A single rose and black ribbon tied in a bow sat in front of the seat of the late Horry County Councilman Bob Grabowski as council met Tuesday for the first time since his death.
Grabowski was found dead behind his workplace, PTR Industries, on March 31. He died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound.
“It’s devastating to this council,” said Council Chairman Mark Lazarus shortly before a moment of silence honoring Grabowski. “Bob Grabowski was an excellent member of this council and an excellent community leader. He loved this county. He loved the job that he did. He loved the people. He loved police, and he loved law enforcement more than anything.”
Grabowski, 55, served on council for more than 10 years representing the Socastee and surrounding area.
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The former Socastee Recreation Park Commissioner had a wife, two daughters and one son. Grabowski served in the U.S. Air Force for more than 10 years and was a former air traffic controller.
Personally, his passions were shooting sports, hunting, and riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle, and publicly, he fought for more funding for public safety and maintaining promises made to county employees on benefits and perks.
A special election has already been scheduled to fill Grabowski’s District 6 seat. Filing will open April 17 and close on April 27. The primary will be June 16 and the general election is slated for Aug. 4.
Lazarus asked the public to remember Grabowski for what he did for the community and for his family.
“He was a tremendous asset to this community and to this county and especially to this council,” Lazarus said. “He brought a sense of reason to us. He brought a different perspective, at times, to us, but he was always a gentleman and he was always thoughtful.
“He always had the right intentions and the right reasons for things he was doing and the way he was doing it. Don’t anybody ever forget that or ever think differently of Bob Grabowski. His heart, his mind and his soul were absolutely in the right place for the people of Horry County.”
Traditionally, council ends its meetings in honor of those who have died throughout the county since their last meeting. Tuesday’s meeting was in honor of Grabowski alone.
Contact JASON M. RODRIGUEZ at 626-0301 or on Twitter @TSN_JRodriguez.