In eastern North Carolina and across the country, people are mourning the loss of Congressman Walter B. Jones.
He represented North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District for more than 20 years.
The congressman died Sunday on his 76th birthday.
In his hometown of Farmville, everyone who crossed paths with him, in one way or another, said he is someone the region will miss.
“It’s a void, a void in the whole community of Farmville,” said Farmville Mayor Robert Evans. “If he knew you, he knew you. If he didn’t know you, it didn’t take long for him to get to know you.”
Evans got to know Jones in the late 1950s at Farmville High School.
“I have known him all his life and when he ran in 1994 in the congressional seat, we have been close ever since, especially since I went on in 1997 as mayor of Farmville,” said Evans.
Evans said Jones always lent him an ear to learn about needs in the community.
“It is a big loss for us,” said Evans. “The fact that he lived in Farmville and continued to live here was a real proud moment for us.”
Evans said Jones would always go to the grocery store on Sundays before returning to Washington.
On Monday, 9 On Your Side went to the store to speak with those who remembered him.
“Walter’s mother and my mother were the best of friends,” said Joyce Albritton, a Farmville resident. ”I admire him so because he always voted his conscience. He was a democrat and then he was a Republican, but he was a patriot, first of all.”
“In the one time that I met him, he gave an impression that he was just a fine gentleman,” said Floyd Langley, another Farmville resident. “He loved people, and he was exactly who we needed in Washington for this community.”
Mayor Evans had planned on writing a card Monday for his friend to get well soon.
“I hate it, I hate it, because I would have liked for him to read what I was going to write,” said Evans.
Evans was going to write a message of appreciation.
“He was always a friend, and that will be the thing I remember the most,” said Evans. “I think his character and his dignity and his integrity and the way he performed his duty probably will be his greatest legacy.”