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WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Walworth County lost its longest-serving supervisor earlier this month. Joe Schaefer’s seat, which he held since 1974, sat empty at our January meeting.

Schaefer passed away Jan. 11, ending a 43-year tenure, which was the longest in the history of our county. Schaefer was well known to many in the county for his board service and ownership of the Ye Olde Hotel in the town of Lyons. I had the privilege of knowing Schaefer since 1996 and working with him for 17 years.

When Joe Schaefer  of Lyons was re-elected as a Walworth County Board supervisor  April 5, he earned the distinction of the longest continuous-serving board member in the county’s history at 42 years.

Schaefer, 73, died Wednesday, Jan. 11 at the St. Luke Medical Center in Milwaukee.

LYONS -- The first year Joe Schaefer was elected as a Walworth County Board supervisor, President Nixon had resigned due to the Watergate scandal, Muhammad Ali defeated George Foreman in the "Rumble in the Jungle" and "The Godfather: Part II" was playing in the movie theaters.

A lot has changed since 1974, but one thing that has remained consistent in Walworth County  is Schaefer’s service to the county board. That service will continue as Schaefer, 72, of Lyons was re-elected April 5, making him the longest continuous-serving board member in the county’s history at 42 years. Schaefer said he is looking forward to serving another term.

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