Ex-Mayor Brombolich dies at 66|
BY JAYNE MATTHEWS
COLLINSVILLE - Gene Brombolich, the former mayor who helped bring a convention center to Collinsville, died from a heart attack Sunday. He was 66.
"He was a wonderful person, and our community has lost one of its movers and shakers," said Liz Dalton, the widow of another former mayor, Fred Dalton. She served with Brombolich on the defunct Collinsville Park Board.
Brombolich was mayor of Collinsville from 1979 to 1991. The City Council then was filled by commissioners. He was the city's finance commissioner in 1975 and 1976.
Brombolich was at the helm when the City Council approved – amid controversy – the building of Gateway Convention Center in the city's Eastport business district.
"He was the catalyst behind the convention center, a very progressive mayor. He put his heart into the city" current Mayor Stan Schaeffer said Monday.
Brombolich called the center "the pride and joy of my term" in a newspaper interview at the end of his 12 years as mayor.
He was vice chairman of the city convention Authority Board when he died Sunday evening at Anderson Hospital in Maryville.
"The fact that he remained with the convention center authority showed his dedication," Schaeffer said.
While he was mayor, Brombolich suffered a heart attack in 1987 and had quadruple bypass surgery in 1989.
After retiring from Monsanto as a chemist, he worked as a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker until his death.
He remained active in Collinsville, serving as a Democratic precinct committeeman and lifelong member and former president of the Collinsville Democratic Club.
As a member and former president of the Collinsville Jaycees, he was a co-founder of the Jaycee Raiders Football League. He also was a member of the Collinsville Animal Network and the Miners Foundation.
"He was involved in everything from little league football to stewardship of the community. He was a good man," Schaeffer said.
Brombolich was a former member of the Collinsville Historic Preservation Commission.
Services for Brombolich are scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Collinsville. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Kassly Funeral Home in Collinsville. A prayer service will be at 4 p.m.
Burial will be at St. John's Cemetery in Collinsville.
Brombolich is survived by his wife, Shelia Brombolich; three daughters; a son; three stepchildren; two sisters and a brother.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Mar. 21, 2006