WALHALLA, SC (FOX Carolina)- The City of Walhalla announced on its Facebook page that councilman Dennis Owens passed away as a result of complications related to COVID-19.
According to the Facebook post, Owens had been on the city council since 2018 when he served as the Chairman of the Fire Committee and also the Street and Sanitation Committee.
Fellow councilmembers say Owens was never afraid to fight for the committees that he was on and the community members that he represented.
Owens even made a run for Mayor during his time on the city council.
He had been fighting COVID-19 from the hospital for over a month, before passing away according to a city council member.
His peers and friends say they will miss his leadership and passion.
"He cared for the city and I think it shows that the people cared for him, but he was a real caring person for the city. He wanted what was best, he had a lot of good ideas with different projects and things like that with the Stumphouse Mountain Park, or the Palmetto trail that's coming in," said Walhalla Mayor Pro-Tem Danny Woodward.
"I think his leadership was very valuable to others. And I think with his compassion to serve has also brought a lot of other members, and the community, to see him as more than just somebody to call and complain too. So they saw him more as someone who would come out and listen, would physically be present, and was always just a phone call away," added Walhalla City Councilwoman Sarai Melendez.
Usually when a council member in Walhalla leaves office for whatever reason a special election is held to fill that seat, but at this point there's no timetable for when that could occur.