The Michigan Municipal League and the state of Michigan experienced four major losses in the last week with the passing of four strong community advocates in former Harper Woods City Manager James Leidlein, Munising Mayor Pro-Tem Robert “Bob” Beauprey Jr., Milford Village Manager Arthur Shufflebarger, and former Kentwood Mayor Richard Root.
These men exemplified community leadership and civic engagement and will be sorely missed.
Leidlein, who passed away Saturday, June 16, served in public administration for 35 years, including as Harper Woods city manager. He was a past member of the Michigan Municipal League Board of Trustees, past member of the League’s Workers’ Compensation Fund Board of Trustees, and recipient of the League’s Special Award of Merit in 1996.
Beauprey, who passed away Wednesday, June 13, was the chair of the League’s Region 7, which makes up the Upper Peninsula. He worked for the city of Munising for 25 years and also served as the acting city manager and mayor. Earlier this month, Beauprey led the League’s Region 7 regional meeting by moderating sessions, networking with fellow regional members and conducting interviews with the local media.
Root, who passed away Friday, June 8, served the city of Kentwood for over 33 years in various capacities including the past nine years as mayor. In his many years of service, Root was a huge supporter of the League in numerous ways including testifying in Lansing on various issues and regularly attending League events and education seminars. The League honored him in 2011 with our Outstanding Service Award and in 2004 with our Excellence in Service Award.
Matt Bach is director of communications for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 or [email protected].