MOUNT CARMEL -- A community in Northumberland County experienced a loss over the weekend when Richard Beierschmitt died suddenly.
Beierschmitt was a longtime superintendent and high school principal in Mount Carmel Area.
This past Thursday, Beierschmitt was the guest speaker at Mount Carmel Area High School's graduation.
Just two days later he died.
Some of his former colleagues spoke very fondly of the man they call a mentor.
Seniors at Mount Carmel Area High School received their diplomas Thursday and listened to words of wisdom from the guest speaker. The district recorded the speech from former superintendent Richard Beierschmitt.
"It is truly an honor and a pleasure to be here this evening to take part in this happy and important occasion in your lives," he said.
Two days after Beierschmitt gave his graduation speech, he died unexpectedly at age 65. The lifelong Mount Carmel resident served the Mount Carmel Area School District for 35 years as a teacher, principal and superintendent.
"If you think of one person that captures Tornado pride, it would be Mr. Beierschmitt," said Superintendent Bernard Stellar.
Superintendent Stellar and high school Principal Lisa Varano both worked closely with and learned from Beierschmitt.
"He was just the type of principal who was always there, always had a moment for you, always would stop in the hallway and talk. He wasn't a desk sitter," Varano said.
To show appreciation for Beierschmitt, the Mount Carmel Area School District dedicated the high school's auditorium to him in 2005 when he retired.
"I don't think I could begin to tell you the amount of people, past students, colleagues, musicians that he's influenced," Varano added.
"I think most of all, his love and influence over the kids is really his lasting legacy," said Stellar.
Beierschmitt ended his speech on Thursday with advice to students.
"Be confident, set new goals and remember, keep learning."
Services for Richard Beierschmitt will be held Wednesday at Stutz Funeral Home in Mount Carmel.