Longtime Monroe County School board chairman Dr. J. Ray Grant Jr. has died, according to Monroe County Schools.

In a press release, the school district said that Grant was very passionate for education and that was evident in his day-to-day activities.

"Words cannot express the sorrow felt throughout the school family, but also the gratitude felt for the leadership and vision he has given to the school system over the years," Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Operations Jackson Daniel said in the release.

Grant was first elected to the Monroe Co. Board of Education in Nov. 1993 and has served as a chairman since 2007, according to Daniel.

Monroe County Coroner Joey Proctor said that Grant died from a suicide around 10 a.m. Monday morning at a hay barn on Dumas Road, just down the street from his home.

Proctor also confirmed that Grant is survived by his wife, Leigh. A biography of Grant on the River Edge Behavioral Health Center, which he joined in 2015, website says that Grant also has five children, three daughters and a pair of twin boys.

According to Grant's biography on the Macon Occupational Health website, Grant is a native of Forsyth and a graduate of Mary Persons High School. He attended the University of Georgia and earned his medical degree from Emory University in 1977. The biography also states that Grant completed his residency in Roanoke, Virginia before coming back to Forsyth and working in private practice in 1980, along with serving as an associate professor at the Mercer University School of Medicine. He was also a member of the Monroe County Board of Health.

He was also a longstanding member of First Baptist Church in Forsyth and had served as a deacon.

Dr. Grant was 65.