Wayne Curry, former Prince George's County executive, lying in repose at county administration building

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WJLA/AP) - As the bagpipes played, Wayne Curry’s casket was wheeled into the lobby of the County Administration building – where he led the government for eight critical years.

"We loved him. He did so much for our county," said Elizabeth Frazier.

Mourners included Curry's wife and two children, along with dignitaries – friends like Hyattsville business owner Mike Lewis.

"He had so much charisma and so much life energy. It is real shocking not to see him here today," he said.

In addition to regular citizens who had never even met him. Carla Sullivan worked on Curry’s first campaign for County Executive.

"He deserves this respect. He put us on the map in Prince George's County," said Sullivan.

Current County Executive Rushern Baker wore a Wayne Curry campaign sticker on the lapel of his jacket:

“This symbolizes the pride everyone, especially those in the African-American community, had in Prince George's County. He just embodied that.”

It’s not a sad day, Rushern said. Rather, it’s a day to celebrate the life of a champion of his hometown and its people.

Curry's casket arrived at 8:30 a.m. and will lie in repose until 7 p.m. in the lobby of the administration building on Governor Oden Bowie Drive.

Curry had lung cancer and died last week at the age of 63. His funeral is being held Thursday at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has ordered that state flags fly at half-staff Thursday in Curry's honor.

Curry was elected in 1994 as Prince George's first African-American executive. The Democrat served for eight years.