Former Jonesboro Mayor Hubert Brodell has passed away. He served as the mayor for 18 years. In that time, the city doubled in size through an annexation he oversaw. Here is a release from the city of Jonesboro:
The City of Jonesboro mourns the loss of former Mayor Hubert Brodell today, who served as the city’s CEO and best ambassador over 18 years from 1987 to 2004.
In his 88 years of life, Former Mayor Brodell taught us humility, perseverance and leadership by example. His legacy can be seen throughout the flourishing city and in the many lives he touched.
During his time in office, he led a city that doubled in size and he played an instrumental role in developing city Parks and Recreation and 911 centers.
“I lost a dear friend today,” said current Mayor Harold Perrin, who considered Brodell a mentor as well as confidant. “A lot of the things I do as mayor, I learned from Hubert Brodell.
“I served as a city council member for 11 years, and I can truly say I don’t know any elected official who loved Jonesboro more. His unwavering love for his family and Jonesboro were always an inspiration.”
Though destined for a life of leadership and public service, Brodell’s childhood presented many obstacles. His trips to school involved miles of walking, and he was the only one around to help his father during the rigors of WWII.
It was only after his retirement as Mayor of Jonesboro that Brodell went back to school to finish his GED. A lifelong learner, he toured the state spreading the message that it’s never too late to seek an education. In 2014, Brodell shared his story of hardship and triumph as keynote speaker at the Arkansas Bar Association’s annual convention honoring students and teachers in adult learning programs.
Here are statements from Arkansas State University officials about Mr. Brodell:
Dr. Chuck Welch, president of the ASU System:
"The Jonesboro of my childhood was shaped by the extraordinary efforts of Mayor Hubert Brodell. Our city and our university are better because of his service. He will be missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
Dr. Kelly Damphousse, A-State chancellor:
"Today many members of the university community who knew Hubert Brodell, former mayor of Jonesboro, are saddened by his passing. Mayor Brodell assembled a significant record of service during his four terms, which were highlighted by population growth, economic and industrial development, improved streets and highways, and enhanced safety and security services for our citizens. Arkansas State University joins with our partner, the City of Jonesboro, in offering our condolences to the family of one of our community's leading citizens."
Dr. Les Wyatt, professor and former president:
"Mayor Brodell was a helpful advocate and counselor for A-State in the years we worked with him. He gave us well-considered opinions, he had good humor and great stories, and we always found him to be accessible at any time. I appreciate especially that Mayor Brodell showed me the ways the community worked, and introduced me to so many persons who gave advice and encouragement. He was a good friend and neighbor."