John Charles Werner, a former Liberty Township trustee who served for 16 years, died July 18. He was 63.

John Charles Werner, a former Liberty Township trustee who served for 16 years, died July 18. He was 63.

Werner, who lived in Powell, died while on a fishing trip near Toledo last week.

He first served the township as a member of the board of zoning for two years before he was elected to the board of trustees in 1990.

He served four terms on the board before leaving in 2005.

At the Monday, July 23, meeting of the board, Trustee Curt Sybert said Werner was a "great friend to the township, a great trustee and a fine man."

"He helped lead this township through its biggest growth period, without a doubt," Sybert said. "That was very difficult, moving Liberty Township and Powell from about 2,500 residents to 20,000 people in that time."

Former Trustee Kim Cellar, who served on the board with Werner, also remembered his former colleague at the July 23 meeting.

Cellar said he respected and admired Werner, and he said they remained friends even though they often clashed over township issues.

"We were fierce opponents but that always ended at the table," Cellar said. "John knew how to disagree without being disagreeable.

"John was just a heck of a guy and it would be nice if some of our politicians could get along as well as some of us did. It's a huge loss to the township."

Werner worked for American Electric Power as an electrical engineer for 38 years.

He was an active member of the Republican Central Committee in Delaware County.

He is survived by his wife, Sharon Werner; son, Matthew Werner; daughter, Lori Alexander; four grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Wednesday, July 25.