ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - It's no secret that Buddy Temple was a well respected man in the East Texas community.
"He was a strong leader, but he was always quick to listen to others," said Buddy Zeagler, the Executive Director of the TLL Temple Foundation.
"Buddy was one of those people that you could always count on to be a friend. He was very loyal," said former U.S. congressman and friend Jim Turner. "He always tried to look out for the things that he thought were important to build East Texas."
Born into a family of wealthy businessmen, Temple didn't want to follow in his father and grandfather's footsteps to run Temple-Inland. Instead, he felt he needed to serve his community through public works and politics.
"Buddy's life and career in public service began in 1966 when he was elected to the Diboll School Board," said Jonathan Gerland, the Executive Director of the Diboll History Center. "I think he was very proud of the fact that he was involved in the racial integration of the Diboll schools."
Temple went on to become a state congressman and railroad commissioner and even ran for governor. After retiring from politics, Temple became very involved in one of his biggest passions, nature and land preservation.
"Buddy believed in the land, and he knew from his family experience how important land was and how important it was to preserve the forests of East Texas," Turner said.
One of his biggest contributions to East Texas was giving back to the community, financially and physically, through his' family's T.L.L. Temple Foundation.
"He really helped to preserve the legacy of the Temple Foundation," Zeagler said. "He really embodied it's philosophy to give back."
Buddy Temple was special to East Texans and although he may be gone, a part of him will always live on in the community he worked so hard to improve.
"Of course we're definitely going to miss him for a long time," said Gerland. "The good thing though is that he's leaving behind and the work that the foundation has done all these many years, that's going to be the continuing legacy."