RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Former Virginia state senator Dr. Benjamin Lambert III died at an area hospital Sunday March 2.
Lawmakers from across the Commonwealth attended a visitation Saturday to honor and remember Lambert.
"Bennie was known as someone you could work with on a lot of wide ranging issues," said Sen. Emmett Hanger of Augusta County.
CBS 6 also spoke with Lambert's family Saturday about their relative.
"He always looked after me, always kept me on t he straight and narrow path from a little girl, all the way to college," said his youngest sister, Dr. Anne Lambert Johnson.
Lambert, who was the first African-American to serve on the Virginia Senate Finance Committee, served three decades in the General Assembly.
Lambert's political career began when he was elected to Virginia's House of Delegates in 1977.
Then Lambert was elected to the Virginia Senate in 1985. During his tenure, Lambert served on a number of committees and chaired several subcommittees.
Del. Donald McEachin unseated Lambert in 2007 after the late senator's controversial endorsement of Republican George Allen's unsuccessful Senate bid.
Additionally, Lambert served as Secretary of the Board of Trustees at his alma mater, Virginia Union University. He also served on VCU's Health Systems Authority Board
Lawmakers from across the Commonwealth are remembering Lambert's lasting impact on the state.
"I am saddened by the death of Senator Lambert. He was a true public servant whose impact on the city and commonwealth will be felt for years to come. My prayers are with his family during this difficult time," wrote Del. Jennifer Mcclelan.
"Sen. Lambert was a true gentleman who did much for the Richmond community. He will be missed. He was a great man from a great family. Our prayers go out to that family at this time," wrote Sen. Don McEachin.
"I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my friend and former colleague in the Virginia General Assembly, Dr. Benjamin Lambert," wrote Congressman Bobby Scott. "Benny and I were elected to the House of Delegates the same year in 1977 and also served together in the Senate of Virginia. In the General Assembly, Benny was a very influential and effective legislator. He devoted his career in and out of public service to the citizens of Richmond and Central Virginia, always doing what he thought was best for his constituents, regardless of the political consequences. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time."