Remembering Wayne Tritch

LAFE, AR (KAIT) -- Funeral services for the late Wayne Tritch have been set. Tritch will be laid to rest at the Mitchell Funeral Home in Paragould at 1:30 Monday afternoon. Tritch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer October 14, 2008, three weeks before the elections.

"He was fighting hard and he was suffering. I was ready for him to be in peace," said Tonya Damron, Tritch's daughter.

"I was shocked. I mean it was a unexpected. We didn't know. We knew that he had been sick, but we, cancer never even popped into our minds until they said it," said Shannon Tritch, Wayne's son.

Tritch survived a little less than 3 months after being diagnosed with the disease, which is often called the silent killer. Tritch passed away Friday morning at 10:10, hours away from his 55th birthday.

"I was sitting at his head, holding him, telling him to go. Not to suffer anymore," said Damron.

"I mean it was just. You know, losing your father, and that was the only thing running through my mind. I mean at least," said Shannon.

Doctors found 17 spots on his liver, giving him roughly a year to live.

"He always had an answer. It might not have always been right, but he always had an answer," said Damron.

"I think everybody liked him because he had so many friends," said Pauline Tritch, Wayne's mother.

His children must move on without the man who's been leading them their entire lives.

"He would do whatever anybody needed, whether it was in requirements of mayor or not. If somebody needed it, he would go," said Damron.

"I can come here and see mom, but going out in the shop and working with dad is not going to happen ever again," said Shannon.

"If I wanted to do something and it was meant for boys, he taught me to do it. He taught me to ride motorcycles, jump hills, shoot guns and whatever I wanted to do. There was no limitations to it. He treated me like a daughter and individual, not like a girl," said Damron.

"You're used to coming and seeing somebody everyday, working beside them, just going out and messing around and now, he's not there," said Shannon.

"He wanted to make sure his last words were to make sure my mom was okay, and to make sure we were alright," said Damron.

State law requires recorder/treasurer Denise Knuckles serves as acting mayor until the city council appoints a new mayor.