A mowing accident has claimed the life of Stafford County Commissioner Shane Stimatze. The accident was discovered Monday, Aug. 14 but the exact day of the accident is unknown.

Stafford County residents are dealing with shock and grief over the accidental death of County Commissioner and business owner Shane Stimatze.

According to the Stafford County Sheriff's Office, Stafford County EMS, Stafford County Fire Department and Sheriff's officers were dispatched at 10:47 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 14 to 341 NW 50th Avenue to the report of a lawnmower upside down in a pond at that residence. When the mower was removed, a male subject, identified as Shane Stimatze, was found deceased in the water.

Stimatze was taken to Minnis Chapel in St. John. The incident is under investigation by the Stafford County Sheriff's Office.

Besides being a county commissioner, Stimatze, who was 42, owned Mid-Kansas Ag Incorporated and Squeaks Club in St. John as well as being a basketball official, said Stafford County Clerk Nita Keenan.

Stafford County Commission Chair Kurt Fairchild said Stimatze was a leading entrepreneur in Stafford County who employed a lot of people. He was very generous to other businesses and helped them get started.

Stimatze was a big time basketball official and he was very well respected among his peers, Fairchild said.

"He (Stimatze) was very well respected and liked in the community. He was a great guy to work with on the Commission," Fairchild said. "He's going to be a tough guy to replace. He will be sorely missed in Stafford County."

Stimatze never married. His parents live in Pawnee Rock and he has a sister Lucy.