DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Longtime friends were saddened to hear the news Sunday morning that their dear friend John Glanton Jr. passed away after battling an illness.,

“I wish we had more conversations, I wish we had wrote so many things down, especially with a person like Mr. Glanton’s status who has experienced a lot of history.

A history maker he was — Glanton was elected as the first black Dothan commissioner in 1973 where he served for 30 years — also the longest-tenured city commissioner in the Dothan history books.

Garrett has known Glanton for over 50 years — teaching together at carver high school, growing up in the same church, and even spent time working on his campaign.

“Mr. Glanton established a citizens advisory committee from his district people he would bring together, talk about concerns and look at ways we can resolve some of those concerns,” Linda Garrett said.

Glanton was a part of various community organizations too – on the board of Hawk Houston Youth Boys Club, the men’s civic club, and the Dothan Housing Authority.

“Being a businessman he didn’t forget about the ability to be charitable so for those folks who couldn’t make their rent he made it happen for them,” Sam Crawford said.

Glanton appointed Crawford in 2000 where he was the first black fire chief in Dothan – they both broke racial barriers together.

He says most importantly, Glanton taught his generation how to be a true public servant.

“He’ll leave a legacy of service it will be one of those stories that have told with passion and worth telling over and over again,” Crawford said.

A celebration for life for Glanton will be held at the first missionary baptist church Saturday morning at 11.