August 21st, 2008
04:42 PM ET

Remembering Stephanie

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/21/art.tubbs.jpg]

Sam Fulwood III

Journalists like me rarely admit to liking people in the news.

But I have no qualms or shame in admitting that I shed huge, salty tears after hearing that Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the Democratic Ohio congresswoman, died Wednesday from a brain aneurysm. She was 58, and she was my friend.

I came to know the congresswoman shortly after moving to Cleveland in 2000 as a metro columnist at the city's daily. Columnists are paid to have—and express—opinions. I had license to be subjective, whether in praise or criticism of her.

We disagreed often and spiritedly, in public and in private. I took issue with her penchant for secrecy and what I considered to be mistaken judgments on federal policies and local politics.

I was tough on her. But she could take it. "You do your job, and I'll do mine," she once told me. She grinned that gummy smile and bear-hugged me.

Stephanie—as nearly everyone in Ohio's 11th congressional district called her—and I visited each other's homes, exchanged confidences and consoled each other during personal dramas. We played bid whist. She inspired my daughter—whom she called "Babygirl"—to give something of herself in community service. Her cell phone number remains on speed dial in mine; I don't know when I'll find the strength to remove it.

Stephanie cared deeply, intimately about the people in her district.

And, in return, they loved her back...


Filed under: 360° Radar • Stephanie Tubbs Jones
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Sad to the bone

    Mrs Jones reminded me of a special lady I knew once (my mother0. Caring about the youth loving everyone, but tough as nails. That smile could be seen for miles.
    This is my 1st election I'm voting in, because Mrs Jones told us "not to complain sitting on your butt. GET UP AND VOTE". I'm ashamed that it took me turning 51 years old to be part of my country. Thanks Mrs Jones this votes for you!!

    August 22, 2008 at 9:19 am |
  2. Annette, Washington, DC

    Rest in peace! You will be missed!

    August 22, 2008 at 1:57 am |
  3. Moureen

    Stephanie Tubbs Jones exhibited something rarely seen in politics, class. She was a true friend who stood by Hillary when others were abandoning the ship, and she took personal flack for it.

    August 21, 2008 at 8:06 pm |
  4. Megan Dresslar

    She will missed by our friends, colleagues, and family...... My hearts goes to Ohio state and Washington D.C.... she was so special to people and including me, I found that I was checking on CNN website that Stephanie Tubbs-Jones has died due brain aneurysm......... I was so sad for her family and her district area, and JoAnn too....... Last time she came in on 360..... she was so respect woman I know, she was so dedicated most passionate her servant, she did against war before our troops going to Iraq. I would like to say thank you for Stephanie Tubbs Jones for support Hillary Clinton, she will sore missed....... I also agree with JoAnn's comment too. I hope she will remember her place.
    Megan D.
    Shoreline, Wa

    August 21, 2008 at 7:36 pm |
  5. Jo Ann

    I was very saddened to hear about the death of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Ms. Jones was a dedicated and passionate public servant who was always trying to find ways to make life better for her constituents and was always available to them. Even if you did not agree with everything she said you always respected her.

    I admired the way Ms. Jones stood by Hillary Clinton when many other black leaders turned their backs on her and she stood up against going into Iraq months before the war began.

    Although I do not live in her district, I am proud that Stephanie Tubbs Jones represented the state of Ohio. She will be deeply missed.

    My heart goes out to her family and friends.

    Jo Ann
    North Royalton, Ohio

    August 21, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  6. Fay, CA

    Stephanie Tubbs Jones was a vibrant, smart and strong presence in politics and it's sad to hear of her death–I still remember her last appearance on 360 where she enthusiastically reiterated her belief and support of Hillary Clinton, she will be missed.

    August 21, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  7. dottie/memphis,tenn

    l did know congresswoman, but l do know that she was one
    of hillary clinton's supporter,just from hearing her speak .she seem to represent the state of Ohio Well.she will be miss.
    we will miss her outstanding talent and
    her political skills in the house as well as representing
    the state of Ohio.

    ln bereavements over congresswoman StephanieJones. lt's a
    great loss for the Democratic parties, let not lose again, listen up Obama , this is my opinion............................................................
    you are slipping in the polls , maybe God is trying to tell you something,................................................................................
    pick Hillary for your V.P. you need hilllary's supporter.,l mean all of them.not 28% you need 98% of her supporter.
    now, go for it.

    August 21, 2008 at 5:29 pm |