MONTROSE -- Those who knew Robert Klein remember him as a genuine, stand-up man, who not only took pride in his work, but also his role as a husband and father.
The Susquehanna County District Attorney passed away Wednesday at the age of 53 after an illness.
"He lit up a room and you didn't really have much of a choice because he was a presence," former Lackawanna County first assistant D.A. said. "He was a presence because of his keen legal intellect. He was a presence because of his persuasive ability and a presence because of his dedication to his work. You knew immediately that this was a fella that truly loved the work he did."
"Bob was a man of family, a man of faith," Assistant D.A. Bill Urbanski said. "He was a true public servant and he's going to be greatly missed by a lot of people. He touched a lot of lives."
Some of Klein's closest friends and colleagues say that he was an influential leader, who made his mark in both Susquehanna and Lackawanna counties.
"So dedicated to the people of Lackawanna County and then the people of Susquehanna County," Talerico said. "He was the kind of person that when he had a task to do, you could absolutely take it to the bank that it would be done, done well, done on time and in most instances, done early."
Assistant D.A. Bill Urbanski will be taking on the responsibilities of D.A. He realizes he has big shoes to fill.
"It's going to be a tough time transitioning and adjusting to his loss," Urbanski said. "He's left a huge hole in this community."
County Commissioner Alan Hall had a strong message for those already trying to lobby for Klein's position. Namely the Republican party.
"To me, it's just disheartening in the whole process that we haven't even had a chance to bury this individual, a person we should be very thankful we had the opportunity we had a part of and we're already fighting over his seat," Hall said.
Klein's colleagues also applauded the stance he took against synthetic marijuana and bath salts, as well as his "Drug Take Back" program, which they say had an impact across the state.