The recent death of former Robbins Mayor Laura Ann Brady leaves a hole in Robbins, according to those who knew her well.
“Even though she was a tiny person, everyone knows they have some big shoes to fill,” former Robbins Mayor Theron Bell said. “Her passing has left us all kind of empty. I was really shocked how quickly it happened. And even though we feel empty, she left us full because she was such a wonderful person.”
Brady, 84, passed away at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital on Jan. 22. She served in countless positions, both elected and volunteer, in the town where she lived most of her life.
Second to her family was Brady’s love for the town of Robbins. She served as a town commissioner before serving out the final year-plus of Mickey Brown’s term as mayor after he resigned. Bell was elected as mayor in 2007 after Brady decided not to run again.
“We got together in politics,” Bell said with a laugh. “She wanted to see the town thrive. We have a lot of good people up there, and she knew a lot of those people. So she knew how to organize to get them together and do the little things that needed to be done in town.”
Brady lived in the heart of town on North Middleton Street between the post office and Town Hall. Her home, and most importantly her front porch, was a welcoming location to everyone.
“She would sit on the front porch and people would go by and wave, or they would get out of the car and sit on the porch with her,” Anna Derr said. Derr said she had known Brady most of her life, but working alongside each other on several committees over the last decade brought them closer together.
“She lived a couple blocks from me, and we spoke every night on the phone,” Derr said. “We went over our day and the problems with our town and the good things that happened in our town.”
The open door, and even open porch, policy also was what Bell thought made Brady such a good leader for the town.
“She was available and that’s a nice thing to have, especially if you’re on the town commission or the mayor, to be available to the people,” Bell said.
During the annual Farmers Day event, Brady’s home was as much of a staple as the parades and vendors as people socialized on her front porch and in her yard. Coffee, tea and most recently homemade ice cream were common refreshments along with conversations shared among friends.
Laughs were also aplenty with Derr and her “forever friend.”
“She made me laugh every day,” Derr said. “She had a good sense of humor. A lot of times there was humor involved and she didn’t realize it.”
From her home, Brady operated Laura Brady Income Tax and Accounting Service up until she was hospitalized. Bell said that anytime she passed Brady’s home at night and saw the light on, she knew that Brady was more than likely working in her office.
“She recently had turned most of it over to someone else, but she was helping her during this tax period,” Bell said. “She was full of energy.”
Brady’s obituary said she could never retire because she loved all her clients. She served on the boards for the library and the village theater, and also was appointed to the town’s Beautification Committee.
“She loved Robbins and was dedicated to trying to help the town,” Derr said. “She tried to help the town to move forward and still keep our hometown values. She was an asset to our community, our town and our church, Tabernacle Methodist Church.”
Brady’s obituary said that in lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to: town of Robbins for the fire department or Robbins depot; Foothills Outdoors; Robbins Area Library; Robbins Village Theater; North Moore Lions Club; or Tabernacle United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund.
All were big parts of her life spent caring for a town she loved so dearly.
Contact Jonathan Bym at (910) 693-2470 or email@example.com.