LAFAYETTE — Earl Robicheaux Sr., a longtime chief civil deputy of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office, died at age 88 on Thursday, Sheriff Louis Ackal announced in a news release.

Ackal called Robicheaux “a selfless public servant, devoted family man, and friend,” according to an Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office news release.

Robicheaux had more than 41 years of public service, which began in 1942 when he enlisted in the Navy during World War II, the release said.

After his honorable discharge in 1945, Robicheaux eventually was elected to the Jeanerette City Council and served from 1955 to 1959, acting as mayor pro tem during those years, the release said.

Robicheaux also served on the Iberia Parish Police Jury from 1968 until 1972, the release said.

He began his law enforcement career in 1980 with the Sheriff’s Office as chief deputy, a position he held until his death, the release said.

Robicheaux had been on medical leave, said Capt. Ryan Turner, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.

“Chief Earl Robicheaux was a pillar to this community who will not soon be replaced,” Ackal said in a statement. “He was respected by all who served with him, as well as the public who sat before him asking for his advice. He will be dearly missed, and never forgotten.”