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Gault's legacy lives
Interchange may be named for late judge
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If a resolution authored by District 23 state Rep. Mark Hamilton passes, four signs honoring the late Judge Richard Stan Gault at Hwy. 20 and Ga. 400 will be erected. Two would greet motorists traveling on Hwy. 20 east and west, above, and two under the crossing Ga. 400 north and south. - photo by Jennifer Sami

Not everyone traveling along Hwy. 20 may remember Judge Richard Stan Gault or his contributions to Forsyth County.

District 23 state Rep. Mark Hamilton is working to change that by dedicating an interchange on the corridor in Gault's memory.

Hamilton, a Cumming Republican, authored House Resolution 167, which honors the "highly respected jurist who will long be remembered as the patriarch of the courts of Forsyth County."

All five of Forsyth's delegates have co-sponsored the measure that will name the site as Judge Richard S. Gault Memorial Interchange.

If the resolution is approved, Hamilton said, "We'll have a ceremony inviting a number of the superior court judges, other judges that knew him and former friends of Judge Gault to be part of the ceremony."

First in line will be Paula Gault, former Forsyth County Schools Superintendent, who was married to the judge.

"It's just a nice remembrance for our family and for the people to see that and remember him," she said. "He was always looking to see what he could do to better serve the citizens of Forsyth County through the judicial system.

"He meant a lot to this community and he was really instrumental in many of the positive things that happened to the judicial system in Forsyth County. He was very dedicated to the community."

The resolution calls for putting up four signs, two as motorists approach the interchange on Hwy. 20 from the east and west, and two as motorists travel under the interchange on Ga. 400 north and south.

Hamilton said the signage would be simple and inexpensive, but serve as a long-term reminder of Gault.

"I've never heard anything but a lot of admiration and respect for him," he said. "The combination of both [Paula and Stan] and their family had a profound impact on Forsyth County, and I think it's wonderful that we're able to pay tribute like this."

Born in Pickins County, Stan Gault attended the U.S. Air Force Academy. After four years in the Air Force, Gault earned his law degree from Emory University.

He served six years under the state's attorney general, six years as a solicitor and four years as a judge of the State Court of Cherokee and Forsyth counties. He also served for 14 years as judge of the Superior Court of the Blue Ridge Circuit.

It was his work in forming the Bell-Forsyth Judicial Circuit in 1998 that Paula Gault said would be his legacy.

"He was really instrumental in Forsyth getting the Bell-Forsyth Circuit. He worked tirelessly for that," she said. "He was truly committed to the community."

Gault passed away in 2003, though stories of his accomplishments have been retold throughout the county by its leaders.

District 27 state Sen. Jack Murphy said Gault was a driving force and a "real pioneer for this area."

"I remember Stan as being a person who had a very dry sense of humor, and a lot of people didn't know how to take that," recalled Murphy. "He'd come up with things sometimes that would just make you laugh, but he was very serious about his work. He was very serious and loved Forsyth County and loved what he did.

"I think that he would be very humbled and very pleased that we are honoring him in this way."