TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — Former Tupelo Mayor Ed Neelly has died following a stay in hospice care.

WTVA-TV reports Neelly died Wednesday. He was 78.

Mayor Jason Shelton tells the television station Neelly was "the epitome of a true Southern gentleman, kind and honorable."

He says Neelly was a good steward of the city's finances, laying the groundwork for the sound financial footing Tupelo has today.

Neelly was elected mayor in 2005 and served one term.

Prior to that, Neelly served one term as councilman-at-large and was a banker before getting into politics.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete.


Information from: WTVA-TV, http://www.wtva.com