AP council candidate dies 3 days before election

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK — Bruce Haberkern, who was a candidate for the Allen Park City Council in the Nov. 3 election, died at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital the morning of Oct. 31, three days before the election.

He still was able to draw 784 votes posthumously.

Since his passing was so close to the election, his name remained on the ballot. Clerks were not allowed to say anything to anyone about his passing unless they asked directly because it might sway the vote.

“He would not, obviously be able to hold office now and if a council person or the mayor cannot physically hold office then the person with then next highest amount of votes, will be appointed to office,” said Matt Para, deputy clerk in charge of elections.

Haberkern was a lifelong resident of Allen Park. He was a retired teacher and was actively involved with the city. He served as a director of the Allen Park Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Allen Park Public Schools Board of Education, and as city treasurer. Haberkern also served as president at one point for the Allen Park Rotary Club, Seneca Sports Club, Exchange Club, Community Film Council, Allen Park Civic Theatre, Allen Park Symphony Orchestra, and the Southern Great Lakes Symphony Orchestra.

He was an active playwright and wrote both the music and the lyrics to the 1999 musical “Alamo” and “Roar.”

Haberkern was cremated and a memorial service will be held on at noon Nov. 14 at Allen Park Presbyterian Church, 7101 Park Ave. He will be interred at Michigan Memorial Park Cemetery in Flat Rock.

He leaves his brother Larry Haberkern, nieces Leslie and Emily, nephew Ryan and great nephew Carter. According to the obituary at the funeral home donations may be sent to Allen Park Presbyterian Church, 7101 Park Ave., Allen Park, MI, 48101.

(Charity B. Smith can be reached at charitybsmith@yahoo.com.)