CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The Kanawha County Commission has announced the passing of former Chesapeake, West Virginia, Mayor Jack Lavender.

Lavender stepped down from the position in March due to health issues, according to the commission. Commissioners say Lavender was a “lifelong, staunch supporter” of the Upper Kanawha Valley and worked both as mayor and a citizen to improve his community.

“Jack was a lifelong friend and supporter. Debbie and I express our sadness and condolences to his family. Jack truly was a champion of the Upper Kanawha Valley. He respected his neighbors and was always willing to give a helping hand to those in need. Throughout his years of public service, he helped reshape Kanawha County for the better,” said Commission President Kent Carper.

Lavender also served more than 40 years on the Kanawha County Planning Commission, which commissioners say he thought of as one of his proudest accomplishments. In his time on the planning commission, Lavender spent many years as the KCPC’s president. The County Commission says Lavender will be remembered for his love for his staff, as well as the special Christmas luncheon he always provided for them.

“Mayor Lavender was a champion for the Upper Kanawha Valley. He worked hard to ensure the Kanawha County Commission recognized the needs of the Upper Kanawha Valley and the Town of Chesapeake,” said Commissioner Ben Salango. “I enjoyed working with him. He will be greatly missed.”

Commissioners say prior to his retirement, Lavender also worked as an investigator before the West Virginia ABC Commission.

“I served on the Planning Commission with Jack and saw his dedication to Kanawha County through his work with the Demolition Program. He worked to ensure that our ordinances were followed and the citizens were treated fairly. We will certainly miss him,” said Commissioner Lance Wheeler.

The Commission says state flags on County property will be flown at half-staff on the day of Lavender’s services.