AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Beloved local leader and Georgia State Representative Wayne Howard passed away last night. 

“A leader who inspired”. “A man for the people”. “A friend.” These are just a few of the many amazing ways that State Representative Wayne Howard will be remembered.

“One of the key things is that he cared about people so much,” said State Senator Harold Jones. “And the other thing is you could talk to him about anything. I could talk to him about personal stuff, I could talk to him about the professional. One of the major aspects about him- and, really, his whole family- is that they cared about people. His number one goal was to always serve people. It was in his heart.”

Howard represented the Georgia House District 124. Colleagues say he became a mentor to them and helped them understand the general assembly and how state legislation works.

Friends and colleagues say they have been saddened to hear the news of Wayne Howard’s passing. A loss, they say, that is deeply felt by the Augusta community.

“My family first met him when we moved here to Augusta. The Howards, they re-upholstered a sofa and a loveseat for my mom. And that’s how we met them years ago back in the mid-80s,” said Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis. “And, so, I’ve known them since that time. And, again, Augusta feels the weight and the pain of his loss. And we’ll continue not only to lift that family up but, more importantly, let his life be a reminder of what it is to be a public servant.”

Mayor Davis and Representative Howard were both part of the House of Representatives class of 2007.

At WJBF, Representative Howard’s family started the long-running Sunday tradition of the Parade of Quartets. 

Representative Brain Prince of House District 127 recalled a fond memory of Representative Howard returning back to the general assembly after an illness.

“To see him come back into the chambers of the general assembly in a wheelchair,” said Prince. “His voice, his attitude, his demeanor were just so full of life and energy. It made everyone in there say, ‘hey, why would I ever complain about anything?’ This man, a man of God, as strong as he is, can just come back and continue to represent his constituents as well as he did.”

Loved ones of Representative Howard say that, in his 67 years of life, he not only worked hard, but he loved the work he did.