Skip to main content

Brainerd in shock after sudden death of city council president

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Friends and colleagues of Bonnie Cumberland are shocked by this week's death of Brainerd's city council president and former mayor.

As the Brainerd Dispatch reports, authorities found the 67-year-old Cumberland dead in her home after she uncharacteristically missed Monday's city council meeting.

The Dispatch says Cumberland taught at Brainerd High School for 34 years until her 2002 retirement. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in the 1990s, during the eight years she served as mayor. Cumberland later told the Dispatch that her bout with cancer helped her appreciate life more and that to some people she was "...Bonnie. The mayor with breast cancer."

Cumberland also was active in her church, served on the city's Public Utilities Commission, and was named Brainerd's Citizen of the Year in 2001, according to the newspaper. Current Mayor James Wallin tells the Dispatch “She was really just a joy to work with. She was so dedicated to the city and the community in so many ways. She was really an attribute to the city and council and just a wonderful lady. It comes as just a shock to us.”

The Star Tribune reports Cumberland's cause of death is being investigated, with the Ramsey County medical examiner conducting an autopsy.

An editorial in the Dispatch describes Cumberland's associates, friends, and former students as inconsolable. Reflecting on her life, the editors write, leads to the lesson "...that in our busy lives, as we pursue business, political or other objectives, there’s no reason we can’t be pleasant and encouraging to others."

Next Up

walz flanagan lorie shaull flickr

Gov. proposes 'Walz Checks' for most Minnesotans

The governor wants to use $700 million of the state's surplus to fund the payments.

Hutch crash booking photo

Walz, Flanagan call on Hennepin Co. sheriff to resign

"I would say that it is time for him to resign," the Lt. Gov. said.

line 3 enbridge portage lake hubbard county mn tony webster flickr

Months after missing deadline, Enbridge says Line 3 aquifer breach is fixed

The company told Bring Me The News it "successfully stopped the flow of groundwater" at the site.

canada bodies found

Baby, teenager among 4 found dead along MN, Canada border

Authorities believe all four froze to death.

unsplash roller rink skates CROP

Former roller rink, tennis courts will become new sports hub

The Wooddale Fun Zone has been closed since spring of 2020.

hibachi daruma

Popular hibachi food truck opens second Twin Cities restaurant

The much-anticipated Daruma opens for takeout Thursday evening.

20211128_Vikings_49ers_REG12_0144 (1)

What changes are coming to the Vikings' offensive line?

Once again, Minnesota has work to do to figure out its interior spots

Kris Ehresmann

One of Minnesota's key COVID-19 leaders is retiring

Kris Ehresmann has given more than 30 years of her life to public health in Minnesota.

summit beach park orono

Plan to develop Orono park on hold after Daytons object

The Dayton family donated the land to the city for the park in the 1970s.

covid nurse doctor hospital wikimedia commons

Child from Twin Cities, school staff member die from COVID

Both deaths were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday.

snow

3 clippers will deliver snow to Minnesota through Tuesday

Clippers move through Friday night, Saturday night and again Monday.

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 10.45.51 AM

Video: Inebriated Sheriff Dave Hutchinson after high-speed crash

Hutchinson was unaware of his location and repeatedly said he wasn't driving.

Related