Long time Boone resident Sonny Sweet passed away Monday June 13 after a long battle with cancer.

Sweet, a highly decorated retired Army colonel, who served for almost 31 years and during five armed conflicts, also served as director for the Red Cross in the High County for 15 years, and helped countless people through major disasters.

Sweet helped grow the Blue Ridge Chapter of the American Red Cross, and was the driving force behind the development of the now internationally known Blood Sweat and Gears bicycle ride, that benefits the Red Cross.

Sweet also served the community through the Military Officers Association of America, Kiwanis of Boone, the town of Boone and the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce.

Sonny was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 2013, and he wanted to establish a lasting legacy that would help kids. He chose to partner with Western Youth Network (WYN) to establish a scholarship fund in his name that would increase the number of needy area adolescents who could participate in WYN’s programs. You can learn more about the fund at WesternYouthNetwork.org.

Sonny Sweet was 82.