Menard County chairman collapses at meeting, dies

Published: Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 1:00 p.m.CDT

PETERSBURG — The chairman of the Menard County board has died after collapsing during a board meeting.

Sangamon County Coroner Cinda Edwards tells The State Journal-Register that 78-year-old Merle Kirby was pronounced dead Tuesday at a Springfield hospital. Edwards says Kirby died from natural causes, but hasn't determined an exact cause.

The meeting was in the central Illinois city of Petersburg, about 25 miles northwest of Springfield.

Kirby was from Greenview. He served several terms on the county board dating back to the 1970s. He was running unopposed in the Republican primary for another term.

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