Former Winnebago County Sheriff Don Gasparini died Friday in Naples, Florida. He was 72.
The Democrat was first elected sheriff in 1980 and served until he retired in 1997.
Gasparini was popular among county residents for his big, friendly personality. He was an avid hunter and well-known for his wild game dinner fundraisers.
He did, however, gain some national notoriety 20 years ago related to a hunting violation. He was caught hunting on land in Ogle County without permission and fined for failing to immediately tag a deer he had killed.