America’s oldest active mayor dies in Fla. at 102
Published: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 9:55 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 9:55 a.m.
America’s oldest, active mayor, Dorothy Geeben, who devoted much of her life to this tiny Treasure Coast town, died Monday night after complaining of a cold. She was 102 years old and would have turned 103 in March.
“We had a council meeting on Monday,” said David Martin, president of the Ocean Breeze Town Council. “She was supposed to be there, but called in to say she wasn’t feeling well. She thought it was a cold. About 1:30 p.m., the paramedics went to her home and took her to Martin Memorial Medical Center where she passed away.”
Martin said Geeben tirelessly advocated for Ocean Breeze Park and its residents. “She was very active in keeping the park when plans were announced to sell it,” Martin said. “She fought hard to keep our homes.
“She was a kind, sweet woman who always had a smile.”
“Mayor Dorothy” as many people called her, moved to Ocean Breeze Park with her first husband in 1952.
In 1976, she was elected president of the council, where she served for 31 years until the death of Mayor Ruth Hoke, daughter of Gene Hoke, town founder and first mayor, in 2001. Geeben was appointed to fill the post and continued to serve until her death.
The U.S. House of Representatives recognized Geeben as the nation’s oldest mayor in April 2008. A Meals on Wheels Association of America survey also recognizes her status. National Council of Mayors officials said that while they don’t keep a record of mayors’ ages, they knew of no one who is older and actively running a government.
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