by: Tenikka Smith Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Hundreds of people came out Saturday to bid farewell to Mecklenburg County Commissioner Neil Cooksey.
Cooksey’s fight with cancer inspired many and his death hit close to home for one colleague and friend.
Cooksey died Wednesday after a long fight with pancreatic cancer.
“And I’m going to miss him dearly,” said Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Jones.
Jones said he will never forget the bond the two men shared; one that grew after Jones announced earlier this year that he was being treated for pancreatic cancer.
“He was the one I was able to talk to initially about coping and dealing with it,” Jones said. “The man meant so much to me. Taught me about fighting. How to fight, how to believe, how to love and how to care.”
Jones said he will always keep the lessons in his mind, while keeping his friend close to his heart.
“The voice will be there. I’m going to miss him, but I’m able to take with me from him the last words he said to me and that was, ‘Harry, I love you,’” Jones said.
Cooksey’s wife, Allyson, and children, Charlie, Anna and Abigail, remained by his side throughout his fight.
In a statement after his death, his family thanked everyone for their support and the outpouring of love.