The funeral for Congressman Walter B. Jones might almost seem normal from the outside, with prayers and eulogies honoring his life.
The stories; however, were unmatched.
Connie Gruber was the first of six eulogists, and she first met the congressman in 2000.
Her husband, a Marine, had just been killed in an Osprey accident.
“How awesome it was that he would take the time to come and be there for us and to be there for the brave Marines he did not know,” Connie Gruber said.
Her husband’s funeral would start a 19-year friendship with Jones.
The military ruled her husband’s crash as pilot error, but it was faulty equipment that ended his life.
Jones would work alongside Connie and her daughter, Brooke, for 14 years to fix the case.
“I’ll also say goodbye to the great man who stood by me all those years and defended my father,” Brooke Gruber said.
Brooke Gruber last saw Jones at her ceremony, announcing her acceptance to the United States Military Academy at West Point.
“I was so happy and proud to have him there,” said Brooke Gruber. “And very happy when he commented ‘And good Lord willing I will be there for you at your graduation next May.’”
That moment will not come, but Jones leaves Brooke with a trail of memories on how a congressman helped a grieving mother and daughter.