Vincent Thomas died on November 7, 2015, he served as mayor from 1976 to 1984.
Vincent was heavily involved in the revitalization of the city’s downtown area and the development of Waterside, which is currently undergoing a large renovation.
“He was a terrific public servant all of his life,” said Joseph Leafe, who became mayor after Vincent decided not to run in 1984.
“Vincent was a mentor for me during my time on council. As mayor, he provided great leadership to the city.”
A lifelong resident of the city, Vincent graduated with honours from Virginia Military Institute in 1943 with a degree in electrical engineering.
Vincent was appointed by the City Council to the School Board in 1960 and served as chairman from 1962 to 1972, when he was appointed to the state Board of Education.
He served as chairman of the state board from 1975 to 1978.
Vincent ran for the council in 1976 as part of a ticket backed by the city’s business establishment.
At the time, the mayor was elected by the council.
Vincent won the job on the 27th ballot by a vote of 4-3.
He was unopposed in his other three runs for mayor.
Vincent passed away at age 93 in November 2015.