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'Goodwill Ambassador' of landmark Atlanta restaurant dies

Jo Carter was a legend at Mary Mac's Tea Room for 25 years.

She was the face and the laugh that many customers of one of Atlanta's landmarks came to know well. 

Jo Carter was known for of care for guests at Mary Mac's Tea Room for 25 years. On Wednesday, the restaurant announced that Carter had died.

"It is indeed a sad day for the Mary Macs family and the many guests that experienced one of Ms. Jo's famous backrubs through the years," the restaurant shared on Facebook.

In their message they described Carter as "the quintessential hospitality specialist" due to her "warm smile and quick wit."

"It was easy to locate Jo in one of our 7 dinging rooms, all you needed to do was listen for the laughter," the message said.

Jo Carter, the Original Mary Macs Tea Room Goodwill Ambassador passed away Wednesday, November 14, 2018. It is indeed a sad day for the Mary Macs family and the many guests that experienced one of...

Carter retired from the restaurant, renowned for its southern cooking and famous visitors, at age 77.

But despite the big names that came in for a meal, the restaurant's own page said Carter didn't care who came in or what they did because "she simply wanted you to feel welcome."

"Jo Carter knew how to take care of our guests," Mary Macs owner John Ferrell said. "She was was the ultimate professional and worked through arthritic pain for the majority of her career, motivated by the desire to love our guests."

He described her as a close friend - like family - that he already misses.

"Jo Carter will always be an iconic legend at Mary Macs and her spirit will continue to motivate our team to provide outstanding customer service and always with a side of southern hospitality," the restaurant shared in closing.