Vilas County Sheriff dies Thursday morning - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Vilas County Sheriff dies Thursday morning

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VILAS COUNTY (WAOW) -

The flag at the Vilas County Sheriff's Department is flying at half-mast to honor the former Sheriff, Frank Tomlanovich, who died early Thursday.

"A lot of my career I owe to Sheriff Tomlanovich and his insight with the job, his guidance. Just a good person to work with," said Captain Russ Kennedy, Vilas County Sheriff's Department.

Captain Kennedy got the call Thursday morning that Sheriff Tomlanovich had passed away after a brief illness.

Now, he's left to reflect.

"I remember way back then that he was my training officer and just a wonderful person to have as a training officer, a person to look up to, he was knowledgable, taught me well," said Kennedy.

Tomlanovich started at Vilas County in 1979 and held many titles over the years, as a deputy sheriff, a detective and in 2010, he was elected sheriff.

"The office meant a lot to him, working all these years for us, and then ultimately becoming sheriff, being in a position to help the community in that capacity," said Kennedy.

Kennedy said that included helping his officers grow and taking pride in their accomplishments.

"We went down to Volk Field in Madison where our deputy received a Silver Star for action in Afghanistan, I know he was proud of that," said Kennedy.

Colleagues said Tomlanovich was dedicated to keeping the sheriff's department involved in the community. That included a 2011 training course his department used to learn more about finding missing children.

"We have to come together and train like this so everybody knows what's expected of them," said Sheriff Frank Tomlanovich in 2011.

While he may no longer be at the department, the people he saw every day, said he'll never be forgotten.

"He was a good man, glad to have him as a sheriff and I'll truly miss him," said Kennedy.

As this department tries to cope and continue doing what he loved to do.

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UPDATE: A Vilas County Sheriff's Captain confirms 61-year-old Sheriff Frank Tomlanovich died early Thursday morning from an illness.

Vilas County officials say Tomlanovich served at the department for 34 years and was elected sheriff in 2010.

"He was well known throughout the community with those years of service," said Captain Russ Kennedy, Vilas County Sheriff's Department.

Officials say they plan to release more information later today.

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Vilas County Sheriff's officials tell Newsline 9 Sheriff Frank Tomlanovich died overnight.

Officials say they will be releasing more information later this morning.

Stay with Newsline 9 for the latest on this story.

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