Remembering Doug Bachtel

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Doug Bachtel head shot

I was deeply saddened last week when I learned that our good friend and partner, Doug Bachtel, died of complications from multiple sclerosis.

Doug was a professor and demographer in UGA’s Department of Housing and Consumer Economics, but was best known to the Georgia Family Connection network for participating and assisting in establishing Georgia KIDS COUNT (with Georgians for Children) and Family Connection’s databases, and as the editor of The Georgia County Guide.

Tim Johnson, director of the Clarke County Family Connection Collaborative, said people could go to Doug’s Georgia County Guide to find data about demographics, economics, education, health—literally anything collected by state or federal agencies.

Decision-makers in government, business, health, and education across Georgia turned to Doug and The County Guide to improve the quality of life in their communities. Over the years, as Doug gathered comprehensive data on all 159 of the state’s counties and its 534 cities that helped Georgians understand the strengths and weaknesses of their communities, he became one of UGA’s best-known and respected researchers.

“Right up until his passing, Doug continued to be the go-to source on data for Georgia,” said Johnson. “He was also a caring, good human being. He made a difference, and his pioneering work will provide a continuing legacy for Athens, other communities, and the state.”

A funeral has been scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 17 at Lord and Stephens Funeral Home in Bogart.

I took advantage of a rare opportunity last year to record Doug and longtime friend John Carter of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University chat about why decisionmakers are reluctant to use data and how to help them move past that. Listen in on their conversation.

Here are some nice tributes to Doug in:

The Telegraph


Athens Patch