James A.


Although he never pulled a weapon in the line of duty nor ever made an arrest, James A "Bud" Cody made a tremendous impact on law enforcement in the State of Georgia and nationwide. After a successful professional and personal life, "Bud" passed away peacefully with his daughter at his side on June 13, 2019 at the age of 80 years old in Ocean Springs, MS.
Born in Willacoohee, GA on November 27, 1938, Bud discovered early in life that one could serve the greater good by being part of something bigger. This began from his playing days for the famed Valdosta High School football program under his mentor, Coach Wright Bazemore and being part of the state winning 4x4 track relay team. He began his career at 18 working full-time at the Boys Club in Valdosta. Married with children, he went to college at night graduating in 1961 from Valdosta State College with a BS in Sociology and Social Work. Upon graduation, the Boys Club relocated him to Texas where he successfully established Boys Club facilities from Shreveport, LA across Texas to Las Cruces, NM.
In November 1966, the Georgia Sheriffs' Association hired him to serve as their first Executive Director, as well as, Director of the Georgia Sheriffs' Youth Homes located at the Boys Ranch in Hahira, Ga. Bud continued to serve in these roles, as well as, the Sheriffs' Retirement Fund of Georgia for the next 46 years until his retirement in September 2012.
His accomplishments are many, but highlights for the law enforcement community and Georgia Sheriffs' Association comprise of expanding the Youth Homes from the Boys Ranch to include Cherokee Estate, Pineland, Herrington Homestead and Mountain View. As a result of Bud's love for children, the Georgia Sheriffs' Youth Homes has provided a safe haven and education opportunities for thousands of Georgia's abused, abandoned and neglected children. He also set the tone for taking care of those who serve by helping establish retirement funds. Under his guidance, the Association assumed control of the Georgia Sheriffs' Retirement Fund in 1982 with only $9 million in assets at the time, but is now valued at over $97 million to take care of Georgia's retired sheriffs.
As a believer that every officer should receive the best training possible, Bud was a founding principle in 1990 to establish and build the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth, GA. He worked tirelessly with state leaders, criminal justice practitioners, and sheriffs to establish a world-class public safety training facility that trains in excess of 2,000 students daily. This is an example of why 9 governors from Governor Sanders to Perdue routinely sought his advice and counsel.
One of the accomplishments he was most proud of occurred in 1995 when he led the initiative with Sheriffs to create the Georgia Sheriffs' Youth Homes Foundation, which provides ongoing funds for its youth homes. The Foundation is blessed to presently hold over $15 million in assets due to his vision.
Needless to say, throughout Bud's career, he worked to protect and preserve the Office of Sheriff including his work with Bobby Timmons of Alabama to create the National Sheriff's Association Committee of Presidents and Executive Directors in 1980. This is an example of his continuous effort to professionalize the Office of Sheriff nationwide, as well as, those who did not honor the Office, by instituting removal procedures for sheriffs who violated the law or Oath of Office.
As illustrated, Bud's service to law enforcement was not limited to the State of Georgia. He joined his friend and business partner, Claude Grizzard to form the company, CFR. In all, they provided assistance to over 30 states from New York to Texas to California raising tens of millions of dollars for the purpose of helping officers and youth homes nationwide. If you ever see a car tag from a state sheriff's association, this is due to Bud and Claude.
In his personal life, Bud was a doting granddad and supportive father to all of his children to the very end. He is preceded in life by his father, Homer Cody, mother, Mellie Cody, and daughter, Celena Cody and survived by his children, James A. "Buddy" Cody, Jr., Derek Marchman, daughter-in-law Kel Marchman, Camille Hormell, son-in-law Rodger Hormell, and Amy Asbell. His grandchildren include Wesley Leverett, Sara Cody, Laura Cody, Bryan Cronan, Austin Hormell, Quaid Hormell, Cody Kitchens, Seth Kitchens, Sara Marchman, Jamie Cody, Maggie Cody, and Wyatt Asbell. Great grandchildren include Abigail Kitchens, Maddox Kitchens, Lucas Kitchens, and Grayson Kitchens.
The family will be conducting a private service to spread his ashes on his beloved St. Simons Island. A public memorial will be held in Forsyth, GA at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center on July 13, 2019 from 2 pm to 4 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Georgia Sheriffs' Youth Homes in care of James A. "Bud" Cody. Any requests for information can be sent to Derek Marchman at d.marchman@comcast.net.
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Published on June 24, 2019
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3 posts

Judy Cody
Jul 05, 2019
My Darling Bud, I will always love you and miss you !!! We shared many happy years together.. you will forever be in my heart and soul !!! I know the Lord greeted you with open arms just like you will greet me one day !!! You always told me that you would love me until you took your last breath and I will do the same for you !!! Till we meet again My Love..you will be in my thoughts, prayers and heart!!! Love always and forever, Judy‚̧
Jun 29, 2019
I am so sorry to hear this sad news. Revelation 21:3&4 provides is with hope for the future . Jehovah God, through His Son, Jesus Christ provides this trustworthy promise by Means of the Ransom.
Scott Cody
Jun 26, 2019
I hope you rest in peace uncle Bud.