GRAYSON, KY (WOWK) – Communities in Lewis, Greenup and Carter counties are mourning the loss of Phillip Konopka who died in a car crash Wednesday.

Friends say if you ever saw Konopka, he was known for wearing a cowboy hat, but he was also known as someone with a kind heart. 

The 42-year-old served as the extension agent in Lewis County, Kentucky. However, his love and enthusiasm for agriculture were known all across eastern Kentucky.

Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles tells 13 News, “He was the type of guy who knew what to say and when to say it and was very helpful to our farming community.”

Quarles also says he grew up with Konopka and they had talked a few weeks ago about 4-H events set to happen soon in the region. Now, those events will go on with his memory in mind.

Kentucky Senator Robin Webb (D), also a close friend, says they shared a bond over headwear. “I always knew if Phillip was at an event I could wear my cowboy hat and we’d wear them and be proud to wear them,” Webb says.

Many in the community say they are proud to have called him a friend and will work to keep his memory alive.