Mark Kreller, the executive director of Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, passed away unexpectedly overnight.
The organization said in a letter Tuesday that Kreller is being remembered as "a perfect example of a man who kept learning and growing,".
Harry Vogt, the current president of K-W Oktoberfest, said Kreller was very passionate about his work and always took a positive approach.
"The overall shock is just resonating throughout the organization," he told CBC News. "The ... loss of Mark is being felt throughout the hundreds of phone calls and emails our organization is currently receiving."
Vogt added that he did not recall Kreller having any issues with his health.
Kreller, 54, served as the executive director for the popular German festival for the past three years. He was also involved in a number of other community programs in Waterloo Region.
Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest says funeral arrangements will be made public once they have been arranged.