Longtime local politician and community leader Herb Epp has died.  He passed away Monday at the age of 78.

Epp served on Waterloo City Council for close to a decade, first as an alderman and then as mayor.

During his time as Mayor of Waterloo, he supported two multi-million dollar projects, the UpTown Waterloo Public Square and the YMCA/John M. Harper Library.

He also was a Liberal MPP from 1977 to 1990.

Epp was also a teacher and worked in real estate. He was born in Winnipeg but raised in Waterloo.

“He dedicated his life to his community, to helping others, he was kind and highly respected man. I want express our sincere condolences to his family.” said Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran.

A funeral is being planned for Friday according to Halloran.

AUDIO – Brenda Halloran

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Flags at Waterloo City Hall are being lowered to half staff.

The President and CEO of the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce was a councillor in Waterloo during Epp’s last term as mayor, which started in 2003.

Ian McLean tells 570 News Herb Epp was a very passionate advocate and promoter of Waterloo.

AUDIO – Ian McLean

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Former Kitchener-Waterloo MPP Elizabeth Witmer tells us she regarded Epp with great respect.

AUDIO – Elizabeth Witmer

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Witmer succeeded Epp as Waterloo North MPP in 1990. She lost to him in her first attempt to get to Queen’s Park in 1997.

AUDIO – Carl Zehr

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Zehr tells us that Epp was dedicated to the people he represented and gained their respect for his years of service.

Premier Kathleen Wynne has released the following statement about Epp:

“I am saddened to hear of the passing of Herb Epp. He was a proud and passionate voice for the people of Kitchener-Waterloo and his service as an elected representative did much to improve his community and his province.

As a teacher and guidance counselor, a member of the Ontario legislature and a three-term mayor of Waterloo, he dedicated himself to the betterment of people’s lives. He was an important advocate for young people and contributed greatly to the development of his community.

My thoughts are with his family and his community. He will be deeply missed, both within Kitchener-Waterloo and across Ontario.”