MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) - Complications from COVID have taken the life of a man who helped build his city into what it is today. 

"It's like playing with clay," said Larry Sims of Sims Commercial Realtors and Auctioneers. "Here you got this block of clay. You take it and shape it, but you started with a block of clay."

Sims hopes his legacy will be leaving something positive for his city of Murfreesboro. He said Roger Haley certainly did that, a man he's known since the late 1960s.

Roger was a councilman for several years starting in the 70s, before becoming Murfreesboro city manager in 1989.

"He ran things with an iron fist," Larry smiled. "I guess that military background probably came out."

That commitment to getting work done meant Roger was a driving force in the development of Medical Center Parkway, an area that eventually brought the Avenue Murfreesboro shopping center. 

"He was just a hard nosed guy," said Larry.

Roger was very different around someone else, Larry's daughter Holly. 

"Whatever she wanted, he would agree to it," Larry laughed. "They had a special bond, that's what it all boiled down to."

Roger and Holly married, and so, Larry and Roger became family.

Larry told us Roger was being careful in this time of the pandemic, but Roger has just died from complications from COVID. 

"That's been kinda sensitive for me," said Larry.

In that conversation about legacies, leaving behind something for the people of Murfreesboro, Larry said Roger changed his city and left something truly grand. 

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