Constituents shocked by sudden death of popular councilman

George Unseld
George Unseld

Louisville, KY - By Marisela Burgos - bio | email
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The unexpected death of Metro Councilman George Unseld has shocked many people who live in the district he has represented for many years.

Riley Fitzpatrick and Pastor William Wright said they worked with Unseld about three months ago when they needed help acquiring property near The Church of God Sanctified in the California neighborhood. Wright said Unseld came through.

"He was a man that was sincerely interested in the neighborhood," Wright said.

When Fitzpatrick heard about Unseld's sudden death, he said he was surprised.

"Having the opportunity to meet him, I was just really impressed with his love and feeling for the community," Fitzpatrick said.

Paul Routen, who has worked with Unseld for many years, said he will miss him greatly. Routen remembered when Unseld helped senior citizens staying at the Hillebrand House on South Third Street in Old Louisville.

"George provided buses for everyone to go to different venues and made them part of the community," Routen said. "He's going to be missed - big time."

"You rejoice in the life that he person lived and it will take some time to get over or to be or to deal with George not being there," said NAACP President Raoul Cunningham, who told us he was shocked when he heard the news.

"George's life is well documented. He lived in the public's life," Cunningham said. "You hate to say it, but he's earned an eternal rest no question or doubt about that and we just feel so sorry for the void that he leaves as he enters that eternal rest."

Unseld had two years left in his term. The Metro Council could declare his seat vacant as early as Friday. After that, candidates to replace Unseld have seven days to apply. Once the applications are accepted, there is an interview process and the Metro Council will vote. The person who fills Unseld's seat will finish out his term to represent the areas of District 6, which covers Algonquin, California, Limerick, Old Louisville, Park Hill, Russell, St. Joseph, Shelby Park, Smoketown-Jackson, Taylor-Berry, University, and the Central Business District.

"He's just done so much and he's going to be missed. Whoever comes in behind him has got their work cut out for him," said Routen, one of the many people said they are going to miss how much of a straight shooter Unseld was.

"A lot of people beat around the bush. That was not George Unseld," Wright said.

Mayor Jerry Abramson said an achievement Unseld has always been proud of is the community park in the California neighborhood.

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