JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — City of Jacksonville Mayor Sammy Phillips issued a statement on the passing of community leader and former Advisory Committee member, Col. Alfred Keyes.

“On behalf of the City of Jacksonville and the City Council, we mourn the passing of Col. Alfred Keyes and send our sincerest condolences to his family. His passing leaves a void for his friends, neighbors and the community,” Phillips said.

After retiring from the US Army, Keyes served the City of Jacksonville for more than 22 years. He was chairman of the Beautification & Appearance Advisory Committee and served on the Trails and Greenways committee and the Community Development Advisory committee for the city. He also served as a member of the Sturgeon City Park in downtown Jacksonville.

He was a founding member of the Crimestoppers in Jacksonville and played a lead role in significant city projects such as Arbor Day, the city’s Christmas tree ceremony and by implementing landscaping improvements such as City Gateways and public spaces.

The city honored Keyes with a proclamation in May listing his achievements and announcing May 3rd as Al Keyes Day in honor of his dedication to Jacksonville. City officials said it was “the outstanding accomplishments of Keyes to make Jacksonville a better, safer and more beautiful place will benefit our citizens for years to come.”