ERIE, Pa. -- Former Erie County Executive Rick Schenker has died after a battle with leukemia.
Born September 25, 1957, Rick Schenker graduated from McDowell High School in 1975. He went on to study religion at Central Bible College, Regent University and Biola University.
From 1996 to 2000, he worked as a spokesperson for Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
In 2002, he was elected to a four-year term as Erie County Executive. He oversaw a county government that had 1,100 employees and a $300 million budget.
In recent years, he focused on ministry.
He founded the Christian Defenders Academy, which is a free online service that offers training to help teens and young adults to stay devoted to their faith.
Schenker was diagnosed with Leukemia in November 2015. That battle ended on Thursday night, Aug. 10.
Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, who assumed office in 2014, said, "He was only our third county executive after we went to the home rule charter, and he was a man of great faith, a man who truly loved his family, and I think really loved his community and wanted to do the best he could for it.”
Ashley Schenker of Erie reflected on her father. She released the following statement:
“While Rick Schenker may be remembered for his many accomplishments as county executive and the ‘PennDot guy,’ those roles never defined him. He will always be remembered and cherished for his love for the Lord, and we are resting in the truth that he is with his Savior and has heard ‘Job well done, my good and faithful servant.’”
Family of Schenker said a memorial service will be held at a later date.
Schenker was 59 years old.
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