Former Duluth City Councilor Jim Shearer diesUPDATE: Shearer, who served on the council from 1980 to 1992, died Monday at his home. He was 66.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
Former Duluth City Councilor James Arthur Shearer died Monday at his home. He was 66.
Shearer served on the City Council from 1980 to 1992 and was council president twice. He also served on numerous boards, commissions, committees and task forces, including the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Board from 1990 to 1996 — serving as president for two years — and two terms as chairman of the Duluth Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Duluth).
As a city councilor he was known as a moderating influence between factions on the council.
“We didn’t always agree on everything, but we could always talk about things and listen to each other,” said Minnesota Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon, who served with Shearer on the City Council for several years. She was the council vice president while Shearer was president in 1991.
“It’s a loss for our community,” she told the News Tribune today of Shearer’s death. “He was one of those enlightened people.”
Shearer, who suffered from polio as a child and used a wheelchair, also was chairman of the Minnesota Council on Disabilities. He was a strong advocate for making public facilities accessible to all.
“He never let his disability stop him,” Prettner Solon said. “He was a tremendous advocate for the handicapped.”
Born in Mankato, Minn., in 1946, Shearer graduated from John Marshall High School in Minneapolis in in 1964 and moved to Duluth to attend the University of Minnesota Duluth. He went to work for UMD in 1969 after graduating with a degree in business administration. He retired from UMD in 2007 as associate director of facilities management. During his time at UMD, he served twice as acting director of facilities management.
A celebration of Shearer’s life will be held from 4-6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the DECC’s Harborside Convention Center.