DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Family and friends are mourning the loss of a Dougherty County man who lost his life after he fell in a pond at his home.
Will Jenkins says he received the worst call this morning, that his closest friend, 82-year-old Ronald Beaty died.
"I just knew he was calling me to come stoke up some of this wood so he could burn it," said Will Jenkins, Beaty's Friend. "John had his phone, that's the only way he had my number. It's a big shock."
Friday night emergency responders pulled Beaty's body out of his pond at his home on Cordele Road.
Beaty's caretaker says earlier that afternoon he went out to take care of some yard work, and fell in the pond while setting up a turtle trap.
"He's like a grandfather to me," said Jenkins. "He said Will, you're one of the only people I can really depend on like a best friend."
Family members say Beaty was very patriotic, and served in U.S. Air Force. He worked at the Marine Base for 30 years, and enjoyed doing landscaping. In fact, Jenkins was helping him with a project before he died.
"That was everything to him, the flowers and all and his gardens," said Jenkins. "He was trying to get it all finished up. We just had a couple more months and we'd have everything perfect."
Jenkins hopes Beaty will be remembered as hard-working man, who created masterpieces in his yard.
"That's what he would want people to remember him by, is his beautiful place out here," said Jenkins.
The Dougherty County Coroner says it's possible Beaty died of natural causes.
Family members say Beaty's body will be cremated, and they will hold a private ceremony in Florida.