The community of Pittsburg is mourning the loss of a loved, longtime political figure who held the position of mayor for 5 decades! Former Pittsburg mayor Dave Abernathy died this morning at his home at the age of 96. KLTV 7's Bob Hallmark has more from the community of Pittsburg, and their memories of the man who lead the city for over half a century.
In 1954, 42 year old Dave Abernathy was elected mayor of Pittsburg, and he never looked back. He was elected 26 consecutive times, holding the office for 52 years.
"Everyone trusted him he was a good mayor, and I don't think he missed a meeting in the 52 years he was mayor," said Wyvonne Penn, a Pittsburg Business owner.
"I was in the second grade when he was elected mayor, and I was middle aged before I realized that cities changed mayors," said Frankie King.
"He always had time to visit with me and talk to me about different things," said Jim Blanchard, the Pittsburg city manager.
"You'd say, Mayor how are you today and his answer always was first class, that's how he answered everything was first class and that's pretty much how he did things was first class," said Richard Penn, the Pittsburg Police chief.
He had a secret to success with voters that he shared with us 3 years ago.
"Well, I've tried to not oppose any idea that they had I tried to agree with them on nearly everything they suggested," said Dave Abernathy in a 2005 interview.
He was a tireless worker, even into his 90s.
"I had a hard time keeping up with him because he was always on the go," said Shawn Kennington, the current mayor. "I definitely think everyone in Pittsburg will remember Mayor Abernathy for years to come."
Abernathy was a creature of habit, showing up like clockwork to his favorite lunch place.
"He came here every Tuesday to eat chicken spaghetti with us that was his favorite," said Wyvonne.
The man who led this town for more than 50 years definitely left his mark. Abernathy retired from public office in 2006. Funeral services are pending.