Dr. Joe Hargroder, a founding board member of MidSouth Bank who raised 25 percent of the capital to start the institution in 1985, died Thursday after a battle with cancer.

He was 83.

“I just don’t even know where to begin in trying to put into words the kind of loss each of us at the bank is feeling,” MidSouth Bank President and CEO Rusty Cloutier said in an announcement of Hargroder’s death. “Dr. Joe has been our rock for so long. We could never repay him for the faith he put in us and for his guidance and determination to make this bank what it is today. Without Dr. Joe, there would have been no MidSouth Bank.”

The Jennings physician retired from medicine in 1992.

He served as vice-chairman of MidSouth Bank’s board of directors from 1990 to 2012 and remained a board member until his death.

A celebration of Hargroder’s life is being planned for July in Jennings.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the Dr. Joe Hargroder Scholarship fund.

Checks can be sent to the McNeese Foundation, P.O. Box 91989, Lake Charles, LA, 70609. Donations also can be made online at www.mcneese foundation.org.