Hamilton County commissioners honored retired Commissioner Todd Portune with a moment of silence before their weekly meeting Thursday. Portune, who was 61, died last weekend after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Commissioner Victoria Park was Portune's chief of staff before taking his seat on the commission.
"He was such a general - you know, people say soldier - but Todd was a general. He led the troops," Parks said. "And he showed us how to truly live life in spite of obstacles and struggles, and I will always be grateful."
Commissioner Stephanie Summerow Dumas said Portune made history even in leaving the commission by asking that Hamilton County Democrats select Parks for his replacement. That action makes it the first time the commission is all women, and the majority African American.
"He was a man of purpose," Dumas said. "And I hope that we all live long enough to be able to fulfill our purpose. I think it's the greatest thing that we can do."
Portune's visitation will be Monday from 10 a.m. until noon at the Duke Energy Convention Center. A memorial service will follow at noon.
Portune was first elected to the county commission in 2002, and was re-elected four times after that. Prior to being elected commissioner, he served on Cincinnati City Council.