GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - "Enjoy this day, you deserve it," began the celebration of Representative Francis Frederick's career in the Mississippi House.
It started with a parade near the community center named for her husband, and followed with a pouring of Frederick's dearest friends and supporters.
"I'm really excited I did not expect this much of nothing. The parade was fantastic and then to come in and see all these people it's just really great. It really is," said Fredericks.
Fredericks has served as a state representative since 1990, filling her husband's seat after his passing. In that time, supporters said she always remembered her home.
"Francis has always been a compassionate leader. She listens to everyone, everyone, her door's always been open, and that shows. People are connected to her and she's always been responsive," said Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel.
In front of a packed house, Fredericks' biggest fans took turns sharing their memories of her career. As for the representative herself, memories focus on those she served.
"There are so many things that I remember and so many involvements, but I always keep in mind that you could not have done anything by yourself. So, you made friends and picked up allies along the way to make a difference in the community in which you live and I'm really glad and I think the people appreciate that today," said Fredericks.
"She's been a great leader in Jackson and a wonderful friend at home. She's special and this is her special day and we say congratulations for lots of support," said Schloegel.
As for any final projects for the representative?
"I think we've just about taken care of all of it. Leaving new work for the new person," laughed Fredericks.