Long-time educator, city council member dies - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Long-time educator, city council member dies

October 17, 2005

Sylvester- Seeing Dr. Bruce Washington's empty chair gives many of his fellow council members an empty feeling.

"It's just like you're missing a part of you, one of your brothers, or one of your colleagues. It's just hard going through the day," says Mayor Pro-tem Larry Johnson.

"We knew he had been very ill, but we certainly were shocked by the news we got yesterday," says Mayor Bill Yearta.

Washington's colleagues say though they knew he was battling cancer, they were hoping he could beat his illness. He worked in education for decades and was the former Assistant Superintendent of the Worth County School system. Up until the summer, he taught part-time at Albany State University.

"Dr. Washington was a true educator. He brought many practical experiences to the classroom and was very popular with the students because of that," Dr. Alan Grimsley, education professor at Albany State University.

Dr. Grimsley knew Washington as a co-worker, councilman, and friend. The ASU professor says Washington was a go-to man, always there when you needed him, and one of the most well-prepared people he worked with.

"I would look at syllabus that he would do and often get ideas. Maybe I'll miss more than anything else borrowing some of the things that he was doing to try to make me do better whenever I would teach those classes. I'll miss that and just miss seeing him too," Grimsley says.

Those who knew him say Dr. Washington was a man of conviction. He frequently participated in rallies and marches in his community. Grimsley says Washington just had a desire to help those in need.

"He had a special feel for people who needed help. He was a man of compassion. He was a very compassionate man who cared about people. He cared about people," says Grimsley.

The city council will hold their regularly scheduled meeting Monday at 7 PM. Mayor Yearta says there will likely be a special election to fill the district two seat. Funeral arrangements are not complete, but will be handled by Poteat Funeral Home in Albany.

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