Moscow City Councilman John Weber was a “Moscow guy through and through,” as Mayor Bill Lambert puts it.
Weber died Wednesday after battling cancer the past two years. He was 70.
Weber lived 62 of his 70 years in Moscow, and he served eight years as a city councilor. He ran for re-election for a two-year seat on the council this year, but he was defeated Tuesday by newcomer Anne Zabala. His council term was set to expire in January.
Lambert said Weber formerly worked for a couple beer distributors and co-owned Sears at Eastside Marketplace. Weber also worked several years as jailer and bailiff under Latah County Sheriffs Ed Pierson and Mike Goetz, according to stories in the Daily News archives.
Lambert said Weber was one of the founding board members of the Moscow Urban Renewal Agency. Tim Brown, a friend of Weber’s, said he helped Weber fix and install beer taps the past couple years.
Weber went through the Moscow school system, graduating from Moscow High School in 1965 and later the University of Idaho with an undergraduate degree and a master’s in business administration.
Lambert said he had known Weber since 1977. Lambert, who formerly worked as the Safeway store director, said Weber was the first person he met outside of Safeway employees when he moved to Moscow 40 years ago. Weber and Lambert later served on the City Council together starting in 2006.
Lambert said Weber was a straight shooter, dependable and well-liked.
“He was just a damn good friend,” Lambert said. “You couldn’t have a better friend. He was a good friend to not only me but many people out there. He touched a number of different lives. If you had John Weber as a friend, you had a friend for life.”
Lambert said Weber’s heart was always in the right place.
“He always wanted to do what was right for the overall community,” Lambert said. “He always wanted to do right by people.”
Lambert said he, Weber and other friends took golfing trips to Oregon during the fall.
“It was a fun time,” Lambert said. “It was a guys’ trip.”
City Councilman Walter Steed served six years on the council with Weber, including the past four.
“John never met anybody that couldn’t be his friend,” Steed said. “He was extremely social.”
Steed said he did not meet Weber until the two ran for a council seat in 2005, but since then, they have been good friends.
“If you wanted somebody just to talk to or brag about something or complain about something, or just jaw about something, John was your guy,” Steed said.
He said he is glad Weber is no longer experiencing the physical agony he endured during his battle with cancer and through chemotherapy treatments.
Steed said Weber stayed strong.
“His attitude stayed good all the way through, amazingly,” Steed said.
Brown and Weber graduated in the same MHS class.
“He was a great guy,” said Brown, who owned Brown’s Furniture in Moscow and also served on the City Council. “I loved being around him. He had a great sense of humor. He certainly gave a lot to Moscow.”
Brown said Weber was a big part of his life and he will miss him.
“I thought he was a very honorable guy, and he was a good friend,” Brown said. “Good friends are hard to come by and hard to keep.”
Chuck Bond, another friend of Weber’s, said Weber always did the right thing at the right time.
“Moscow will be a smaller place without him,” Bond said.