THORNDIKE, Maine — Thorndike and Waldo County officials are mourning the recent loss of the small town’s longtime First Selectman Jim Bennett.

Bennett, 68, had been on the select board for 13 years, also serving on the Waldo County Budget Committee for all of that time. He is remembered for caring about the people of Thorndike, for paying careful attention to the budget and for his knowledge of all things municipal, according to Larry Ward, the town’s second selectman.

“The man had such a grasp of everything that was going on,” Ward said Friday, adding that Bennett’s contributions to Thorndike were “almost beyond description. What an immense store of knowledge is lost to us.”

Bennett, who died on Sunday, was part of the first graduating class from Mount View High School in 1965, according to his obituary. He drove school buses for SAD 3 for more than 30 years and also owned a couple of local businesses.

Barbara Arseneau, the Waldo County clerk, said that Bennett was very careful with the pocketbooks of people from Thorndike and the county.

“He was concerned about county frugality,” she said. “He took it very seriously. He cared a great deal about the taxpayers of Thorndike who had financial difficulties, he really did. He wanted to stay on [the budget committee] to make sure things stayed on track because he was concerned about the taxpayers of Waldo County.”

Ward said that if Bennett heard about a Thorndike resident who was in trouble and needed help, he’d be the first to lend a hand. His death has left a big hole in the town, Ward said, which will have just two selectmen until the next annual town meeting in March 2016.

“We’re just trying to figure out on a day-to-day basis what to do to keep the town running,” he said. “I feel very deeply that he was the best thing Thorndike has ever seen, as a select person and a leader.”