Mary Lou Horner, longtime Knox commissioner, dies

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn.(WVLT)--Longtime Knox County Commissioner, Mary Lou Horner, passed away Tuesday morning.

She was one of the first women to serve on the Knox County Commission. She started as in 1976 when it was first called the Knox County court and served until 2006.

Knox County Commissioner Mike Hammond told Local 8 News he respected her right off the bat.
"My very first meeting was about the new Hardin Valley High School. I was very passionate for Hardin Valley High School and probably getting too passionate during the County Commission debate. So we had a recess and Mary Lou came to me in the hallway and said, now young man she said, you need to learn to calm down, she says you don't need to speak until you listen first and when you do have something to say then you can speak. She says otherwise just keep your mouth shut. I looked at her and said yes mam'am".

Horner was given the YMCA's lifetime achievement award in 2011 and was later diagnosed with dementia.

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett will never forget her.
"She really set the mark for representation. There wasn't a funeral or baby christening or picnic or anything that she wasn't there, she was at everything and that just wasn't for the Halls Community".

She is survived by her son Bobby, a daughter-in-law and three grandchildren.

Horner was 88 years old and leaves behind a legacy that will be long remembered.

Gentry's Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Central Baptist Church in Fountain City is arranging a celebration of life.