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In Memoriam Oakland Boro Loses Outstanding Citizen
On June 10, 2005, Oakland Borough (along with Susquehanna and Lanesboro) lost one of its outstanding citizens, Mayor Arthur Towner, after a short illness.
Well known to many area residents, Art was a quiet man of nature. He seldom raised his voice in anger, but when he did, you knew “it was justified.” In his late years, being a widower, his sole companion was a “one man only cat.”
Art was elected to Oakland Boro Council in January, 1960, continuing faithfully as its councilman and mayor for 45 years. Art, despite the fact he operated a very successful oil business, always had time to attend to boro business when needed. He was a natural born mechanic. He spent many hours at the boro garage repairing major equipment, along with minor tools used by boro employees. He was once called by one of the councilmen “A major money saver for the boro and its residents.” Many times he would travel miles to get parts, etc., for boro machines, never billing the boro (for travel time).
When the Oakland boro park was being built, Art spent many a day and night running the bulldozer, donated by LeGrande Beavan. How many tons of dirt he moved would be a guess. With the same dozer he covered the Oakland landfill, week after week, “a job in its own.”
His dedication to the boro – and his generosity – was shown when the boro needed a truck, in the worst way. Art located one in New York State, but acted on is own, prior to a council meeting (fearing the truck would be gone before a meeting, bought the truck with his own money).
Council, realizing they needed the truck complimented Mayor Towner on his “smartness.” (Yes, the council reimbursed Art on his purchase.)
Art held the office of mayor since August, 1983, when Mayor Carroll Drake moved to New York State. (If memory serves me right, Art never had any opposition for the mayor’s job.)
No doubt, he will be greatly missed, not only by his family but also by his many friends and council people he had the pleasure of serving with over the so-many years.
(As one person said to me, prior to this write-up, “don’t you believe Art needs some kind of recognition.” I certainly do. So with the help of my longtime “news contributor,” Edward (Ted) Gordon, the above was compiled.)
Art was also a fine and avid bowler. He – in his better days – could be seen on lanes most any night of the week. So, the “300 Bowler” up above saw fit to call Art, and who knows, Art may be rolling the ball “right now.”
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