June C. Weeks, 83, mayor of Bel Air and preservationist

August 11, 2005|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

June C. Weeks, a former Bel Air mayor, town commissioner and historical preservationist, died Monday of complications from a stroke at Lorien Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. She was 83.

June King Clark was born and raised in Scotia, N.Y., she earned a bachelor's degree in education from then-New York State College for Teachers in Albany in 1943.

During World War II, she taught high school French in Fort Ticonderoga, N.Y., and was married in 1948 to Maurice H. Weeks, a toxicologist and pharmacologist.

In 1953, the couple moved to Bel Air when Mr. Weeks took a position at the Army Environmental Hygiene Agency at Aberdeen Proving Ground. He died in 2002.

Since moving to Harford County, Mrs. Weeks, a Republican, had maintained an interest in issues including planning and zoning, pollution and open government.

She was a former vice president of the Maryland League of Women Voters and twice served as president of the county chapter.

After served on the Bel Air Planning Commission, she was elected in 1970 to the five-member Harford County Charter Board, whose work establishing charter government was adopted by county voters in 1972.

In 1976, she was elected to the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners and held that position until 1985. She was selected as Bel Air's first female mayor by her fellow town commissioners in 1977 and served in that capacity until 1981.

"She was a person who was also very much in favor of open county and town government, and believed in a free press. She was not with the in-crowd or one of the b'hoys," said Edna Goldberg, a retired reporter and civic activist who covered Harford County for The Sun. "And she could conduct a meeting like no one else I ever saw. My admiration for her was boundless."

"June was a very, very good and honest person, and she loved to give me advice," former Harford County Executive Habern W. Freeman said yesterday. "All the time I was in government, she'd drop by and give me advice on things to do and not to do. She was always a good resource for me. She knew all of the bad guys and didn't mind pointing them out to me."

He added: "She was methodical and never emotional. She suggested practical and objective ways to get things done. She was able to look at everything from both sides."

"She was a strong leader who cared about the town and took her job to heart. One of the things people forget is that in small towns, these are basically volunteer jobs," said John D. Worthington IV, publisher of The Aegis newspaper in Bel Air.

"There's never much pay or glory. It's a job you have to put your heart into -- a labor of love -- and this is what June did," Mr. Worthington said.

"She was a very dynamic woman," said Todd Holden, a photographer and former Aegis reporter. "She was a very energetic, concerned and intense member of our community."

After leaving the town board in 1985, Mrs. Weeks was able to indulge her lifelong interest in preservation as a member of the Bel Air Historic District Commission. She played a pivotal role in the preservation of Van Bibber House on Main Street, which dates to 1789.

"It is the oldest house in Bel Air on its original site, and it's a very significant structure for the town," said Carol L. Deibel, Bel Air's director of planning and community development.

Mrs. Weeks was appointed to an eight-member task force by Mr. Freeman in 1987 to evaluate police services in Harford County, and during the 1990s, she was a member of the county sheriff's citizens' advisory committee.

Mrs. Weeks enjoyed playing the recorder, traveling to Puerto Rico and Ogunquit, Maine, and spending time at a second home in Lewes, Del.

She was a member of St. Alban's Anglican Church, 1011 Old Joppa Road, Joppa, where the family will receive visitors at 10 a.m. tomorrow; services will begin an hour later.

Surviving are a son, Christopher C. Weeks of Bel Air; a daughter, Mary R. Ranneberger of Bel Air; and two grandsons.

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