To many people, the word politician is a nasty name.
Maybe a four-letter word for some.
Over the past week, there was the unfortunate need to talk to people to get their reactions to Larry Belcher.
Belcher died in an auto accident Monday evening doing what he does best -- helping people.
Most of you will recognize Larry as the state representative for the people of the 49th District.
With only a few exceptions, it would be hard to find anyone who would say a bad word about the man.
You certainly weren’t going to find any bad words among the several thousand who paid their respects last week.
In a very touching eulogy written by his daughter Jennifer and read by House Speaker Jody Richards, we learned that Larry went out as he would have wanted - helping people.
With his daughter in need of emergency child care that particular morning, Larry was there. He often went to help.
The theme of helping others what made Belcher special.
As an educator, he was the type who started as a teacher and worked as a coach and moved into administration as a principal.
He served as the director of building and grounds.
He returned after his retirement to serve as interim principal.
He also worked a couple of years as the county’s planning and zoning administrator.
I only briefly mentioned that he served in the House of Representatives.
It was during that time Larry got to help more than the people at his school or at his church or in his neighborhood.
He had the opportunity to help people throughout the state.
Rep. Tom Riner spoke of Belcher’s passion to help others.
He said his friend was an honest man who wasn’t involved in the leadership of the House and didn’t get caught up in the politics.
If it was good for people, Larry would be in favor of it.
His greatest work spanned several years and it will continue for many more.
Realizing the people of Bullitt County were underserved, Belcher got a band of very energetic and compassionate people -- like Dr. Mohana Arla -- and joined with his colleague in the Senate, Gary Tapp, to begin the push for a hospital.
Local leaders got involved and made a push to make it happen.
Jewish Hospital became the partner and now it is built. Starting with outpatient and emergency room services, there will soon be overnight beds.
A politician may have wanted to grab headlines on what he or she had done. They probably would have sent e-mails or FAX messages to tell of their feats.
Larry was never that way. He would shy away from publicity but he wasn’t someone who tried to upstage another person.
He probably had some people who disliked him. But he really wasn’t concerned.
He was a common guy trying to help out his fellow brothers and sisters.
That was his mission until the final day of his life.
That’s a pretty good way to go.