‘Happy’ Howard Williamson, former Cochran mayor, found dead

Staff reportMay 3, 2013 

Former Cochran Mayor “Happy” Howard Williamson was found dead in his Putnam County home Friday morning.

Sheriff Howard Sills said authorities found Williamson in his bed inside his home on Hidden Lake Drive, near Lake Oconee. There were no indications of foul play.

Williamson, 71, had been in poor health for a while, and neither his family nor his neighbors had seen him in more than a week.

Power to his home had been cut off April 24. Among the items that authorities found at the house were a sealed letter to Sills and several prescription medications.

Williamson, 71, a former University of Georgia sportscaster, moved to Cochran in 1979 after buying radio station WVMG, which he later lost in bankruptcy.

During his mayoral term in the late ’80s, Williamson was in the news regularly because of his rocky relationship with the council and clashes with other city officials. One of his battles was with City Clerk Jody Lucas, who filed a lawsuit at one point and eventually prevailed.

Sills said he did not know when Williamson moved back to Putnam County.

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