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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- People expressed shock and sadness in Elizabethtown, Kentucky following the untimely passing of Mayor Tim Walker.
The state Medical Examiner's Office says an autopsy revealed he died of a massive heart attack.
Elizabethtown resident John Wright, told WDRB's Gilbert Corsey on Friday, "We're saddened. Tim gave his heart and soul to this community."
Ofc. Virgil Willoughby of the Elizabethtown Police Dept. said, "It didn't matter who you were or what walk of life you came from -- he was a friend to all."
Flowers were placed outside City Hall as the flag flew at half staff and workers inside huddled together in grief.
Edna Berger of the Elizabethtown City Council said, "He was just a great mayor and a good husband and father and son. We've had a great loss."
Mayor Tim Walker didn't wake up Friday morning -- he was found dead in his home at just 54 years old. "I have never known a kinder more decent man or a more willing and self-sacrificing public servant," said D. Dee Shaw, Elizabethtown City Attorney.
Some of the same colleagues and friends who shared bits of his character are wondering about the sudden change in his health. We're told Walker lost 47 pounds in the past two months. Shaw said, "He had a lot of energy and looked great and seemed very happy and appeared to be very healthy."
Burger explained, "But that's a humongous loss in two months, and to me that was a real concern.
Walker served the city nearly 25 years -- first as a firefighter, then a city councilmen, and finally taking the seat as mayor in January 2011. Ofc Willoughby said, "I would always say, 'Mayor,' and he would always say call me Tim."
He told WDRB's Gilbert Corsey the same thing when they last spoke in 2012. It was just before the opening of the Elizabethtown Sports Park, what could be considered Walker's crowning achievement
The $29 million athletic complex now drives big tourism dollars into the city. As Mayor Walker put it the, "It was a risk but one we were willing to take."
The Elizabethtown City Council now has 30 days to select a new mayor to serve out the rest of Walkers term till the end of 2014. They can appoint anyone they wish, though we're told it will likely be one of the six members of the council itself.
Walker is survived by his wife Teresa, six children, and eight grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are not yet set.