Saying goodbye to former Mayor Floyd Adams, Jr. - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Saying goodbye to former Mayor Floyd Adams, Jr.

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

The people who grew up, served with and admired the beloved Floyd Adams, Jr. are telling their stories about the Savannah icon.

The former Savannah mayor was laid to rest Friday afternoon at Resurrection of Our Lord Catholic Church after funeral services at St. James Catholic Church.

Adams has his place in history, but he never stopped serving the community.

Right up to his death last Saturday, his friends said Adams was working on ideas about youth programs. John A. White, retired Savannah Police officer, one of the "Original Nine", said Adams told him a week ago about a program to gets kids to set goals instead of seek gold.

The celebration of life today, and the stories told about the man Adams was, illustrated the legacy he left behind will be hard to live up to.

As his children and wife Deborah closed the one chapter of his life, as they shut the casket door, Adams was celebrated by more than 800 people at St. James Catholic Church, at times standing and raising the roof of the church to the songs of the choir.

Among the 800 were childhood friends like Ronald Williams.

"He never changed. Never changed," Williams said of Adams. "I just want to point out Floyd was the first black mayor of the first city of Georgia and he died on Feb. 1, the first day of Black History Month."

Mary Osborne served on city council with Adams and attended the same high school.

"Floyd was my friend and was always there when I needed him. Any advice, any guidance, Floyd would be there for me. I love him dearly. I love his family," she said. "Very dry humor, with that smile, but he meant it when he said it."

"He's a beautiful person who would help anybody and everybody," Marion Dingle said. "I think he would ride around looking for somebody to help."

Dingle watched Adams grow up to become Mayor of Savannah and helped him get elected to become the first black mayor in Savannah history.

We caught up with two other friends who came up the ranks with Adams, who followed him as Mayor of Savannah.

"He was a good example of a public servant. Thirty-two years ago he started out on this journey with Robert Robinson, who is now passed, and myself came on the City Council, and he has been in the vineyard ever since," said Otis Johnson.

"He was a unifier in the city of Savannah and he always saw Savannahians as one people," Mayor Edna Jackson said. "That is what has been said here today. He was the mayor for all people."

Adams' friend and fellow servant Dana Braughn spoke at the funeral.

"People live on through the memories they have created. Floyd will live on a long, long time," he said.

For Savannah, the name Floyd Adams Jr. will be forever tied into the community, from the Savannah Herald, to his public work, to his political endeavors, to his good deeds, to just his smile,  in so many ways, forever.

Floyd Adams Jr. was 64 years old. He is survived by his wife, Deborah and two children, Kenny and Khristi.

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