State Reps. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) and Greta Johnson (D-Akron) today offered their condolences following the passing of Summit County Executive Russ Pry. Pry’s death comes just two days after announcing that he would not seek re-election due to ongoing health issues.
“My heartfelt sympathies are with Russ’ friends, family and our entire community,” said Sykes. “His passing is a great loss for the people of Summit County, who witnessed firsthand Russ’ honesty and dedication to our community. For nearly ten years, he fought relentlessly for sustainable jobs, securing the rights of our veterans and ensuring access to quality education for all of our children. He worked tirelessly to secure a brighter future for all citizens of Summit County. He will truly be missed.”
Pry was elected to two terms as Summit County Executive since 2007. During his time in office, Pry lead the “First Things First” initiative, a research based community effort to improve education outcomes for Summit County children ages zero to five. As one of his original promises to the citizens of Summit County, Pry restored and improved the Veterans Service Commission building in Akron, making it handicap-accessible and open to all veterans in the county. Under Pry’s administration, thousands of jobs were preserved, including the construction of the new Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Global and North American Headquarters and Innovation Center in Akron.
“Russ was the lighthouse of our community. We could chart our course to his guiding light, knowing that his wisdom, compassion and integrity would keep us strong and steady,” said Johnson. “Though that light may seem dimmer during this painful time, I am hopeful that we someday can take comfort in seeing others around us do good and know that it is because of the leadership and inspiration Russ imparted on all he touched.”
Pry was diagnosed with colon cancer this past June. He passed away Sunday.