‘He had a heart for Jacksonville:’ Tommy Hazouri remembered by loved ones, colleagues

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — There’s no doubt former Jacksonville mayor Tommy Hazouri will be missed dearly. On Wednesday, a public viewing was held for him at the Hardage-Giddens funeral home.

Hazouri died Saturday from complications from a lung transplant he’d had in 2020.

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”Sometimes you’ve just gotta have a friend to talk to, you know? You’ve just gotta have a friend to talk to. And that’s what I’ll miss,” at-large city council member Matt Carlucci said.

Carlucci and Hazouri go back 45 years. One can only imagine the lifetime of memories the two share.

Carlucci remembers Hazouri as a man with tenacity.

”He one time told a reporter when they asked, ‘What are you going to do now that you’ve lost the mayor’s race?’ And he compared himself to the itsy-bitsy spider, went up the waterspout...The itsy-bitsy spider went up the spout again. And he did. He went up the spout again,” Carlucci recalled. “What he was saying was, ‘I’m not going to give up,’ because he loved Jacksonville.”

Hazouri was a friend, a father, and a husband. Colleagues described him as a life-time servant of the people.

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His career in public service included serving in the Florida House of Representatives in 1974, serving as the mayor of Jacksonville from 1987 to 1991, and dedicating eight years to the Duval County School Board.

Carlucci says Hazouri had a way of making people feel special.

”Tommy in one word, heart. That’s what he had. He had a heart for Jacksonville. They don’t make them like that much anymore. Tommy, there’ll never be anybody to replace him.”

Without a doubt, Hazouri left a mark on Jacksonville. Many say he changed the city for the better.