(Delmarva Now) -- Laurence J. "Larry" Trala of Exmore, a former member of the Northampton County Board of Supervisors and owner of a popular Exmore restaurant, died Thursday morning at age 86 after a long illness.
Trala served four terms on the Northampton board, starting in 2000, before he announced in 2015 he would not seek another four-year term representing Electoral District 5.
He was known to all as a gentleman in the sometimes rough-and-tumble arena of local politics.
"Larry always took the high road as to what was best for the whole county," said Spencer Murray, Northampton County Board of Supervisors chairman.
Trala served as board chairman and was a member of many boards and commissions during his tenure as supervisor, and was known a a hard worker.
The list of organizations of which he was a member is long, including the Accomack-Northampton Housing and Redevelopment Corporation; The Accomack-Northampton Transportation District Commission; the Disability Services Board; the Eastern Shore 911 Commission; the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce, where he served on the Harvest Fest Committee; the Jail Committee; the Literacy Council of the Eastern Shore Board of Directors; New Road Revitalization Committee; the Northampton County Planning Commission; the Regional Solid Waste Board; Shore Memorial Hospital Board of Directors; the Eastern Shore SPCA Board of Directors; and the Eastern Shore Family YMCA Board of Directors.
"He did a lot of work, often without a lot of recognition," Murray said.
In addition to serving as county supervisor, Trala previously served as mayor and councilman in the town of Exmore.
Trala and his wife, Joan, who passed away in 2012, for 26 years owned and operated Joan and Larry's Drive-In restaurant in Exmore — a popular gathering spot known for delicious chicken and other items as well as its owners' warm welcome. They retired in July 2001.
Trala was active in and had leadership roles in many community organizations over the years — including Broadwater Lodge 71, the Christian Businessmen's Association Board of Directors, the Exmore Moose Lodge, the Exmore Rotary Club, the Exmore Ruritan Club, Khedive Temple Shrine, Scottish Rite 32 degree and VFW Post $4856.
Trala was a graduate of Goldy Beacom Business College, where he studied business management, and was a veteran of the United States Army.
He also worked for two decades with the Ford Motor Company as a process engineer.
"Larry was a very, very dear friend and a dedicated public servant. He will be dearly missed by the county," Murray said.