Just after Boone County’s commissioner Alan Rasmussen won his reelection, he suddenly died Tuesday, leaving voters and coworkers stunned.

“I was shocked,” said Boone County Sheriff Denny Johnson. “I had seen him a few days previously and everything seemed ok.”

Boone County Clerk Kathy Thorbery says she saw Rasmussen a day before his death. She says he was making some good progress with his Guillain-Barré syndrome treatment. A disease that causes the immune system to attack the body’s nerves.

“He was getting excited because he had movement back in the bottom of his legs, and he thought he maybe was getting to be walking by Christmas again,” she said.

Rasmussen became wheelchair-bound in January. Those that knew him say he faced his illness with bravery and optimism.

“To be honest with you, I was amazed at how he handled that,” Johnson said. “He came to work any chance that he could. He never missed a meeting unless needed. He really went above and beyond.”

His obituary says he was a huge fan of racing, and that he had a place on many boards in his community. Sheriff Johnson says he was a person very closely connected with others.

“One thing about Alan is he’s is such a family man,” Johnson said. “I know his kids and grandkids and he treated them like no other. He really was the epitome of a grandfather and father. Someone that they all looked up to.”

The Boone County Board is getting ready to host a public meeting to proceed with choosing the next commissioner. Rasmussen was a member of the Zion Lutheran Church in Albion, where he was baptized, and his funeral will be held there on November 14th.

“Our thoughts and prayers definitely go out to the family,” Johnson said. “He is going to be greatly missed. He was a great man in the community who served his community well, and was willing to help out in any way that he could.”