Ken Kraus is being remembered by many as a passionate public servant who has left a lasting impact on Marysville.

Ken Kraus is being remembered by many as a passionate public servant who has left a lasting impact on Marysville.

"Ken Kraus is the epitome of public service in the community," Union County Chamber of Commerce CEO Eric Phillips said. "He volunteered for so many different things.

"His impact on planning and development, on the city in general and on Union County will be long felt."

Kraus, chairman of the city's planning commission, died of a heart attack Tuesday, July 19, at age 70 after collapsing on a local golf course on Monday.

Phillips said he will remember Kraus as someone who was "always working hard for the community in which he lived."

"If we had 10 Ken Krauses, this community would definitely be greater than what it is, and it's a great community already," he said. "He's going to be sorely missed."

Kraus joined Marysville City Council in 1975 and served as its president and mayor and later served for three terms as the city's director of administration.

"He was someone that was very involved and truly, really loved our community," Mayor John Gore said, recalling meeting Kraus 32 years ago.

"Ken was always thinking about how to make things better," Gore said.

Kraus was also an associate at the O.M. Scotts Co. for 19 years, had been a substitute teacher and was passionate about helping the local library and his church.

"He always wore a big smile," said former Marysville mayor Christiane Schmenk, soon-to-be director of the Ohio Department of Development. "Just a positive, upbeat, friendly, outgoing guy who cared deeply about the community."

Schmenk worked with Kraus for nearly 15 years, a span that included his most recent role as chairman of the planning commission. A mentor to her when she took office, Schmenk described Kraus as "an amazing public servant" and a "friend to everyone."

"He was willing to put in long hours on a volunteer basis because he cared about the community," she said. "(He) had a huge depth of knowledge about how the city did things and what was in the city's best interest and was really skillful at bringing together different constituents and being able to craft legislation for the planning commission that was able to meet the needs of all those constituents.

"He was really very willing to share his knowledge and guidance, and it was in a helpful way," Schmenk said. "He just wanted to help the community."

Although Kraus held multiple positions in city government that made him a recognizable community member, anyone who had attended a Marysville High School football game in the past three decades knew his voice.

For 37 years, Kraus called the Monarchs' football games from the press box and never missed a single Friday night. Kraus retired from the duty at the end of last season and will be forever remembered as "the voice of the Monarchs."

As one of the Monarchs' clock operators, Gore said he had the pleasure of sitting with Kraus in the home press box for 26 years.

"We knew we were going to miss him as the 'voice of the Monarchs' after he retired last year, but this community is going to miss him a lot, too," Gore said.

Kraus is survived by his wife of 47 years, Alice, and their two grown sons, Dirk and Matt, and their families.

Kraus graduated in 1958 from Medina High School and received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Ohio State University and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Dayton.

A passionate fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Kraus was a member of the OSU President's Club and had attended football games with his wife every year since he graduated from college.

"He truly was a big Buckeye football fan," Gore said. "He cheered for the Buckeyes, cheered for the Monarchs (and) cheered for the city of Marysville."