When you mention the name Bill Dickinson, family members say, the response is always a positive one.
A seven-term congressman, the man left a strong legacy behind--helping advance America's Armed Services and Alabama's economy.
"Maxwell and Gunter, Fort Rucker, Anniston Army Depot, the Huntsville Redstone Arsenal--all of those were things he helped protect," said Senator Jeff Sessions.
Apart from the years of work in Washington, friends made note of Dickinson's lighter side.
"Behind his seriousness and his ability, he was a heck of a lot of fun," said Hon. Bo Torbert, a former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
Although the state that knew him well has to say goodbye, Alabamians will treasure those memories--and the man's strength of character--most of all.
"I think of him more than a friend than as a leader," Torbert said.
So, with a heavy heart and a smile, Alabamians say goodbye to their native son, and hope that his legacy will live on.