(From Left to Right) Ken Antaya, Marc Bondy, Mike Raymond, Bill Varga and Vince Marcotte. (Courtesy LaSalle Mayor Marc Bondy / Facebook)

LASALLE -- A former mayor of LaSalle has passed away.

Bill Varga passed away Monday morning at the age of 90. He had been in the hospital for about five days.

Varga served LaSalle from 1991 to 2010, and Sandwich West from 1974 to 1982 and 1985 to 1990. Over the years, Varga held the positions of councillor, reeve, deputy reeve, deputy mayor and mayor.

"It is difficult to find the words to describe Bill," said current LaSalle Mayor Marc Bondy. "Bill had so much integrity. He was someone who we want to be like. Bill always did what was best for the community. He thought about the community first and foremost."

Varga was also the Warden of Essex County in 1994. He is one of the longest serving members of Essex County Council holding a seat from 1977 to 1982 and 1985 to 2010.

He retired from municipal politics in 2010.

"Bill was incredibly popular in his beloved Town as well as highly respected regionally,” said former LaSalle mayor Ken Antaya. “People loved being around him. For over 30 years of working for, with and beside him, I could always count on his support, and unwavering loyalty. He will be missed."

The flags located on municipal property in LaSalle will be lowered to half-mast to honour Varga.

The Town of #LaSalle is saddened to hear of the passing of Mr. William (Bill) Varga. Mr. Varga served LaSalle (1991-2010), and Township of Sandwich West (1974-1982 & 1985-1990). Over the years, Mr. Varga held the positions of Councillor, Reeve, Deputy Reeve, Deputy Mayor & Mayor. pic.twitter.com/ALPwfp96wS

— Town of LaSalle (@TownofLaSalle) September 30, 2019