Former chief magistrate judge Jim Butterworth dies

Former Habersham County Magistrate Jim Butterworth speaks to the Cornelia Kiwanis in July 2014. (Facebook)

The legal community, family, and friends are mourning the loss of former Habersham County Chief Magistrate Judge Jim Butterworth. He passed away Saturday, March 28. His son, former 50th District Sen. Jimmy Butterworth, confirmed the news of his father’s death in an online post.

Judge Butterworth served 16 years as Habersham County’s Chief Magistrate. He retired from the bench in 2014.

Members of the local legal community expressed their sorrow at news of his passing on social media. Cornelia attorney Bo Hatchett called Butterworth “a great man with an unbelievable family.”

“I could talk for hours about how this man helped so many and influenced so many with his gentle positive advice and guidance,” wrote Demorest attorney Bruce Harkness.

Clarkesville attorney Tricia Hise called Butterworth’s death a “massive loss.” Referring to him as her judge, mentor, neighbor, and friend she wrote: “This loss is deep to our community, our district, to the attorneys and our Bar, and of course to his family.”

In paying tribute to his father, the junior Butterworth wrote, “I wasn’t ready for this, but my Dad was. As I told someone else- he didn’t want to go, but he was always ready, just in case.”

Judge Butterworth leaves behind his wife Rhonda, two children and grandchildren.

He was 77 years old.

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