The Kitchener hockey community is mourning the death of one of its longtime leaders.

The Kitchener Minor Hockey Association announced Tuesday that the association’s president, Tom Graham, had passed away.

He was 61.

Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic said in a tweet that his passing was sudden.

“Tom was a friend who dedicated his life to family, public service with @CFIA_Canada and community service to thousands of local hockey playing kids!” Vrbanovic says.

Graham had been in the hockey community for more than four decades, beginning his career as a referee and coach. He won several provincial titles with both boys’ and girls’ teams.

He served as president of the KMHA since 2000, the longest running president in the association's history.

“Tom possessed a unique ability to make those around him stronger and better,” an article on the KMHA website reads in part.

The circumstances surrounding his passing have not been shared.

A visitation is scheduled for Thursday and a funeral for Friday.