody also served on planning panels in the 1980s to determine the county's future land use and was a Lion's Club member and a Mason.
An ordained minister, Moody led Waleska Road Baptist Church for several years in the early 1980s and was a member of Hopewell Baptist Church.
Other survivors include his wife, Estelle Cagle Moody; one daughter, Donna Fielding of McDonough and her husband, Kevin; daughter-in-law, Andrea Moody of Canton; and four grandchildren.
Donations may be made to Hopewell Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, c/o Darell Fendley, 345 Huey Barnes Lane, Canton, GA 30114.
Huey Funeral Home in Canton is in charge of arrangement.
Staff Writer Ashley Fuller contributed to this report
Note: ERA Sunrise Realty's website can be located at www.ERASunriseRealty.com . The company services Canton Georgia Real Estate, Waleska, Georgia Real Estate, Cherokee County Georgia Real Estate.
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