Aberdeen City Councilman Bruce Garner has died, city officials confirmed Saturday.
"It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Aberdeen City Councilman Bruce Garner," Aberdeen Mayor Mike Bennett posted on his Facebook page at about 11:30 a.m. Saturday. "Arrangements have not been finalized yet, will share as soon as we know."
Mr. Garner, who was 67, died overnight Friday at his Aberdeen home.
"It was a really big shock to everybody," Aberdeen Mayor Mike Bennett said Sunday.
Bennett said Mr. Garner had been dealing with some health issues, but the two of them had just attended a heritage trust event the previous Saturday.
The Aegis: Top stories
"We sat around and talked for probably an hour and a half, and it seemed like his color was back; he was looking good," Bennett said.
"It's a big loss. He was really an integral part of the team in Aberdeen," the mayor added.
Mr. Garner was first elected to the city council in November 2009, serving a two-year term. He won a second term in November 2011, the first election after council terms were extended to four years. His current term was to expire in November 2015.
Mr. Garner is survived by his wife, Joanne, their children, A. Bruce Garner II, Amy Garner-Lindecamp, and Jennifer Garner and their families.
Viewings will be held Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at McComas Funeral Home in Abingdon. A funeral service is expected to be held later in the week.
The following information about Mr. Garner is his biography posted on the Aberdeen city government's official web site:
Councilman Bruce Edward Garner was born in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1947, and raised in coastal North Carolina. While employed at Cherry Point Marine Corp Air Station, North Carolina, he entered the U.S. Army in 1969. While stationed at Fort Lee, Virginia, he met and married his wife, Harford County native, Joanne Sills. After receiving his honorable discharge with commendation from the U.S. Army, Councilman Garner and his wife moved to Aberdeen in 1973. There they raised their children: A. Bruce Garner II, Amy Garner-Lindecamp, and Jennifer Garner. All attended Aberdeen public schools. Councilman Garner was employed by one of the largest manufactured housing retailers in the north east region in 1974. He was the General Manager for that company, overseeing eight retail locations in three different states for over ten years. Councilman and his wife have successfully owned and operated Bayside Homes Ltd. in Havre de Grace, Maryland for over twenty-five years. Councilman has served the board of directors for the Manufactured Housing Institute of Maryland for six years, and was elected the President of the Manufactured Housing Institute of Maryland the last two years. He is currently on the board of directors for the National Buyers Group, a privately owned stock company in Syracuse, New York. Councilman Garner is serving his second appointment on the Harford County Building Code Board of Appeals. He is also the current liaison for Parks and Recreation, and the Ripken Stadium Management Board for the City of Aberdeen. Councilman Garner has been a proud member of the American Legion for over thirty years and has called Aberdeen his home for over thirty-five years; he and his wife, Joanne, have lived on Mount Royal Avenue for over twenty-five years. Councilman Garner serves as Aberdeen's liaison to the Parks & Recreation Board.