The town of Merryville is in mourning this weekend after the passing of Mayor David Eaves on Friday.

The town announced Eaves’ passing early Friday morning on social media.

“With the heaviest of hearts, we would like to announce the passing of Mayor David E. Eaves, Jr.,” officials posted on the town’s official page.

Town council member Sheila Smith assumed the role as mayor on Friday for emergency needs, and a special meeting is expected to be called soon to allow the town council to discuss and approve Smith as interim mayor until a special election can be held.

That election for mayor is expected to be held in the spring, and Smith said she intends to run for mayor at that time to serve out the remainder of Eaves’ term.

“Our little town is heartbroken over the death of Mayor Eaves and he will be greatly missed,” Smith told the American Press.

“My heart goes out to his family and they are in my thoughts and prayers. A special memory I have of Mayor Eaves was when I decided to run for town council; he approached me to let me know that I had his support and that he would be there if I ever needed him. I know I have some big shoes to fill, but I am going to do my best for our town.”

Eaves’ memory was honored by several of his friends and relatives on social media Friday, including Beauregard Parish Sheriff Mark Herford.

Herford recalled Eaves as a “great man and dedicated mayor” whom he said made the town of Merryville better during his time in office.

“He always kept the town’s best interests in every decision he made. He was always a big supporter of projects that would benefit the Merryville community, and I thought very highly of him and considered him a close friend. It is hard to find the words right now to properly pay tribute to such a great man,” Herford told the American Press.

Eaves had served as mayor of Merryville for six years.

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