HAMBURG, Ark (KTVE/KARD) — The long-time leader of the city of Hamburg has died and the community is remembering him today.
Mayor Dane Weindorf passed away on Saturday at the age of 74.
“I know I am one of many who will feel the sting of his absence. He left a huge footprint in Hamburg and we will miss him terribly,” Georganna Cossey said.
The community says Weindorf put his heart and soul into the small town for the last 11 years.
City councilman Daniel Shelton Jr. worked side by side with the progressive leader for 9 years but their relationship spans beyond their civic duties.
“He was progressive. He wanted to do things for the city. The roadmap that he had is definitely not finished but he was doing so many things,” Shelton said.
When Weindorf was elected into the mayoral position in 2010, he had a vision to move the city forward. Hamburg Fire Chief Tim Hollis remembered the late mayor as someone who was trustworthy and always kept his word.
Upon election, Weindorf told Hollis he wanted the fire department to have a fire house. At the time, the department was operating out of a building near city hall but equipment was housed across town.
“He told me up front he was going to help us get a new fire house and here we are finally,” Chief Hollis said. “He was very instrumental and worked, worked and worked more in getting the building done and then helped us get some of the finished work after we did get in it.”
Mayor Weindorf didn’t like the spotlight but he never shied away from lending a helping hand. He put his all into projects and shared his knowledge with others. Many described him as a “smart guy” and a “business man” who did just about everything.
From owning a grocery store to becoming president of the of Hamburg school board, many across Ashley county have known him as more than just the city’s mayor who served for over a decade.
Hundreds of people reacted to Mayor’s Weindorf’s sudden death on the Hamburg City Hall’s Facebook page.
“Mr. Dane was a very kind and funny man,” Bernita Brown-Jones said in a statement. “He gave me my first job at 15. I’m very grateful for the lessons he taught me.”
“What an amazing man. He has touched so many of us and inspired us to do better, do more, care for our communities, families and God over all,” LeAnne Burch wrote.
“I’ve always respected this man. I always saw him outside with his hands dirty, helping others. He didn’t just behind his desk,” Mandy Felister said.
Georganna Cossey has served as Mayor Weindorf’s administrative coordinator since September. She watched him lead and help others become leaders themselves.
“Being mayor wasn’t his job. It was his passion. He bled purple and white and he spread it everywhere,” Cossey said. “You can look literally everywhere in Hamburg and see a piece of Dane everywhere because he was part of helping it become better and helping it grow.”
He was a father figure to some and a friend to all. He loved his people and boy did he love to hunt turkeys! Residents say Mayor Weindorf’s sharp whit and presence in the community can’t be replaced.
Mayor Weindorf’s son spoke with KTVE over the phone, releasing the following statement:
“My dad was a man of the people. He never met a stranger. He served the community with quality no matter what and treated them with kindness and respect at all times,” he said.
Weindorf’s granddaughter, Destin Anderson, also issued a written statement:
“He was a wonderful Christian man. He was Mr. Fixit. He could build or fix anything you asked him to. He was grounded in his faith. He always knew just what to say to make everything better. He’s the only grandfather I’ve ever known since my dad’s parents passed away before I was born. He always put others before himself. To know Dane was to love him. I guarantee you if you ask someone to tell you a memory of him, they will have some funny story to tell, because that’s who he was. Always making others laugh and having fun no matter the situation.”
The city council meeting was rescheduled Thursday evening because of the last week’s winter weather. We’re told an interim mayor will not be appointed then but at a later date.
“Whoever comes after him will have big shoes to fill,” Chief Hollis said.
Funeral arrangements are still pending.
Hamburg Mayor Weindorf passes away
HAMBURG Ark. (KTVE/KARD) 2/21/21 — According to a statement from Hamburg City Hall, Mayor Dane A. Weindorf has passed away.
He was 74-years-old.
We will update this article as we receive additional information.