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Bobbie Sterne, Cincinnati’s second female mayor, dies at 97

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Bobbie Sterne. Provided

The memorial for Cincinnati’s second female mayor Bobbie Sterne, who passed away Nov. 22 in California where she had been living with her family. has been set for next week.

A memorial for Mrs. Sterne will be at Memorial Hall Dec. 6 at 11:30 a.m. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m.

Her daughter, Lynn Stern, as well as Cincinnati vice Mayor David Mann, will be among the speakers.

Mrs. Sterne was a nurse in World War II and served twice as mayor in 1976 and 1979.

Mrs. Sterne left a legacy that started at City Hall in 1971, and although she has been gone from the public stage for nearly 20 years, her imprint on the city remains a lasting one. Her time at City Hall focused primarily on public health for children, senior citizens, the impoverished and the disabled.

Dr. Marian Spencer, age 97 and Cincinnati’s Civil Rights icon whom Mrs. Sterne appointed as vice mayor during her second term as mayor, said of her, “Bobbie was a wonderful woman and a good mayor. She could handle all of the Council members, and we had no problems under her time as mayor. She kept them all straight.’’

Dr. Spencer said Mrs. Sterne’s causes involved people, and women in particular, and she was concerned about racial issues. She ensured that diverse groups were represented on City committees and in other appointments, she said.

“She had her own positions that were never challenged because they were honest,’’ Dr. Spencer said. “I never questioned a position she took because I knew when she took a position she had good reasons in doing so. She was an independent woman, as I have been, and I believe we helped each other.

“It was advantageous for the city to have her serve as mayor and as a Council member. I admired her and enjoyed serving with her.’’

Mayor John Cranley said on the passing of Mrs. Sterne: “A true champion of Cincinnati’s spirit has been lost.  As a tremendous public health advocate, voice for the voiceless, and overall great Cincinnatian, we are blessed to inherit her legacy.

“She set a standard for public service in both her Council and mayoral terms, and I am inspired by her get-it-done spirit to continue doing all I can to make Cincinnati the best it can be for us all. I was lucky enough to get to know her early in my career and benefited from her support and sage advice. Rest peacefully, Mayor Sterne. My prayers are with her family and friends.”

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