BOSTON (CBS) – A longtime member of the Massachusetts State Police who was a leading force behind the “Cops for Kids With Cancer” charity died at 68 years old following a brief illness.

Detective Lt. William Coulter’s death “leaves a tremendous void within the MSP family and beyond,” a department spokesman said. Coulter would have reached 45 years of service with State Police in November.

Coulter joined State Police in 1974. He had a variety of roles, including years as an investigator and combatting gang violence.

William Coulter. (Image Credit: Massachusetts State Police)

When Coulter died, he was part of the Division of Investigative Services at General Headquarters.

Police said Coulter was a cancer survivor who “once defied and overcame a dire prognosis,” and decided to use his own experience to support cancer patients. As a part of his efforts, Coulter was a leading force behind Cops for Kids With Cancer, a charity that helped provide financial support and experiences for children battling the disease.

“His energy and dedication to this part of his life’s journey knew no limits,” State Police said.

Coulter as had a passion for physical fitness. He ran more than 150 marathons and 20 triathlons, and regularly finished the Boston Marathon.

Services for Coulter have not yet been announced.

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