Tribute to Congressman Walter Jones

February 13, 2019

Congressman David Price

Floor Remarks

Tribute to Congressman Walter Jones

February 13, 2019

Remarks as prepared.


I rise today, along with my colleagues in the North Carolina delegation, to remember and honor the life of Representative Walter Jones, Jr.:  a treasured colleague, a conscientious public servant, and a personal friend to many throughout this chamber.


Walter died on February 10th, his 76th birthday. He lived a life full of service: four years in the North Carolina National Guard, ten years in the North Carolina General Assembly, and nearly a quarter century in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Walter and I met long before our service in the House, working together on the North Carolina presidential campaign of Jimmy Carter in 1976. I have a photo on my desk of a very youthful-looking campaign team to prove it.


Walter went on to chart a different course politically, a course that was uniquely his own. In fact, he found himself frequently at odds with, if not one party, then the other.  But by the same token he sometimes found possibilities for alliances and cooperation in unexpected places -- and did not hesitate to take them.


This approach was rooted in Walter’s strong conscience and personal sincerity. He stood out in an age in which sincerity is sometimes in short supply in our nation’s politics, earning him respect and admiration on both sides of the aisle.  The outpouring of tributes and remembrances we have seen in recent days is a testament to this fact.


Much has been said about the personal encounters Walter had with veterans of the Iraq war and the families of those who never returned--how these encounters led him to reassess his past and present policy stances.


Walter sent well over 10,000 letters to families of fallen troops, and he memorialized those who died from North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune with photos outside his office.


Walter’s determined and effective voice for our military -- especially the Marines! -- and his deep love for his home state of North Carolina, will be missed in these halls--and in the coastal, farming, and military communities that make up the Third Congressional District.


We extend heartfelt condolences to Walter’s wife, Joe Anne, his daughter Ashley, his loyal staff -- many of whom are here in the gallery with us -- and the countless friends, neighbors, and community members whose lives he touched along the way.  Our state, our nation, and the institution of Congress will be poorer without him. 


We will miss his reliable and cordial presence right here, along the center aisle.


Before we observe a moment of silence in Walter’s honor, I want to yield to his good friend, Mr. Massie.