Moncton's scheduled city council meeting Monday was adjourned early following the death of Coun. Merrill Henderson at age 77.

Henderson died Monday evening in hospital after suffering a stroke last week.

Mayor George LeBlanc received the news about an hour into Monday's council meeting.

Merrill Henderson

Merrill Henderson died Monday at age 77 (Radio-Canada)

​LeBlanc was a close friend of Henderson and had trouble holding back his emotions as he informed councillors of Henderson's death.

"Ladies and gentlemen, it's my sad duty to advise that Coun. Merrill Henderson passed away."

Henderson had been moved into palliative care on the weekend following his stroke.

Henderson worked for CN for 40 years as a human resources manager.

He was first elected to council in 1999 and served under three mayors.

Henderson sponsored the bylaw to make Moncton officially bilingual.

To celebrate his 70th birthday in 2007, he took up skydiving.

The City of Moncton has placed a book of condolences in the lobby of City Hall for all who would like to sign it. It will remain in place until Friday, after which it will be sent to Henderson's family.

City flags will fly at half-mast until sunset on the day of Henderson's funeral.