NEW BEDFORD — Former 16-year New Bedford City Councilor and first female acting mayor Dr. Cynthia Kruger has passed away at the age of 79.

Born and raised in New Bedford, Dr. Kruger was a City Councilor for Ward 3 for 16 years, serving briefly as the city's first female acting mayor in 1982-1983 after the resignation of former mayor John Markey.

She earned a doctorate in education from Fordham University, eventually becoming a professor of education at UMass Dartmouth, a position she held for over 40 years.

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Her tenure at the university was not without controversy, however.

The Standard-Times reported in 1999 that Dr. Kruger was suspended with pay and removed as chair of UMass Dartmouth's Education Department following allegations of "unprofessional" behavior in the classroom, including belittling students.

But many remember her fondly.

 

Current City Councilor-At-Large Brian Gomes told WBSM's Phil Paleologos he remembered when Dr. Kruger used to bring her son Tim to City Council meetings, leaving him in the antechamber to do his homework.

"Cynthia was a tough woman, a fighter, a fighter for the city," he said. "She's not only a great educator, she's a wealth of information about the city."

"After leaving the city council, Cynthia still kept one eye on everything else that was happening, while still educating," he noted. "She cared about the city."

 

Dr. Kruger passed away peacefully on July 2 at Charlton Memorial Hospital.

Her funeral service will be held on Thursday at 10 a.m. at the St. Lawrence Church.

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