George Heery, Jr., a venerable Atlanta-area Realtor and founding partner of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International, was killed June 25 when he was struck by a falling tree in Garden Hills during severe afternoon thunderstorms. According to a report from WSB-TV, the 55-year-old was killed while walking his dogs near Delmont Drive NE when a large oak tree struck him. Heery died after being transported to the Grady Memorial Hospital, WSB-TV reports.

Heery and his brother, Neal, founded the Heery Brothers real estate firm in 2003. According to Heery’s LinkedIn page, the group was named the top team on the Atlanta Board of Realtors for 2008 in the small team category. In 2007, Heery became a founding partner for the Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, a leading firm for upscale homes in the Atlanta area.

“Aside from being an important figure in Atlanta Real Estate for over 20 years, his ultimate legacy is the kindness and genuine care he had for others,” a post from the Heery Brothers’ Facebook page said. “His goodhearted nature and generosity will be greatly missed.”

According to fellow Realtor, Ben Hirsh, Heery was a valuable member of the community.

“When my wife and I first moved to Buckhead, George and his brother Neal were the listing agents on the home we purchased,” Hirsh said. “That is when we first met. From that time forward, George was a friend. He was a true gentleman in the truest sense of the word. Thoughtful, kind, and genuine. He was asset to the Buckhead community and we will miss him.”

Underscoring his prominence in the community, the Atlanta City Council also shared a statement in response to Heery’s death.  

“We are deeply saddened to hear about the untimely and tragic loss of George Heery Jr.,” the statement said. “He made remarkable contributions to our community and left an indelible mark on the real estate industry through his unwavering dedication to his clients. Our thoughts are with his family as they navigate through this profound loss. We are hopeful they will find strength and solace in the cherished memories that they have of George. We send our heartfelt condolences to his beloved wife, Constance, his sons, and Neal, his brother and business partner.”

Atlanta Fine Homes announced Heery’s death on its Instagram page with over a dozen comments emphasizing Heery’s influence, calling him a “pillar of the community,” and a “special man” with many outlining his kindness.  

Heery’s rise to prominence in real estate is not only a family affair for his partnership with his brother. His father, George Heery, founded the architecture firm responsible for some of the most notable projects in Atlanta. Heery’s father helped to spearhead the design of the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, the Georgia Dome, the Coca-Cola Building and several prominent redesign projects around the city.

Heery is survived by his wife, Constance, and two sons, Liam and Aidan.

A service for Heery will be held at The Cathedral of Saint Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road NW, June 30 at 10 a.m. with a reception at Child Hall afterwards, a post from a Heery Brothers’ social media page said. The family is requesting donations to Atlanta Lab Rescue, “a cause that was very close to his heart,” in lieu of flowers.