Friends, family members, and state and local lawmakers gathered yesterday to remember the life and work of Senator Martin Luther Nesbitt, Jr. About 1,000 people attended the public funeral at Biltmore Baptist Church in Arden to remember the man who represented Buncombe County for decades. Senator Dan Blue called Nesbitt a true mountain man who placed people over politics, citing his 20032 clean smokestacks act as a great legislative achievement. Former Lieutenant Governor Dennis Wicker also delivered a eulogy, calling Nesbitt a champion of those without a voice. Pastor Bruce Frank led the group in prayer, and Balsam Range performed several songs. The service was attended by numerous state and local officials, including Gov Pat McCrory, former Gov Bev Perdue, and AVL mayor Esther Manheimer.