The Savannah Community Mourns The Loss Of Dorothy Barnes-Pelote


Dorothy Barnes-Pelote entered into eternal rest this past Sunday, January 18th, 2015. A former Georgia General Assembly Representative, Pelote was a native of Lancaster, South Carolina where she attended the public school system and still has family ties. She was a graduate of Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina, and has completed further studies at Savannah State University. She was a resident of Savannah for over 50 years. She was a retired educator with the Chatham Savannah Schools for over 30 years, and has served Chatham County as a member of the County Commissioners. Former Representative Pelote was affiliated with the A.M.E. Church, however she is a member of Connor’s Temple Baptist Church, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Phi Delta Kappa, International Order of the Eastern Star, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Day Association, Inc.

While serving in the Georgia House of Representative, Former Representative Pelote worked tirelessly to pass many resolutions and bills that benefit not only citizens of Savannah, but the entire State of Georgia as well. A few of the most notable ones include: Substantial input in a price gauging bill which prohibits from raising prices during a catastrophe such as floods, hurricanes, etc., a juvenile bill which provides for parents to receive counseling, a carbon monoxide bill which alerts citizens to dangers or poisonous gases, and flood plain bill which requires landlords to notify potential renters and buyers that said property is located in a flood plain, to require the State Board of Education to develop a rape prevention and personal safety education program for grade 8th through 12th, and in 2000 got House Resolution 143 passed designating April as “Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month” in Georgia. Former Representative Pelote was most instructional in getting a bill passed which mandates that Assistant Magistrate Judges be elected, rather than appointed. Dorothy Pelote has been successful in repeatedly getting money from the Governor’s Discretionary Fund for a number of local initiatives, has secured millions of dollars for various entities within her district for community improvements. While in the General Assembly in Atlanta, Georgia Mrs. Pelote was instrumental in having a traffic light installed on Bay and Graham Streets. She was the first African American Woman from Chatham County to have served on two levels of government, (County Commissioner and State Representative).

Former Representative Pelote received numerous awards and commendations. She received the 1995 Legislative Service Award by the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia for being one of Georgia’s most effective legislators presented a “Certificate of Commendation for Dedicated and Professional Service from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA); and a recipient for the 1997 Martin Luther King Phenomenal Award, and Georgia Funeral Home Practitioners Community Award. In 1998 she received the Hudson Hill Community Award. In 1999 she received the ILA Local 1414 Humanitarian Award, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. “Mrs. Mozella Collier Volunteer Service Award”; The First Bryan Baptist Church Outstanding Political Religious Education, and Community Service Award as WTOC Hometown Hero. In 2000, Former Representative Pelote was selected as one of the 50 MOST INFLUENTIAL BLACK WOMEN IN GEORGIA. In 2012, Mrs. Pelote received The Arthur Gignilliat, Jr., Public Service Award from Chatham County Democratic Committee.

Mrs. Pelote’s committees were: Education, High Education, Intra-Governmental Coordination, Special Rules (Policy) promotion to a leadership position, and Transportation Committees.

Dorothy Mae Barnes-Pelote is the daughter of the late Ethel Coleman Green and Abraham Barnes, widow of the late Maceo Roosevelt Pelote, the mother of two daughters, Deborah P. Allen and Miriam P. Heyward. She has three grandchildren, NaSharra Nicole Allen, Lamar Maceo Heyward (Leticia) and Stanley Quinton Heyward (Araceli)

Dorothy Pelote’s Christian walk was, no doubt, enhanced by the motto by which she lived- It is Impossible To Serve God Without Service To Your Fellow Man.

Funeral services are being arranged by Sylvania Funeral Home of Savannah.

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