Mayor of Athol Dies, But City Officials Don't Tell Press Until a Month Later


The mayor of the North Idaho community of Athol, 76-year-old Lanny Spurlock, has died.

Spurlock died Jan. 23, but city officials did not report the mayor's passing to the Coeur d'Alene Press until Feb. 19. Athol City Clerk Sally Hansen told the Press that she didn't report it earlier "because she was waiting for the mayor's children to decide if they would report it themselves."

Spurlock, who served nearly two decades as Athol mayor, reportedly collapsed Jan. 8 while at an Athol supermarket. He was hospitalized following the collapse.

Spurlock was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, was a taxicab driver in Chicago and was even employed as a cemetery caretaker before settling into the community of Athol and becoming its mayor in 1994. The Press reports that Spurlock considered one of his greatest accomplishments was seeing that gravel roads were finally paved in his Kootenai County community.

Athol City Council President Darla Kuhman has been appointed interim mayor.