Remembering Tolbert

Terence Tolbert, a 44-year-old aide to Michael Bloomberg and well-liked Democratic operative, died of a heart attack last night.

He was in Nevada helping the Obama campaign.

Friends and family have been filling his FaceBook page with good wishes.

I remember running into Tolbert outside the city Board of Election a few years ago on the night petitions were due. It was midnight, and only a few people were milling around the office in the deserted Wall Street area.

But there he was, dutifully handing in petitions, looking as if there was no place he’d rather have been.

Here's a statement from Bloomberg:

“Last night, Terence Tolbert, who was a valued member of our Administration and had become a personal friend of mine, had a massive heart attack in Nevada where he was working on Senator Obama’s campaign. Terence was not only somebody who was one of the most likable people in the world, he was one of the most hardworking people in the world. He had great judgment and a great feel for people, and this really is a great tragedy. Our Administration will miss him, the City will miss him, the country will miss him, and all of our prayers go out to his wife Freida and his mother Carolyn. We’ll announce the funeral arrangements when they’re made, but this really is a tragedy and it puts things in perspective. One of the nice things about November 4th was going to be that Terence would come back to us. Now, sadly, he is never going to come back – but we will never forget him.”

Here's a statement from School's Chancellor Joel Klein, in whose department Tolbert worked:

“Terence Tolbert was a leader, mentor, and friend to people throughout our Department and this entire City. Working for the City's children here, in Albany, and in Washington, D.C. as Executive Director of Inter-Governmental Relations, he was a source of inspiration, a person who fought hard for others who were less fortunate and a person who believed deeply that government can and must play a constructive role in improving the lives of its citizens. His warmth and humor permeated our offices. His untimely passing will be felt personally and deeply by so many of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.”