Published: Jan 26, 2011 6:09 PM EST
Updated: Jan 26, 2011 3:17 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Clark Maxwell Jr., the first head of Florida's community college system and a former state legislator, has died at his Palm Coast home. He was 76.

The Rev. Haig Medzarentz, pastor of St. Catherine United Methodist Church in Bushell, confirmed Maxwell died last week and said a memorial service will be held at the church Thursday.

Maxwell served as a Brevard County school board member before being elected to the Florida Legislature, where he served four years in the House and six in the Senate.

Maxwell was the Senate's Republican leader when he resigned in 1984 to become executive director of the State Board of Community Colleges. He held that post until 1997 when he retired.

 As a lawmaker he played key roles in tax and education issues. (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)