The passing of Bruce Hills has left the Crawford County Fair Board shocked and saddened, Bill Winters, Fair Board president, said Tuesday.

Hills, 67, passed away unexpectedly at his Conneautville area home on Saturday.

"He was a tremendous member," Winters said of Hills.

"He would take on things without fanfare," Winters said, noting Hills had been spearheading the board's review of insurance needs for the fair. "He had a good grasp of the financial aspect of the fair."

Hills, a longtime volunteer at the Crawford County Fair, was appointed to a five-year term on the fair's board of directors in April 2017.

The Fair Board makes nominations to its nine-member voting board with three people chosen from western, central and eastern sections of the county and county commissioners then formally act on the nominations.

Prior to his coming on the board as a director, Hills was active in helping with livestock — doing everything from setting up pens in the swine department to assisting with livestock shows at the fair to the annual 4-H and FFA market livestock sale. Hills also was a member of the Homeshow Baked Goods Department, a department Hills' mother had chaired for years, Winters said. Hills also served as the board's liaison with the fair's Junior Fair Board.

"He's going to be sadly missed. It's a big, big void," Winters said softly.

Out of deference to the family and its need for closure, Winters said the seat Hills held will remain vacant for the interim.

The Fair Board is expected to discuss the matter briefly at its December meeting next week, Winters said. Any formal action on the vacancy isn't expected until the first quarter of 2019 as there is no board meeting scheduled in January due to the annual state fair association convention, Winters said.

At its meeting next week, the Fair Board is scheduled to nominate three members to fill three seats whose terms expire at the end of this year.

The Fair Board is expected to nominate Bill Agnew and Kathy Klink, both of the Linesville area, for two seats from the western region and Dean Maynard to a seat from the eastern region.

William Davis and John Lasko, who currently hold the two western region seats up for appointment, and Ron Kerr, who holds the eastern region seat, all chose not to seek another term on the board.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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