John Finlay, former Liberal MP for the southwestern Ontario riding of Oxford, has died at age 81.

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John Finlay, a former school superintendent, served as MP for Oxford for 11 years before retiring in 2004. ((Parliament of Canada))

Finlay, who had Parkinson's disease, died on Sunday night, the party confirmed in a statement.

Finlay "was the kind of member of Parliament that we don’t hear enough about," said Brian Klunder, who worked for the MP for seven of his 11 years in Ottawa.

"He was kind, hard-working and never forgot for a moment that the people of Oxford were counting on him to fight on their behalf," Klunder told CBC News on Monday.

Born in 1929 in the Dominican Republic, Finlay was a school teacher and superintendent for the Oxford County School Board before being elected to serve in the House of Commons in 1993.

He retired in 2004 and was replaced in the House of Commons by Conservative David Mackenzie in that year's federal election.

He is survived by his wife Mary Ann Silverthorn, two sons and a daughter.