LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - "Shock, what do you say when you lose someone you've known for thirty years," said Wes Suiter, Angelina County Judge.
This was the emotion by many this morning after being notified that County Commissioner Rick Harrison had died at a Houston hospital on Tuesday after fighting multiple health issues this year.
Harrison who was 56 served a commissioner of precinct one for the past 12 years. Before that, he was with the Lufkin Police Department for more than 23 years.
Fellow Angelina County Commissioners saw Harrison first hand and described him as a friend and a prime example of what a commissioner should be.
"Anybody that knew him was a friend," said Suiter.
"I'm going to miss rick because he was very important to me, a lot of thing's if I didn't know rick would find out for me," said fellow commissioner Kenneth Timmons.
"Your primary responsibility is the people but if you're not representing the people your not doing your job, and Rick did that," said fellow commissioner Scott Cooper.
Through all his years of service, Harrison has impacted many lives leaving behind a legacy.
"He served with the police department for over 23 years and with the county commissioner for twelve. So I think his legacy to his county and citizens and family is his public service," said Lufkin Chief of Police Scott Marcotte.
Suiter will now have to appoint someone to fill Harrison's seat but says it will be extremely hard to do.
"The position can be filled but it is going to be hard to replace rick Harrison," said Suiter.
Harrison will have a public funeral will be on Saturday at 2p.m. at Kelty's First Baptist Church in Lufkin.
Visitation will be Friday night from 6 to 8 p.m. at Carroway's Funeral home in Lufkin.