WAR - Nearly 100 people filled Christ the King Catholic Church to pay final respects to Mayor Tom Hatcher, who police believe was murdered by his daughter-in-law and her brother last week.
The incident shocked the city of just under 900 people, especially those who worked with or saw Hatcher on a frequent basis, like Orbie Campbell, a city councilwoman and owner of the War Coffee Shop. Hatcher ate at the Main Street restaurant twice each day, six days a week.
"He was just a wonderful guy," Campbell said. "He loved everybody, trusted everybody."
Campbell, 78, who still runs the restaurant despite her age, carries a .38-caliber revolver for protection when she opens shop early in the morning. She's known to tease the customers who come to her establishment, which she's owned for 44 years.
Campbell knew something was wrong when Hatcher didn't show up for breakfast last Tuesday.
He also didn't show up at War City Hall. Campbell said his secretary called the restaurant trying to track him down.
"There was no phone call or nothing that day," Campbell said.
Workers with War's water department went to Hatcher's house, using a key the secretary had to his home. That's when Hatcher's body was discovered.
Police believe Rebecca Hatcher and her brother robbed the mayor to buy prescription pills. They say the two took at least $1,100 from him after the killing.
Lora Wagoner, Campbell's daughter and an employee at the restaurant, was one of the first people to see Hatcher's home the day his body was found.
"I knew something wasn't right," Wagoner said, noting that she saw his house was messy and askew.
To Campbell and Wagoner, Hatcher was like part of the family. Campbell and her husband had vacationed with Hatcher and the late mayor also taught Wagoner's son in school.
"We always argued," Wagoner said. "But I loved him to death. He was like a close relative."
Campbell said it's going to be difficult getting used to Hatcher's absence at her restaurant.
"It's just a shock," she said. "I won't have nobody to fuss with. You still want to fix his ice water and juice before he comes to breakfast."
But Campbell said that his absence in city affairs would be an even greater loss.
"He had his fingers in everything," she said. "You could call him at any hour."
Hatcher wasn't without his share of controversies, however minor. Most recently, a freelance reporter wrote a story on the drug problem in McDowell County and used War - and Hatcher - as a visualization of the issue. The reporter ended up selling the story to Playboy magazine, a move that caused some discontent in War.
"What he said was pretty much the truth," said Iaeger Police Chief Michael Brooks, who was an officer in War from 2009 to 2011.
Brooks said that he had his own issues with Hatcher but respected the mayor.