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Johnson City Commissioner Ralph Van Brocklin dies suddenly

Johnson City Commissioner Ralph J. Van Brocklin has suddenly died early Saturday evening according to the City of Johnson City.

In a statement sent to News 5, spokesperson Keisha Shoun said he suffered a heart attack while running on the Tweetsie Trail.

The statement reads:

"The Johnson City Board of Commissioners and staff are incredibly saddened by the sudden loss of our colleague, Ralph Van Brocklin, who suffered an apparent heart attack while running on the Tweetsie Trail, a project near and dear to him.

First and foremost we send our deepest condolences to his wife Deborah, sons Hunter and Mark, and all of his extended family.

We are mourning the loss of a close friend and dedicated public servant who loved this community and worked selflessly to make it better. His impact is seen in our schools, our parks system, our animal shelter, and countless other services, facilities and amenities that we enjoy. We are grateful for the time we served alongside him and will honor his memory moving forward."

Commissioner Van Brocklin was elected to the City Commission in 2011, and served on the Board of Education for one term prior to that. He was mayor from 2013-2015.

The City will work with the Washington County Election Commission Monday to determine next steps regarding Commissioner Van Brocklin's seat.

"We will sort out those details tomorrow," said City Manager Pete Peterson. "Today, we are grieving the tragic loss of a respected leader, servant and friend."

Further details will be released as they become available.

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