Harvey County Commissioner Ron Krehbiel passed away Jan. 9. He was 79.

Krehbiel served 20 years as a county commissioner, matching the longest tenure of any commissioner in the county's history. His first term began Jan. 8, 2001.

Krehbiel represented District 3, which includes Burrton, Halstead, Hesston and Sedgwick.

"When you work that closely with someone for eight years, he kind of becomes family," said Harvey County Commissioner Randy Hague. "I'm not only going to miss him as a colleague, but as a friend."

Krehbiel was an ardent supporter for road maintenance, Harvey County Parks, and caring for county employees. He was known for his willingness to talk one-on-one with residents over any topic in which they were passionate.

Prior to his time on the commission, Krehbiel held a career in law enforcement, including working for the Harvey County Sheriff's Office as a deputy, and eventually, undersheriff.

"If Ron likes your cause, whatever you mind stand for, he's there with you through thick and thin. That's the way he worked as a law enforcement officer. That's the way he worked as a commissioner," said Harvey County Commissioner George 'Chip' Westfall. "He wanted to know your story in life, or your need in the county. He wanted to help everybody he could."

Krehbiel served on many boards, including the Harvey/McPherson County Community Corrections Advisory Board, Central Kansas Solid Waste Authority and the Community Mental Health Center Advisory Board.

Krehbiel did not run for another term in the most recent election, choosing to retire as his fifth term ended this month. Don Schroeder was elected as the next District 3 commissioner, and was previously scheduled to be sworn in Jan. 11.

Harvey County's thoughts are with the Krehbiel family and his friends.

Information on services for Krehbiel can be found here.