DAPHNE, Ala. (WPMI) The city and officials are mourning the loss of Daphne Mayor Bailey Yelding. He died early Tuesday morning after a battle with cancer.
Yelding told the City Council just last week he was taking a leave of absence.
Before the election, doctors gave Yelding a clean bill of health. The cancer he had been battling came back with a vengeance.
He is being remembered as a statesman and a good friend.
"It really came on very suddenly and its certainly a very sad day for all of us in Daphne," said City Council President Ron Scott, who will serve as the city's Acting Mayor.
Yelding was elected mayor in October 2012. The former teacher and coach, served on the City Council for 11 years before being appointed to take over the mayoral post after then Mayor Fred Small resigned.
"It wasn't until last Wednesday that we heard he was in the hospital and his family asked that we allow him to take an indefinite medical leave that it came to everybody's attention that it really was worse than we expected," said John Lake, who has been on the Council for 21 years.
Yelding's approach to city government was without personal agendas or holding grudges. Folks say with him they knew the city was in good hands.
"He worked with people and he tried to give people an opportunity to work together," said Lake.
"In his stint as mayor, he was successful in bringing all the department heads together and he talked about having a well oiled machine, which I think he was really proud of so I think the citizens of Daphne should be proud of the job he did," said Scott.
"He would listen to you. You could come in and see him and talk to him and if you had a problem he would look at it and try to help you out or whatever. He wanted to see this city move forward and that's why he stepped up and kept going you know its just a sad day for all of us," said Police Chief David Carpenter.
Daphne resident and former County Commissioner Sam Jenkins remembers the man, the friend, the coach, the educator and most of all Yelding as a mentor to so many youngsters throughout the years.
"He helped a lot of children youngsters to be real men really so he didn't waist time here on this earth he did a lot of things for people," said Jenkins.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been set.