A former and teacher and local politician has died. Rudolph "Rudy" Papa spent 33 years as a teacher in the Bethalto School District prior to a 41-year political career. He died Thursday at the age of 77.

Papa began his political career as a Bethalto Village Board Member in 1970. He was first elected to serve on the Madison County Board in 1982 and was elected to serve as County Board Chairman in 1996. He retired in 2001 amid controversy over pensions to former board members.

Funeral arrangements for Papa are pending at Elias, Kallal and Schaaf Funeral Home in Bethalto.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio / www.AltonDailyNews.com)