Florida representatives will gather to remember David Coley as his body lies in state Monday at the House Chamber.
Coley passed away at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital at the age of 43 after suffering complications from liver cancer. When the Florida State House opens Tuesday, representatives will hold a memorial for "the freshman.”
Newly elected David Coley represented parts of Leon, Gadsden and Wakulla Counties. Coley colleagues say he had finally achieved his dream of becoming a legislator.
Mayor John Marks says, "This was a dream come true for him, and I know, based on his background, his history based on being with other legislators, he would've been very, very good, not only for the people of Leon County, but for the entire state of Florida."
Coley had previously worked as a volunteer state trooper where he was the fourth ranking officer of the nation's largest volunteer law enforcement agency. He also worked as a legislative assistant.
In his short term, Coley sponsored bills for FDLE, the state Lottery, Florida's retirement system, and economic development.
Marks adds, "It's really tragic and our heartfelt condolences go out to the Coley family, and I'm sure I speak on behalf of all the constituents."
Rep. Curtis Richardson says, "He's in a better place. He's with God and he's beyond all the troubles of this world, and we’ll just continue to pray for his family and hope they will get through this grief process."
Coley is survived by his wife and three children. Coley's funeral will be held Wednesday at Chipola College in Marianna.