CLANTON, Ala. (WBRC) - They city of Clanton is mourning the death of their mayor of over three decades.
Mayor Billy Joe Driver had been in the hospital for over a week, battling COVID-19.
We spoke with a Clanton city councilor who knew Mayor Driver her whole life, and she said the city won't be the same without him.
Councilwoman Mary Mell Smith said Mayor Driver loved the city of Clanton, and city loved him back.
It was his whole life, 24/7.
Smith said Mayor Driver was a volunteer firefighter, then worked for Chilton County's engineering department, then ran for city council, and ultimately ran for mayor where he served for 36 years.
She said he wasn’t a fan of computers, but he didn’t need technology because his mind was so sharp.
Smith called Driver's knowledge "limitless" and said he was always willing to do the job himself rather than asking someone else to.
And now, as the news of his passing sinks in, the loss of a leader during a pandemic is even more difficult.
"Until it hits home like that and it gets close to you, you don't really take it that serious," said Smith. "But now that somebody that you knew and that you loved, it's taken them away. It's really made a believer out of me. This is serious stuff."
Mayor Driver was 84 years old. A walk-through visitation will be held Monday, July 13 from 4-7 p.m. at Clanton City Hall. A graveside service will be the following day at 11 a.m. at Temple Assembly of God Cemetery.
Smith said Mayor Pro Tem Bobby Cook is taking on the role now, and trying to carry on the business of the city of Clanton, just like Driver would have done.