Former Jim Wells County Judge L. Arnold Saenz passed away after his battle with cancer over the weekend.

"I started with him. He was a great person who had a lot of knowledge in the judicial area...," said JWC Clerk JC Perez III. "He was a good man and took his job very seriously. He always tired to do what was best for Jim Wells County, not only in the courthouse."

Saenz worked with the county, federal programs in 1978, on up through positions as assistant county auditor, county auditor, and finally JWC Judge. The 73rd annual JWC Fair was dedicated in his honor for his many contributions to the fair.

"My wife, Abby and I join with our community in prayer for the family of the late Judge Arnold Saenz," said State Representative JM Lozano. "He dedicated his entire adult life to serving the people. Even though we lost a great man with a heart as big as Texas, his legacy will live on. In addition to his leadership and goodwill, we will always remember his smile and laughter."

Saenz worked 37 years for JWC, including 20 years as county judge.

During Saenz's tenure as county judge, the county was able to develop the fairgrounds through the creation of a new Merchants Building, a remodel of the Women's Building with air conditioning, a new roof and remodel of the cattle barn, a new barn for the turkey and chicken show, which also services the pee wee goat show, and a redo of the horse stalls.

"It's a very very sad situation. I know he did a lot for the county of Jim Wells when he was elected in 1995," said JWC Judge Pete Trevino. "Always serving the good people of Jim Wells County. We have to thank him and his family for what he's done , for his legacy to Jim Wells County."