Longtime Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney dies at 74 after battling lung infection
PHOENIX – Gail Barney, mayor of Queen Creek and a longtime public servant, died Wednesday night after a lengthy illness.
“He passed away last night at the age of 74 after battling a lung infection for several months,” the town said in a press release Thursday. “Mayor Barney dedicated his life to service, his family, and the success of the Queen Creek community.”
Vice Mayor Jeff Brown has been performing the mayor’s duties during Barney’s illness and will continue to do so, according to the release.
Barney had been mayor of the growing town about 40 miles southeast of downtown Phoenix since 2010. Queen Creek’s population more than doubled to over 65,000 during his tenure.
Before then, he served on the Queen Creek Planning and Zoning Commission from 1998 until 2002, when he was appointed to fill an opening on the Town Council. He remained on the council until he was first elected mayor.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered flags at half-staff on Friday in honor of Barney.
“Arizona is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mayor Gail Barney,” Ducey said in a press release. “Under Mayor Barney, the Town of Queen Creek has become one of the fastest growing municipalities in the nation, attracting industry giants and many new residents.
“His vision and leadership helped make that growth possible.”
Barney was born in Safford but moved to Queen Creek when he was 6 months old and grew up on a family farm.
After getting an associate degree from Mesa Community College, he earned a Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University.
He is survived by his wife, three children, 16 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Plans for services or remembrances have not yet been announced.
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