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Aspiring politician says he was inspired by late Council member Tommy Hazouri

Winston Seabrooks was in 3rd grade when he first met Tommy Hazouri Sr. at a school board meeting, and the two built a relationship that impacted Seabrook's future.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Leaders from across Jacksonville are sharing their memories of Thomas Hazouri Sr. 

Hazouri died Saturday following complications from a lung transplant. He was one month shy of his 77th birthday.

Among the scores of people at Hazouri's visitation Wednesday was one young aspiring politician who was impacted by Hazouri as a young student. 

Winston Seabrooks was in 3rd grade when he first met Hazouri Sr. at a school board meeting.

“He was very full of life, very charismatic and was a down to earth person," said Seabrooks said.

By the time Seabrooks was in 8th grade, Hazouri was on the city council. He reached out to Hazouri for a conversation on local issues.

“He had a busy day full of all kind of committee meetings and out of that busy day he took the time to meet with a young, young up-and-coming 8th grade student to hear their concerns about their city," said Seabrooks. “That was important to me. That made me feel important.”

Seabrooks stayed in touch with Hazouri throughout the years, watching him take on controversial issues and make a difference.

The differences Hazouri made in people's lives will be a large part of his legacy for the future.

We’re all going to miss him, But he lives such a legacy in Jacksonville. He is Mr. Jacksonville," said city council member Joyce Morgan.

Seabrooks is attending college and plans go into politics. He believes the lessons learned from watching Hazouri will stay with him for a lifetime.

“A note that I will take form his life in watching councilman Hazouri is to always be a fighter and to always be someone who never gives up when pressure is put on you," said Seabrooks.

City Council members have proposed renaming south mandarin library and mandarin park after Hazouri. 

His funeral service will be Thursday at 10 a.m. at Mandarin Presbyterian Church on Loretto Road.

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