LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Louisville community continues to remember the life of Metro Council Member George Unseld. The sixth-district councilman died after he collapsed before a Metro Council meeting Thursday.
Flags continue to fly half-staff across the city where Unseld served as more than a council member during his career as a public servant. According to Salvation Army Spokesperson Marilyn Markwell, Unseld's father was instrumental in starting the agency's Salvation Army Newburg Boys and Girls Club. George Unseld later served as the club's director.
"George had a commitment and a drive that you don't find in every community leader," Markwell said."He was a driven person and I think it was in his blood."
Markwell said she met Unseld about 20 years ago and described him as a "gentle giant," both tall in stature but also a very quiet man. She said when he spoke, you couldn't help but listen.
"George's commitment was like his stature. He was a giant in his commitment. His commitment was larger than most," Markwell said.
Gordon Brown is a former Boys and Girls Club of Louisville Executive Director.
"He was very proud of his father and his accomplishments," Brown said of conversations had with Unseld." He was very effective. I guess his greatest strength was people liked George. People responded to George. He was always seeking help for kids and lots of people said yes to George."
Brown recalled Unseld's dedication to serving the Newburg community. Each day he worked as a teacher, administrator and coach before opening the Newburg Boys and Girls Club for those who needed it.
"This was his second job. This was when he got home he would come out at night open the Boys and Girls Club and get all the people together and make sure the staff was there," Brown said.
Geoff Norman is the current executive director of the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club Louisville Area Command.
"George , when he was a council person, he was a big supporter of our club and he was a leading councilman as far as allocating funds to support the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club in general," Norman said. "His presence will be missed just for his knowledge and support of what we do and of the programs provided by the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club."