Mary Lou Horner, who represented District 7 on the Knox County Commission for 30 years, was recognized by Mayor Tim Burchett and others Thursday in an outdoor ceremony at Fair Havens Baptist Church.
A new bridge on Pedigo Road over Bull Run Creek was dedicated in her memory.
Her son, Bobby Horner, thanked those who gathered, calling them “a group of lifelong friends.”
Betty Lane, a co-worker with Horner at the Halls Shopper newspaper and her campaign treasurer, brought a never-worn T-shirt from Horner’s 2002 campaign. Commissioner Michele Carringer quickly draped it over the easel holding the sign – a move Mary Lou would have loved.
Horner’s friends from Keep Knoxville Beautiful supported the recognition. Board member Felicia Harris Hoehne presented a beautiful eulogy, recalling Horner as a woman with a generous spirit, humility and grace. “She was loved, talented and admired. She was a mentor, a role model and a friend.”
Hoehne said Horner had a delightful way of reaching out to others. “She demonstrated God’s goodness. … The Pedigo Bridge is a marvelous tribute to a life well-lived.”
Horner served on the commission and its predecessor, the quarterly court, from 1976 to 2006. Officeholders present Thursday included commissioners Charles Busler, Carringer, Bob Thomas, Brad Anders and Carson Dailey; state Rep. Roger Kane; Register of Deeds Sherry Witt and Trustee Ed Shouse.
Burchett said Horner was the type of community leader that makes Knoxville a great place to live. “We will not forget her efforts to make Knox County a better place.”
Mary Lou Horner passed away in January 2013 at age 88.