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Kirksville mourns the loss of former mayor

Richard Detweiler, 64, passed away on Sunday. He was the longest-tenured member of the Kirksville City Council. (City of Kirksville)

The City of Kirksville and area citizens are mourning the loss of Councilman Richard Detweiler.

Richard Detweiler, 64, passed away on Sunday. He was the longest-tenured member of the Kirksville City Council.

First elected in April 2008, Detweiler was nearing the end of his fourth term.

During his years of service to the city, he spent a combined total of four years as mayor, and two years as mayor pro tem.

Just a few weeks ago, Detweiler had filed to seek a fifth term on the council.

When Detweiler was running for re-election in 2016, he told KTVO he initially ran for council because the City of Kirksville was a great place for him as an individual, and his family.

"As old as the expression is, I ended up trying to find a way to give back to Kirksville, to show my appreciation and general love for everything they have done for me and my family. I had to take an early medical retirement from Kraft Foods after 15 years, and the opportunity for serving on the council came up... I grabbed it and ran."

After he was nominated to serve as mayor in 2015, Detweiler told KTVO during an interview that Kirksville really is the place where "people make the difference."

"Well, it works out really perfectly with the people of Kirksville. The resources available to you are unlimited. The support is fantastic and the other four people on the council are extremely supportive, and the professional staff from the city manager on up are unbelievably great."

Before or after each city council meeting and city event he was present at, Detweiler always made sure to individually thank and speak with each person in attendance.

He also stressed that his number one goal was to serve the people of Kirksville to the best of his ability.

"We are very blessed with the amount of talent we have here. Voters of Kirksville and [those] with the city staff are unbelievably great. It makes it a lot easier to make decisions."

Funeral services for Richard Detweiler will be held on Saturday, January 19, at 1 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church in Kirksville, located at 300 East Washington Street.

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