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Wife of official remembered as ‘great mother’


Posted on Mar 22, 2012

CANTON — The wife of a local emergency management official died Tuesday night after a car accident last month left her seriously injured.

Donna Westbrook, wife of Robby Westbrook, Cherokee Sheriff’s Office’s Division of Emergency Management Director, died at Northside Hospital-Cherokee where she had been admitted to the emergency room Monday night, according to Renee Cornelison, deputy director of the Cherokee County Office of Emergency Management and also a family friend.

Cornelison said doctors discovered later that evening she had a blood clot.

“She was a great wife and mother,” Cornelison said. “She and her husband spent almost 30 years together.”

The 49-year-old homemaker suffered from about 12 leg and arm fractures after the head-on collision in Pickens County on Feb. 10 that killed one man and left Donna Westbrook and her daughter, Emily Westbrook, 15, with several injuries, Robby Westbrook told the Cherokee Tribune shortly after the crash.

Following the accident, Donna Westbrook was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center with injuries to her leg, Georgia State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright said in a press release.

Cornelison said after Donna Westbrook was discharged from Atlanta Medical Center, she was admitted to WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta for more surgeries on her elbow and foot. She recovered at home following those surgeries, Cornelison said.

Sharmon Whidby, a former public information officer who worked with Robby Westbrook, said she was shocked and saddened by the news.

“I was so glad she made it through the wreck and was hoping she could fight to keep going,” she said. “Unfortunately she didn’t make it, but she was given that extra time to spend with Robby and the kids and hopefully that made a difference for all of them.”

In an email to many county employees, Fire Chief Tim Prather applauded Donna Westbrook for her sacrifices as the wife of a man serving in a public safety role.

“She has given her own sacrifices knowing that her husband is taking care of Cherokee County and (she took) care of home when he was called away,” he said. “We honor the memory and sacrifices of Donna Westbrook, wife of Homeland Security/EMA Director Robby Westbrook. Please keep the family of Robby Westbrook in your prayers.”

In lieu of flowers, Robby Westbrook has requested donations be made to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Foundation at P.O. Box 122 Ball Ground, Georgia 30107.

Cornelison said Donna Westbrook was always a big supporter of the foundation.

“The Sheriff’s Foundation does a lot of good work helping children and helping people in need and she liked the idea of helping people,” Cornelison said.

Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, said visitation for Donna Westbrook will begin Thursday at 2 p.m. at the South Canton Funeral Home and last until the funeral held at 11 a.m. Friday in the chapel at the South Canton Funeral Home.

The Revs. Johnny Weaver and Dana McPherson will officiate. Both are chaplains with Cherokee County Fire Services.

The burial will take place at the Chalcedonia Baptist Church Cemetery on Highway 5 in Keithburg. Police escorts for the funeral procession are expected from many local fire and police departments, including the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and Cherokee Fire and Emergency Services.

Donna Westbrook is survived by her husband and daughter, son Daniel Westbrook, 25, brother John Henry Wheeler of Ball Ground, sister Virginia Davis of Buford and mother-in-law Brenda Westbrook of Canton.

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Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia