ROSEBURG, Ore. – Oregon Rep. Gary Leif died in Roseburg on Thursday, and members of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners took a moment to remember him.
In a statement, the board said Leif died unexpectedly. They extended their condolences to the man’s family, friends and colleagues.
“Gary showed up his first day as County Commissioner ready to hit the ground running. His enthusiasm about serving this county was infectious, and he worked hard during his time as a County Commissioner,” remarked Commissioner Chris Boice.
In May 18, 2016, he was elected as the 105th Douglas County Commissioner. He vacated his position more than a year early to accept an appointment as representative for House District 2, taking the place of Dallas Heard, who was appointed to a state senate position.
Leif was seven months into his third term as a state representative. House District 2 includes parts of Douglas, Jackson and Josephine counties and was previously represented by current Douglas County Commissioner Tim Freeman.
“I was honored to work alongside Gary as a County Commissioner and proud of him for stepping up to the State level during a very demanding and difficult time. His dedication and willingness to serve the citizens of Douglas County and his District will forever be remembered,” commented Commissioner Tim Freeman.
Leif also served on the Board of Directors for the United Community Action Network, which aims to provide resources and opportunities to residents experiencing poverty.
Leif was raised in Douglas County. And he wasn't just known for his political involvement; he also owned Leif Photography for over 40 years.
Friends of Leif said they will miss him greatly.
Chairman of Douglas County Republican Central Committee, Valynn Currie, not only knew Leif through his political work but was also a close friend to him and his family.
"He was a wonderful statesman, he was a wonderful father, grandfather, and he was a wonderful husband to Carol, and he's going to be missed by our community greatly," said Currie.
Leif was supposed to speak at a meeting for the Douglas County Republican Party on Thursday night but was instead honored with a moment of silence.