HUNTSVILLE (WATE) – East Tennesseans and leaders across the country are remembering the life of former Senator Howard Baker, Jr.
The long-time senator, senate majority leader, Presidential Chief of Staff and Ambassador to Japan died today at the age of 88.
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All over Scott county there are stories and memories.
“I used to own the golf course. He would come out and play golf and hang with the guys so to speak and we had a lot of fun,” said Scott County Mayor Jeff Tibbals.
Senator Baker was born and raised in Huntsville where they describe him as a legend.
“He’s a very respectable man. He was a man that could mediate and bring two different sides together,” said friend Verhonda Hembree.
They say what made Baker truly special is that no matter what he did, how far he went, or how big his career got he never forgot about home, calling him instrumental in county development of infrastructure, utilities, even helping build the Scott county airport.
“Big South Fork was one of his big things for Scott County and that was back in the early 70s, and it’s definitely picking up where its a major attraction across America,” said Tibbals.
“When I think of a politician I think of Senator Baker and all he’s done not only for our county, but for the state of Tennessee and for the country as a whole,” said Hembree.
To them Senator Baker was a hometown guy whose dreams took him around the world but always brought him back.
“If you ever met him you’d never forget him. There would be something that he would say whether it would be something funny or some word of encouragement to you you would never forget him if you ever met him,” said Hembree.