Former Cherokee County Commissioner J.J. Biello, who died July 28, will be remembered at a public memorial service in Canton at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

The memorial is at Rotary Park next to the historic courthouse in Canton, 100 North St.

Anyone who may have known Biello and wants to remember what he meant to them is invited to come out and share in the gathering, Cherokee County Commission Chairman Harry Johnston said.

“We have room for a good crowd,” Johnston said. “Whether it’s 10 people or 200, we mainly want people to come and gather.”

Johnston said one of the reasons he and others began planning the memorial was that Biello himself requested not to have a funeral, but that there are many in the community who wanted to gather and honor him and his service.

“People are interested,” Johnston said. “He evokes a lot of emotions. I know it’s been said a lot, but he seemed bigger than life.”

Biello served 14 years as a Cherokee County commissioner and was an advocate for expanding public recreational opportunities. One of the county's largest, most popular parks is named for him. Prior to his elected public service, he had been an Atlanta police detective and was shot by an armed robber in 1987, an injury that led to paralysis that required him to use a wheelchair the rest of his life.

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