Fire Board President Remembered
Investigators say Smith, 77, apparently killed himself, but they have not officially determined the cause of death.
Fire Chief Steve Paulsell says the district will miss Smith.
"We will move quickly with due diligence to bring another member to our board of directors," said Paulsell. "We will continue our work, which is to serve the citizens of Boone County. We will take the appropriate time to remember and honor Willis Smith. Most of all, we will carry on, for that is what Willis would want us to do."
Last September, some residents began a recall effort to remove Smith as board president. The group's lawyer said Smith told the leader of the recall effort was not angry or upset about it.
"She had several long conversations with Willis, and Willis's final statement was 'Well, do what you have to do, I understand,'" said attorney Dave Moen. "He really seemed to be okay with us working through the process of seeing what the citizens thought of him and whether he should stay in."
The other two board members must approve someone to complete Smith's term.