Obituary: James Pepper, 73

Obituary: James Pepper, 73

James Maurice Pepper, age 73, of Atlanta died Friday, Sept. 23, 2016.

Jimmy was born in Cincinnati but called Atlanta home for more than 70 years. He had what amounted to a front-row seat to the dynamic times and growth of the city, including as a driver for the governor, an early employee of the Atlanta Hawks and a game-day presence on the sidelines of the Atlanta Falcons from their debut in 1966 through last season. Jimmy seemingly knew everybody, from the star quarterbacks and sportswriters who wrote about them to the policemen who directed traffic on the streets of Atlanta, streets Jimmy knew better than anybody. He reveled in helping people get around town and knew the fastest routes at any time long before GPS navigation was a thing. For many years, he could be seen on the basketball courts of schools and rec leagues around town as a referee.

Survivors include his son, Keith Pepper; daughters Meredith (Craig) Bass and Hilary (Stuart) Nelson; five grandchildren; and a brother, Thomas Pepper. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Shelley Steinman Pepper, of blessed memory.

Sign the online guestbook at In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Shelley Steinman Pepper Fund at Kate’s Club ( A graveside service was held Sunday, Sept. 25, at Crest Lawn Memorial Park with Rabbi Peter Berg officiating. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

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