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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Huntsville city leaders are sharing their condolences to the family of longtime city councilman Dr. Richard Showers, Sr. Showers died on Saturday.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle served alongside Showers for 12 years. Battle says Showers was a pioneer on the council.

“He was one of the first to call for racial equity so that our city employment looked like what our city looked like,” Battle said.

Dr. Showers was the first African-American elected to the Huntsville City Council since Reconstruction.

Current Huntsville City Councilmember Devyn Keith beat Showers in a run-off election in 2016. Keith says sitting in the seat that Showers held for so long is an honor.

“I was born two weeks after he took office in 1988,” Keith said. “I’ve been feeling the effects of Dr. Showers literally my whole life.”

Keith lauded Showers’ commitment to enhancing opportunities for recreation for children and his unwavering dedication to his constiutents.

Battle and Keith both agreed that Showers was someone who was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in.

“He stood his ground real well,” Battle said. “And that’s a great thing. He stood his ground very well, he wanted to make changes in the city and he wanted to see the city grow and prosper. “

“Councilman Showers held no punches,” Keith said. “He told you how he felt. He told individuals what he needed for his community. He told me how he felt.”

Dr. Richard Showers was first elected to the Huntsville City Council in 1988. He retired from teaching with Huntsville City Schools in 2005. He and his wife have five children together.

Funeral arrangements for Dr. Showers were announced on Monday.