BON AIR, VA (WWBT)- The life of house clerk Bruce Jamerson was honored today with a public memorial service at a church in Bon Air.
Jamerson, the Clerk of the House of Delegates, held a job as old as the Virginia General Assembly itself, and Bruce Jamerson held it for more than 20 years. In that time he oversaw several important moments in the history of the State Capitol, and did it all, virtually behind the scenes.
The Clerk of the House of Delegates plays a role with as much responsibility as those in elected office, but with much less recognition.
"In many instances, more responsibility," said Chesterfield Senator John Watkins who eulogized Jamerson Friday morning at a packed service at Bon Air United Methodist Church.
Watkins served in the House of Delegates for more than a decade, working with Jamerson closely.
"He kept everything in order, he kept the calendar, he made sure that things that needed to be taken care of gotten take care of," Watkins said.
The official title for the job Jamerson worked toward from childhood is "The Clerk of the House of Delegates and the Keeper of the Commonwealth's Roll".. An ancient description, worthy of a position filled with important duties.
"It goes back to 1619,' said House Majority Leader Kirk Cox. Cox is also a history teacher and keenly aware of the Clerk's role in Virginia's past.
"It is one of the highest positions," he said. "I even teach my students, I think they think it's a secretary, it's not, at all. It is the keeper of the rolls the chief administrator."
That means anything major that happens in Capitol Square is the clerk's responsibility and Jamerson oversaw some critical events.
He was there for the renovation of Thomas Jefferson's capitol building, to a visit from the Queen of England...to the Inauguration of 5 governors.
Each time the point man was the House Clerk.
Each event was pulled off flawlessly.
"They really are the year round glue that holds the House of Delegates together," said Governor Bob McDonnell. "So Bruce's passing is a tremendous loss."
A loss that could take time for this body, which has moved ahead for 400 years, to recover from.