Friends, family pay final respects to former mayor Edward Arrington

By Matt Porter

July 29, 2013 Updated Jul 30, 2013 at 12:49 AM EDT

Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) As Owego gathered to say good bye to former mayor Edward Arrington, his family remembered his goodness.

Arrington's son Ed Arrington, Jr., said his father had a way of getting along with everybody.

"He gave us a lot of laughs and he had a quirky personality everybody loved," Arrington, Jr. said.

As the first African American mayor, the 70-year-old politician was a trailblazer.

Arrington's daughter, Kimberly Arrington-Thomas, said her dad was color blind.

"He didn't see anything other than a human, a person," Arrington-Thomas said, "He didn't see color, he didn't see gender, he didn't see race, he just saw a person."

The diversity of faces in the pews Monday proved her point.

"He really believed that you always add value to any situation," she said, "And you expect nothing in return."

Arrington served as volunteer ambulance driver while he was mayor. Friend Bill Motsko said Arrington didn't know when to say no to service.

"His first and foremost desire was to do what's best for the community and the people he dealt with on a regular basis," Motsko said. "It didn't matter who you were, you were important to Ed."

Arrington only had one question when offering help according to chairwoman Patricia Bence of the Tioga County Democratic Committee.

"He always asked, 'What can I do, what can I do, what can I do for you,'" Bence said.

Arrington-Thomas said the village loved him as he did them.

"He loved them," she said, "He loved the community, he loved Owego, he loved his family, and he loved God."

Arrington is survived by his wife and four children.

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