Former Congressman Howard Coble died late Tuesday night after an extended hospitalization. He was 84.
Coble's nephew, Ray Coble, released a statement saying:
"The family would like to thank Select Specialty Hospital of Greensboro and Dr. Ali Hajazi for his excellent care.The community will be notified of his funeral arrangements when complete."
Coble was admitted to the hospital on Sept. 8 for surgery to remove skin cancer lesions and a lymph node.
His nephew said that not long after the procedure, he developed complications with his breathing and was unable to swallow. He was put on a ventilator.
FOX8's Cindy Farmer sat down with Coble for a recent interview shortly before he was hospitalized.
Coble, of Greensboro, is a former U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 6th congressional district, serving from 1985 to 2015.
The 6th district includes portions of Guilford, Alamance, Durham, Granville and Orange counties and all of Caswell, Person, Rockingham, Surry and Stokes counties.
He was succeeded by Mark Walker.
Walker released the following statement on Coble's passing:
“We are deeply saddened to learn of Congressman Howard Coble’s passing today, but we are at peace knowing he is in a better place. Our community was blessed to have had his leadership in Washington for thirty years, but we were even more blessed to call him a friend and mentor.
During his time in Washington, Congressman Coble demonstrated that tone and approach still matter in politics. His statesmanship qualities allowed Howard to have friends on both sides of the aisle, which helped him advocate effectively for the needs and concerns of his constituents.
When I landed in Washington for the first time in January, there’s no doubt that I had huge shoes to fill. During times back in the Sixth District, I would occasionally meet with Howard to receive his feedback. He would share many great stories and some of his favorite jokes. He represented North Carolina with humility, honor, and always a little humor.
Howard was one of a kind. He was a gentleman and one of the most sincere and kindest people I’ve ever known. Our community not only lost ‘Our Congressman’ today, but one of our heroes.”
FOX8's Bob Buckley was there for his last day on Capitol Hill, where colleagues, both Democrat, and Republican had nothing but good things to say about him.
Retired Greensboro police officer and Air Force veteran, Mark Steed, wrote the following about Coble:
“N.C. Congressman Howard Coble died last night. He was our neighbor for 13+ years. I can tell you that he was truly a good man. He did the right thing when no one was looking. We had an elderly neighbor that had cancer and lived alone. When Howard would get in from a trip to D.C. he always stopped by her house and checked on her. He had this habit of leaving his briefcase in his car. Inevitably he would walk out to his car wearing dress shoes, black socks, sock garters, boxers, a wife beater and his fedora, smoking a cigar. He was such a nice man and a true public servant. I seriously doubt that North Carolina will ever have a politician as dedicated to service as Howard was. God Bless you Mr. Coble and rest in peace.”
Since his death, many have also taken to social media to express their condolences and their admiration for the long-time congressman.
We are saddened to learn of the passing of Congressman Howard Coble. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family & friends.
— City of Greensboro (@greensborocity) November 4, 2015
We will miss you Rep. Howard Coble pic.twitter.com/dgocddWlQu
— Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (@LtGovDanForest) November 4, 2015
Sad to hear Congressman #Howard Coble has died.
I loved his "Howardisms"
"That dog won't hunt."
"That makes my coffee taste bad."
— David Weatherly (@wxly) November 4, 2015
A sad day for North Carolina and this great nation. Howard Coble was an honest, humble public servant who put his constituents first.
— Judge Phil Berger (@philbergerjr) November 4, 2015
Rest in peace Brother Howard Coble. His passing was announced this morning.
— Stokesdale Lodge 428 (@stokesdale428) November 4, 2015
Just learned of the death of Howard Coble, former Congressman from #NorthCarolina. Worked with him. He was one of the nicest you will meet.
— Brian Pate (@djbrianpate) November 4, 2015
Heartbroken to learn of Congressman Howard Coble. I am a better person for having known you.. many of us are.
— When Children CRY (@whenchildrencry) November 4, 2015
RIP, Congressman #HowardCoble, and thanks for your years of service to our state and country.
— Benji Martin (@BenjiMartin) November 4, 2015