LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Members of Nevada's legislature wore silk corsage's and placed flowers on Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson's desk Monday after the respected lawmaker died suddenly over the weekend.
Several members of both legislative houses delivered speeches honoring the late assemblyman for his tireless work in protecting Nevada's children.
"I think he has left us in a good place and we will be able to stay committed to his path and his journey and see some of this legislation through in memory of him and in honor of him," Clark County Black Caucus Chair Yvette Williams said.
Much of that work was centered around areas where Thompson was a community leader for homeless youth, foster care, and at-risk children.
In his personal life, Thompson worked as an advocate through the CASA organization and mentored children through a variety of other youth organizations.
Many of those he mentored gave Thompson credit for helping turn their life around.
"He helped me; I was one of those kids who was slipping through the cracks that he invested in his time in," Legacy High School senior Christian Ward said. "I graduate this year, and once I do, I am going to keep Men of Promise going."
Thompson's presence and infectious smile will be missed by Ward and others involved with Men of Promise as the group is planning a fundraiser Saturday at Legacy High School.
They will not be the only ones.
"This was a man who crossed sectors. It wasn't just anyone community that lost a hero; it was many communities that lost a hero," Williams said.
Everyone seemed to agree Thompson was driven to be a voice and advocate for those who didn't start life behind others.
"I would say he has impacted the lives either indirectly or directly of thousands of children because whether it was trying to bring a spotlight to homeless youth or trying to make sure kids that were aging out of foster care had that safety net," Lisa Morris Hibbler, with My Brother's Keeper, said.
Morris Hibbler has been a friend and colleague of Thompson's for more than two decades and says he was looking out for his community long before he began his political career.
"I think for him the lawmaking was the vehicle for him to ensure we could make the differences we needed in the local community," Morris Hibbler said.
While Williams described Thompson's energy as something similar to the Energizer bunny, Morris Hibbler said Thompson wanted to drive others to action.
"You couldn't have any conversation with him where you didn't walk out assigned to some committee or doing some event," Morris Hibbler said. "Everything had to be taken to the next level."
While he asked a lot of other, his friends say when they were tackling the problem Thompson would always ask, "what do you need from me."
As they struggle with the loss, those who respect him most say it will be up to his colleagues in Carson City to carry out Thompson's legislative mission and the entire community to look out for children in need.
"I think he has left us in a good place and we will be able to stay committed to his path and his journey and see some of this legislation through in memory of him and in honor of him," Williams said.
"I think the greatest thing we can do is for every life that he has touched and for everybody that has loved him professionally and personally, is that we continue to carry on the work that he has done," Morris Hibbler said.
One of the area it may be hardest to replace Thompson's presence in the short-term may be the Assembly Education Committee where Thompson served as chair.