Former Yakima Mayor Henry Beauchamp Dies - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Former Yakima Mayor Henry Beauchamp Dies

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- Friends and family are remembering a former Yakima mayor and city councilman who passed away this morning.

Friends say Henry Beauchamp was a major force in the community.

Beauchamp played a huge part in bringing the Opportunities Industrial Commission to Yakima.

He was a civil rights leader and the city's first and only black mayor.    

His colleagues say he set a great example for the Yakima community.

"Henry had a heart as big as all outdoors, and he always wanted to do what was right for people," said 14th District Rep. Norm Johnson, who was also good friends with Beauchamp.

"When you think about Henry Beauchamp, you think about an individual, if you knew him, that was warm and inviting and caring," Former Yakima City Manager Dick Zais told us.

Friends say he wasn't just involved in political activities; he would also take time to minister to inmates at the Yakima County Jail and at the state prison in Walla Walla.