Rossford City Councilman Chuck Duricek, a veteran Rossford City Council member and a local business owner, died Thursday night during his family’s annual, traditional Thanksgiving Day trek to Chicago, according to city officials.
He would have turned 60 the day after his death.
The official cause of death was uncertain, however, Mr. Duricek had a history of heart problems, Rossford Mayor Neil MacKinnon said.
He had been re-elected in November to serve a third, four-year term on city council, Mayor MacKinnon said, and that term would have officially begun Monday.
“I’ve known him most of my life,” Mayor MacKinnon said Friday. “We grew up pretty much on the same street; we still live on the same street.
“His love for his family and his work ethic is what defined him as a person. My heart goes out to his family.”
Mr. Duricek’s wife, Pam, and son, Nick, could not be reached for comment Friday.
An organizational meeting had previously been scheduled for Rossford City Council on Monday, Mayor MacKinnon said.
According to the city charter, council will have 30 days to appoint someone to replace Mr. Duricek, but Mayor MacKinnon wasn’t sure when that 30-day deadline begins.
“I’ll know by Monday, but to be honest, I’m not thinking about that yet,” he said. “I lost a colleague and I lost a friend and a guy that mentored me.”
Mr. Duricek, who received 1,168 votes, garnered the most votes among the six candidates who vied for four city council seats during the Nov. 5 election.
Longtime Rossford resident Bob Densic also struggled to find the words to describe the loss of his close friend. The two men met at a local gym when Mr. Densic first moved to the community 19 years ago.
“We clicked pretty quickly,” said Mr. Densic, an architect. “Sometimes we must have sounded like real geeks because we would get excited and talk about things that most other people wouldn’t, like pension reform, water and sewer districts, and public transportation.”
Both men also shared a strong religious faith and appreciated each other’s commitment to detail and research when doing their jobs.
“He approached everything with such zeal,” Mr. Densic said. “He did the things that he did because they were the right thing to do — that was always his motive.
“There’s going to be a big gap in a lot of people’s lives. I know my life has been made so much better because of Chuck Duricek.”
Mr. Duricek was the owner of Duricek Automotive & Marine Service in Rossford, a business that had been in the family since 1952.
Memorial services are pending.
Contact Federico Martinez at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6154.