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Councilman Haywood remembered fondly

LAWTON, Okla._Many in Lawton Public Schools and the City Council spent the day remembering one of their own who died Tuesday night.

Stanley Haywood died at the age of 67, after months of deteriorating health. He had served as the councilman for Ward 7 since 1998, and he also worked with Lawton Public Schools since 1971. He left a legacy that will continue through those who knew him.

Those who worked alongside Haywood said he would be remembered for his friendship, generosity and infectious laugh among other qualities. Above all, he lived a life about putting others first.

Councilman Keith Jackson served on the City Council with Haywood for about 10 years. He says Haywood brought his own style and viewpoints to the Council, especially his passion for the city's children.

"That brought a different dimension to the City Council with him able to work with the youth programs and the youth of Lawton. Just a good man," Councilman Jackson said.

Not only that, but Haywood was also involved in his role at City Council meetings. Jackson says Haywood would usually be the calm voice when the debate became heated.

"Stanley always mediated between the two necessary parties that would argue with each other. You could always count on Stanley to be the mediator on the Council," Jackson said.

Jackson says Haywood will be missed by all of those who sit on the council. As of now, nothing has been planned for Tuesday's City Council meeting. And until then, they just want to give the family time to grieve.

Haywood's passing was also felt at Eisenhower Middle School, where he worked as a traveling counselor. Beverly Mattingly began working at the school in 2001, and says Haywood is already being missed by everyone.

"Just a tremendous loss. We've had kids that have heard that he had taken them home or given them rides, just tears already. We already feel the loss," Mattingly said.

As a traveling counselor, Haywood would be at the bus stop to greet students when they arrived and was there when it was time to leave. He would also drive kids home if they missed the bus. If homework was needed, he would bring it to them. Mattingly began tearing up remembering all that Haywood did for the students.

"Mr. Haywood had a servant's heart, he was a true servant. He never turned down a task if it would help somebody," Mattingly said.

No matter what he did, Haywood made sure he gave everything his all.

"He had dedicated his life to Lawton-Fort Sill and did all he could to make it a better place," Jackson said.

"Stanley was always there, his presence will be greatly missed," Mattingly said.

In a statement released by the City of Lawton, they said Haywood was always quick to recognize citizens in attendance at Council meetings and was always proud of the younger generation attempting to make a difference. They closed by saying he will be missed as a friend and advocate to the many lives he touched.

As for the future of his council seat, the Lawton City Clerk will begin the process for interested candidates. They can apply to be appointed to serve the rest of Haywood's term, which runs until 2018. The council will review the applicants in executive session and then vote in open session.

No starting time has been set yet for this process. Until then, the seat will remain vacant.

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