MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Shelby County Trustee Paul Mattila died Friday night following a battle with lung cancer. He was 65.
Diagnosed last year, he was recently readmitted to Baptist Memorial Hospital.
Mattila took the trustee's job on an interim basis back after longtime trustee Bob Patterson died in 2008. He was elected to a full term last August.
In a statement Friday night, Shelby County Mayor A.C. Wharton said, "Our community has lost a truly genuine and devoted public servant with the passing of Shelby County Trustee Paul Mattila. He was definitely someone with whom I enjoyed working in his official capacity as well as some of our time out in the community on the campaign trial."
Wharton continued, "For Paul, statistics and printouts never blurred his focus on the fact that he served real people. He showed this by remaining extremely accessible and sensitive to the needs of citizens, points that helped to shape the outlook of his staff and the operations of the trustee's office. Our prayers and thoughts are extended to his wife, Margaret, and the entire family. He will be deeply missed."