On Sept. 22, Pleasant Township chairman Keith Goldhardt passed away after a brief, but courageous battle with stomach cancer. He had just turned 63 on Sept. 5.
Goldhardt became a township trustee in 1995, a race that current trustee and longtime friend Dale Worthington remembers all too well.
"We ran against each other and he beat me by just one vote," Worthington said with a laugh.
Goldhardt was appointed chairman of the board that year and held the position throughout his 15 years of service. He also served on various boards such as the Franklin County Board of Zoning Appeals, the Big Darby Accord Panel, and the Ohio Township Association.
"He stayed active in whatever functions were going on in the county to make sure that Pleasant Township was well represented," said trustee Nancy Hunter.
Like Worthington, Hunter has known Goldhardt all her life. She even credited him for her becoming involved in the political landscape.
"His enthusiasm was an inspiration to me," she said.
"He was a very good leader," he said. "He was very conscientious of the job and was always looking out for the township’s benefit."
In addition to his duties as the township chair, Goldhardt was also a full-time employee at National City Bank (now PNC Bank).
"He would burn a ton of his work and leave to go to meetings and represent the township," said fiscal officer Paula Wilkins. "I asked him before how he managed to keep everything straight and he said he couldn’t have done it without Patty (his wife)."
"Patty was the love of his life and his children and grandchildren were the main focus in his life," said Hunter.
They added that even though Goldhardt’s position on the board can be filled, he could never be replaced.