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'Elmore, through and through' | Community mourns loss of their mayor after his sudden death

Mayor Richard Claar was unlike any mayor for Elmore. His sudden death has left the village and surrounding communities heartbroken.

ELMORE, Ohio — "Elmore, through and through," is just one of the ways Mayor Richard Claar has been described. But, he wasn't just part of the community. He was the community.

While his death has everyone in the village heartbroken, many say he will be remembered forever.

"He just was 'Mr. Elmore,'" said Village Administrator Dave Hower, "he really was."

Claar was unlike any mayor for the village of Elmore.

"He's been a fixture in Elmore for a very long time. He's going to leave a bit of a hole here," said Bill Kieffer, councilman for the village of Elmore.

His sudden death has left the village and surrounding communities heartbroken.

RELATED: Elmore Mayor Richard Claar dies at 66

"It's tough whenever you have a small community like this. I think it ripples around to other communities. I'm sure they're feeling it just as much as we are."

You can ask anyone. To know the mayor was to love the mayor.

Although mayor wasn't his only title. For the kids at Woodmore schools, he was Mr. Rick: a friend, listening ear and supervisor.

"He actually does three different jobs within the district and they're jobs that have been hard to fill in the past. One of the more important jobs that he does is to supervise the kids on the playground," said Woodmore Schools Director of Student Services Carla Smith.

The mayor was also president of the Elmore Historical Society and had a hand in almost everything the community did, including pushing it toward the 21st century.

"He loved this town, no matter what anyone says, that was his goal. He wanted Elmore to thrive," Elmore village council member Ben Drill said.

Credit: WTOL 11

Those who knew him best say there's big shoes to fill with his loss, but he would expect the entire village to continue with the plans he always envisioned.

"Rick was kind of our cheerleader. He's always been a cheerleader for Elmore that brings a certain amount of positive light to any room he's in," Kieffer said.

Multiple groups in the community are planning to honor the late mayor, but say nothing has been finalized as they are still grieving.

Claar's funeral service will be held Saturday morning at Woodmore High School starting at 11 a.m.

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