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Keedysville mayor dies

September 05, 2006|By MARLO BARNHART

Keedysville Mayor Kenneth Lee Brandenburg II died unexpectedly Monday, Town Clerk Amy Simmons said Tuesday.

Brandenburg, who was known as Lee, was 62.

"He served his community for many years and he will be sadly missed," Simmons said.

Brandenburg was at home Monday when he was stricken. Simmons said he had experienced trouble breathing late Sunday night.

Brandenburg was re-elected in May 2004 to a four-year term as mayor. Simmons said Brandenburg was first appointed to the Keedysville Town Council in October 1994.

He was on the council until May 1996, when he was elected assistant mayor.

Brandenburg worked for Verizon for 39 years before retiring, according to his obituary.

He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.

First elected mayor in 1998, Brandenburg won in the next three elections. At the time, each term was two years.

A charter change staggered the elections and made the terms four years instead of two. That meant that when Brandenburg was re-elected mayor in 2004, he was to serve until 2008.

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"Matt Hull has been named acting mayor and Councilman Barry Levey is acting assistant mayor," Simmons said Tuesday.

On Monday, the Keedysville Town Council will appoint someone to fill Levey's council seat, Simmons said.

Hull and Levey will remain in their acting positions until the next town election, which will be the first Saturday in May 2008, she said.

"I only hope I can do half as good in the job as Lee," Hull said. "He was very forthcoming. You always knew where he stood ? no guesswork there."

A resident of Keedysville for about 11 years, Hull said his first task as acting mayor will come Sept. 11, when a new council member will be appointed.

"Lee grew up in Keedysville and often shared stories of trains stopping in town and of the town evolving over the years," Levey said Tuesday.

Levey, a resident of Keedysville since 1985 who has been involved in town politics for five or six years, said Brandenburg was a neighborhood staple.

Councilman David Brumage said he has only lived in town for two years, but that was long enough to admire and respect Brandenburg.

"Lee was very devoted to the town ... always looking to do the right thing," Brumage said.

Simmons said Brandenburg's knowledge of Keedysville and its inner workings made him invaluable during his many years of service.

"He was on the water board for many years," she said. "His hand was in lots of the upgrades to that system."

Simmons said she grew up with Brandenburg's children and has known the family all her life.

"He was like a grandpa to my kids," Simmons said. A mother of four, Simmons often has her two younger children with her while working as town clerk.

Often stopping at the town office, Brandenburg would usually have some kind of treat for her youngsters when he came in, Simmons said.

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