Raleigh, N.C. — Applause rang out in the state Senate chamber on Tuesday as lawmakers honored the memory of former Sen. Zebulon “Zeb” Alley, a legislative stalwart and longtime lobbyist who died last July at age 84.
Alley, a Democrat, was a well-known figure around the legislature, where he served for many years as both a lawmaker and one of the state’s most influential lobbyists.
Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, recalled his frequent breakfast meetings with Alley, where the pair shared stories and jokes. He said Alley always remembered his roots in western North Carolina.
“He was always a mountain man,” Apodaca said. “He never forgot where he came from.”
Senate leaders said Alley had a knack for explaining his ideas to others.
“He understood people, and he took the time to make sure that you understood exactly what he was trying to achieve,” Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue said.
Alley, a decorated Korean War veteran, never abandoned his civic duty, said Blue, D-Wake.
“He was constantly doing civic kinds of things in addition to the things we saw him do over here at the legislature,” he said, referring to Alley’s contributions to restoring the State Capitol.
“He was a friend to all, not just a war hero, but a hero in any dimension or in any respect,” Blue said. “I’m proud to have called him a friend.”