By Ariel Hart, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga
Mark Ivester, the president of North Georgia Technical College, died this weekend of COVID-19.
Gov. Brian Kemp said in a post on Twitter that he, first lady Marty Kemp and their daughters “are praying for the loved ones, colleagues, and community” of Ivester following his death.
The pandemic has spread less severely in North Georgia, except in the Habersham County area, where the college is located, according to state Department of Public Health data assembled by the AJC.
Habersham County has a higher death rate than any county in North Georgia. Cases detected so far number 1,444; 190 have been hospitalized; and 63 deaths have been confirmed from the disease.
According to the Acree-Davis Funeral Home, Ivester, 57, died Saturday at Northeast Georgia Health System’s hospital in Braselton. He became ill on Aug. 5, was hospitalized on Aug. 16, and spent a month in intensive care, according to the website Nowhabersham.com.
The college announced in June that it would allow students to return to in-person classes on Aug. 19 if they chose not to attend online classes. Prior to that, there was an advisement day for students July 9, but it was virtual.
One commenter on his funeral home’s tribute wall, Monique Teasley, said she knew Ivester through working at the college, “and he was always so sweet and had a vibrant smile upon his face. Prayers for the family, friends, and colleagues during this time.”
Earlier local media reports showed college workers and students, clad in masks, praying for Ivester after his admission to hospital.