SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -

The City of Springfield is mourning the passing of one of its leaders. Public Works Director Phil Broyles died Saturday after a brief battle with cancer. Broyles was 65.

“Our hearts are heavy at the City. It is unfair that Phil has been taken from us,” said City Manager Greg Burris.

“Heroes do walk among us, and Phil was one of mine. Our community lost a good man. Phil possessed a “can do” spirit, but with the easy-going style of a long-time friend that made people want to work with him. Phil will be missed within our City family, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”

Mayor Bob Stephens praised Broyles for both his expertise and positive outlook.

“Phil Broyles was an extremely knowledgeable and respected Director of Public Works,” Stephens said. “But beyond that, he was a class act and a gentleman. He truly served the citizens of Southwest Missouri and Springfield cheerfully, and well,” Stephens said.

Broyles was named Director of Public Works July 1, 2011, after previously serving as Co-Interim Director of Public Works and Assistant Director - Operations. Broyles came to the City after a 30-year career with the Missouri Department of Transportation. Twenty of those years were spent in the Springfield District office in several Maintenance and Operations positions.

Broyles also oversaw the emergence of the newly created Environmental Services department, managed by Director Steve Meyer. The new department maintains over l,200 miles of sanitary sewers with 28,000 manholes, two waste water treatment plants processing anaverage of 40 million gallons of sewage each day and manages Springfield's solid waste management and recycling programs, including disposal of household chemicals and operation of the Springfield Municipal Landfill.