LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Longtime Nebraska prison warden Fred Britten has died following a brief battle with cancer. He was 62.

The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services issued a news release saying Britten died Wednesday.

Britten began his career with the department as a corrections counselor in 1977. He was named the Tecumseh State Prison's first warden, serving 13 years. In 2013, he returned to Lincoln to serve as warden of the Diagnostic and Evaluation Center, and last year, he also took on the role of warden of the Lincoln Correctional Center. He led both facilities until his death.

The department says Jeffrey Wooten has been appointed interim director of the two Lincoln facilities, and a nationwide search will be conducted to replace Britten.

Britten is survived by his wife Vickie and two sons.