Decatur’s PALS Supervisor Alma Fleetwood Passes

I’ve been informed of some very sad news this morning.  The City of Decatur’s well-loved PALS Supervisor Alma Fleetwood died last night due to a respiratory illness.

Back in 2005, Ms. Fleetwood received the City of Decatur’s Thomas O. Davis Public Servant award for her service to the community.  Though a few years old, the award write-up provides an excellent description of Ms. Fleetwood’s deep and continued involvement in the Decatur community.  She will be sorely missed by many, many people.

The Decatur Business Association presented the fifth annual Thomas O. Davis Public Servant award to Alma Fleetwood. Alma has been employed by the City of Decatur since April 1997 – first as a school crossing guard, later as a parking attendant and currently as the PALS supervisor.

Alma serves as a good role model to her staff. She is quick to identify problems and issues and offer suggestions and solutions. In a difficult job, she maintains her composure and uses her communication skills to positively resolve problems. She is eager to learn and is currently enrolled in the University of Georgia Management Development Program.

A resident of Decatur, Alma has volunteered at College Heights Elementary School, has served as a block captain and as president of the College Heights Neighborhood Association. She currently serves on the board of the South Decatur Community Development Corporation and she regularly assists with a number of community special events, including the Arts Festival, the Beach Party, the Oakhurst Arts and Music Festival and many others. She is enthusiastic in her support of the community and can be relied upon to take a leadership role.

Alma is a dedicated mother and grandmother. Her family is important to her and she can be counted on to be supportive – whether it’s attending a Decatur High football game or driving across the state for a cheerleading competition.

Photo: Alma Fleetwood (right), City Manager Peggy Merris (center), then-DBA President Frank Cavalii (left)

37 thoughts on “Decatur’s PALS Supervisor Alma Fleetwood Passes”


  1. My heart is broken. It’s hard to imagine Decatur without Alma Fleetwood. She is truly someone who made a big difference with everything she was a part of, whether for the city or as a community leader. I first knew her as a school crossing guard at College Heights years ago, and that 1,000 watt smile and friendly wave she generously offered every single day made you want to pay it forward. I admired her calm, kind and firm dealings with the public, and that she was such an enthusiastic ambassador for the city, and always with a sense of humor. I know she was an avid reader of DecaturMetro.

  2. Several years back I served on the South Decatur Community Development Board with Alma. She had an incredible spirit, an infectious smile and she really lit a light wherever she went! One of my fondest memories though, was the first year Decatur sponsored the Terriffic Thursdays during the holiday season and began running the shuttle bus between Oakhurst and downtown Decatur. I was with a few friends on the patio at the UJ and we very spontaneously decided to board the shuttle and take it downtown. Much to my surprise, Alma was driving the shuttle. Her sense of humor had us laughing all the way to downtown Decatur and back again. She was a great friend, a true community advocate and someone that I will miss very much. My sincerest condolences to Alma’s friends and family.

  3. I am very shocked and saddened this morning.

    Alma was a friend, neighbor, and the very definition of “public servant.”

    We will all miss her very much.

  4. I remember a few years back riding and walking around Decatur with Alma to drop off posters from the Decatur Arts Festival to local businesses in downtown and Oakhurst. It was the first time that she and I spent an extended time together. Literally, every shopkeeper, and an enormous number of pedestrians knew her and she knew them. All kinds of people, from our bank president to the teens hanging out on the square, were happy to see her. Drivers honked and waved as they passed by. I felt like I was traveling with a celebrity.
    She always had time to encourage me in my work when I needed it, she was always supportive. I can’t remember her saying an unkind word, but she had a sly sense of humor as well.
    This is a sad, sad loss for all of Decatur.

  5. Alma was an absolute beautiful person from the inside out. Her laughter, courage, and sense of justice will be missed. We will miss her, and my thoughts are with her beloved friends and family.

  6. I can’t imagine Decatur without Alma’s smile and “how are you?”. Thoughts are with her family.

  7. Alma had a great zest for life and was an awesome friend. She always had her bright smile ready for everyone and as Parker said, walking around Decatur with her was being with a celebrity- everyone knew her and she knew all their names. We will miss you Alma!

  8. I will definitely miss her. She was my co-worker and best-friend. My family and I considered her part of the family. Everyone knew and loved her.

    I miss her so much already because we talked everyday.

  9. Alma WAS Decatur. There was a reason she’d been hand-picked as the new face of Decatur Tourism: she was the perfect person to welcome everyone to the City, whether they lived a block away or thousands of miles. I loved her smiles and warm hugs and laugh. I will greatly miss seeing her downtown but feel like she’ll still be watching over us and with us, enjoying a Blue Sky Concert and simply being part of the beautiful landscape of Decatur. Thank you, Alma, for being an ever-present beacon of happiness in the City!

  10. She was without a doubt the best supervisor I have ever had. She was so loving and caring. She was always so thankful. I loved walking through Decatur with her. She had a story about everyone. She had the best sense of humor. During the summer PALS heard this joke weekly, “It’s so hot outside I saw a dog chasing a cat, and they both were walking.” She will be missed.

  11. Sorry to hear this news. She was a wonderful lady with a great attitude toward life and Decatur. She will be remembered and missed.

  12. Alma was a jewel, and every life she touched is fuller for having known her. Her smile was like the sunrise . . . bright, beautiful, full of promise, and infinitely dependable. I’m lucky to have known her.

  13. Alma and I got to be friends when I was riding my bike to work every day. She would holler at me every day to walk–not ride–my bike across the Square, and every day I would pretend not to hear her. I’ll miss her smile and her scold something awful.

  14. We love you Alma, and will miss you so very much. We are heartbroken at your passing. RIP sweet lady. XXOO Jeff, Greg, and Gerald

  15. Oh, I am so sad to hear the news about Alma. She was the face of Decatur and we will all miss her so much.

  16. I can’t bring myself to say what Alma meant to me and our program. We had the priveledge of working with her for over 12 years and I simply can’t imagine not having her here every day. If ever there was a poster for what we as city employees should be, Alma would have been the photograph — friendly, helpful and with the highest level of professionalism no matter what she was doing.

    1. And clearly I can’t spell . . . I actually know it is privilege and not priveledge. Geez, at least Alma would have thought that was funny!

  17. I will miss Alma. A wonderful, wonderful lady. Condolences to her family .

    Lyn , Cheryl and DM – let us know if there is anything the community can do for her family or if the City organizes some type of memorial event for her.

  18. I still can’t believe it. I have gotten so used to seeing Alma walking down McDonough Street with her big, beautiful smile, yelling “Hey Doc!” to me as I drove by. Decatur- and humanity- suffered a great loss today. She will never be forgotten, and all should toast her life in the near future and beyond. Love you, Miss Alma.

  19. Alma was a wife, mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, co-worker, but mostly a friend. We have a tough task ahead of us trying to find the perfect way to honor her. We’ll miss you Ms. Alma-what a lady!

  20. When I started working for City of Decatur as an intern, one of my first assignments was to write parking tickets once a week. Alma showed me the ropes and demonstrated clearly to me that City of Decatur employees have a special sense of dedication to their community. I’ll never forget walking around town during my first Atlanta summer, watching her wave to shop owners and shout hellos across the square. She was a beautiful person, and I will miss her deeply.

  21. I worked closely with Alma as a summer intern at city hall for a few years and then again at various festivals and events. She always radiated happiness and never had an unkind word for or about anyone. It was always a pleasure to see her smiling and waving while walking or driving around town. Decatur has lost a true friend today. Rest in peace.

  22. I have nothing to add that hasn’t already been eloquently stated. Such sad news, and a reminder to treasure our treasures while they are still with us. Miss Alma was a wonderful spirit who will be greatly missed.

  23. My heart is heavy. She was a joy to be around and a true gift to the City of Decatur and all those who knew her. My prayers are with Alma’s family, friends, co-workers and fellow community members as we grieve this terrible loss.

  24. Everyone has pretty much said it all above. She always had the warmest, most sincere hello to offer whenever I would run into her around the shop or on the square. I am saddened and shocked by this news. I am sorry for those in our community who never had the chance to know her. She epitomized all that makes Decatur great.

  25. “If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you’ve made me smile, the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand.” – Anonymous

    I am a better person for having known Ms. Alma and she will be greatly missed.

  26. I have never known a more positive person than Alma. I can still hear her response when I would ask how she’s doing – “I am blessed.” She was more than just a warm, caring person. She also had a tremendous sense of humor. Some of my happiest days at work would be gathering with her and anyone else who happened to be around and laughing and laughing. Alma brought joy to everyone she touched. She is irreplaceable but I feel that we will all carry a part of her in us forever.

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