BRAINERD, Minn. -- Brainerd’s city council president and former mayor and teacher was found dead in her home Monday night.
Soft-spoken and quick to offer an encouraging word to others, Bonnie Cumberland provided an example of strength and endurance as she battled cancer. Her sudden death at the age of 67 was a shock to her fellow council members Monday night.
When the longtime city council member didn’t arrive for Monday’s regular council session, Brainerd police officers were dispatched to her home and found her inside.
In the late 1990s, when Cumberland was serving as Brainerd mayor, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She served as mayor for eight years.
She was active in her church and the community, serving on the Brainerd Public Utilities Commission. Cumberland was Brainerd Citizen of the Year in 2001. She was co-president of Alpha Delta Kappa, a teaching sorority. She was an honorary chair for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.