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Kenny Dement, a former two-term county commissioner and a fixture of St. Mary’s County adult softball, died Wednesday at the age of 78.

Born and raised in Callaway, Dement worked for the St. Mary’s County public schools for 20 years as a bus driver instructor. After two previous campaigns for county commissioner, he was elected as a Republican in 2002. He served for two terms, ending in 2010. He wife of more than 50 years, Shirley, died in April 2009.

St. Mary’s County government ordered Wednesday that all county flags lowered for five business days effective in remembrance of Dement.

“He was a good guy. He wouldn’t do anything to hurt anybody,” said Thomas A. Mattingly Sr., former commissioner who served on the board with Dement. “I enjoyed working with him.”

“I think the legacy he’ll leave ... is he was one of the three votes to institute senior property tax relief,” said Commissioner Larry Jarboe (R), who also served with Dement. “Without his vote we wouldn’t have the senior property tax [cap] the county has.”

Dement “was a loyal servant to the people of St. Mary’s County,” said Commission President Jack Russell (D) in a statement. “I enjoyed working with him and his presence will truly be missed.”

Dement served as the president of the St. Mary’s County Slow Pitch Softball League for more than 30 years and was one of the founders of the St. Mary’s County Softball Hall of Fame, located at the Chancellor’s Run Regional Park in Great Mills.

jbabcock@somdnews.com