FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Leland Mitchell, the longest serving member of the Franklin County Board of Supervisors, passed away on Saturday, officials say.

Franklin County officials tell WFXR News that Mitchell passed away on Saturday, July 30, just seven months after he began his fifth term on the board of supervisors.

In addition to serving on the county board, Mitchell reportedly served as chairman of the Franklin County Broadband Authority.

“Mr. Mitchell became a champion for the deployment of high-speed broadband within the rural areas of Franklin County while serving as Chairman of the Broadband Authority where he most recently worked with his colleagues to secure approximately $25 million in state and federal funding to now begin connecting thousands of homes and businesses with high-speed internet throughout the County” stated Ronnie Thompson, chairman of the Franklin County Board of Supervisors.

Mitchell not only secured state and federal funding for Franklin County’s high-speed internet connection, but he also worked to have Franklin County added as a member of the Western Virginia Water Authority, which secured a public water and wastewater utility system, according to the county.

“Supervisor Leland Mitchell was a gentleman with a steadying presence on the Board during the great recession helping guide the fiscal policy of the County to ensure the employees and citizens of Franklin County always took priority,” Thompson said. “Mr. Mitchell was a strong supporter of Franklin County and measured the needs of the Snow Creek district with the needs of the entire County.”

Officials say Mitchell was known for being a strong supporter of Franklin County and always making sure the employees and residents of the county were prioritized.

“It was a pleasure to work with Leland through the years and he will be missed,” Franklin County Administrator Chris Whitlow said.

According to a statement released by Franklin County over the weekend, Pastor Eric Winn will be officiating a funeral service at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 3 at Beulah Baptist Church. The family is also set to receive friends at the church from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2.

The Mitchell family asks you to consider making memorial contributions to Beulah Baptist Church rather than sending flowers.