Former Oakland County Leader, State Senator Kuhn Dies at 87

Local leaders recall Kuhn as a 'gentleman' and 'true public servant.'

George Kuhn, a former state senator for West Bloomfield and Oakland County Drain Commissioner, died Monday in Highland Ranch, CO, at the age of 87. 

Kuhn was a Detroit native who was elected mayor of Berkley in 1960 and served as a local leader until his retirement in 2000. He was also a state senator representing West Bloomfield before being elected as Oakland County’s drain commissioner in 1970, where he served for 30 years.

Kuhn was a graduate of Central Michigan University, captain in the United States Navy Reserve during the Korean War and retired Ford Motor Co. executive.

In 2005 when the George W. Kuhn drainage improvements project was completed, improving 14 communities in southeastern Michigan. The project cost almost $144 million and was named in his honor after being completed. 

In 2003, he and his wife Doris moved to Colorado.

County Commissioner Shelley Goodman Taub remembered Kuhn as a hard working commissioner who was proud of his military service and helped Oakland County grow.

"He is one of the people who made this county what it is," Goodman Taub said. "A lot of our county was underwater when he took the job and it's because of his efforts as our drain commissioner that we were able to drain some of these areas and develop them."

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson issued a statement on the passing of Kuhn, saying, “I had the pleasure of serving with George for three decades. He was a gentleman and true public servant in every sense of the word.”

Visitation is set for 1-7 p.m. Sunday and 10-11 a.m. Monday at the A.J. Desmond & Sons Chapel, 32515 Woodward Ave., in Royal Oak.

The funeral will be 11 a.m. Monday and burial will be at Roseland Park Cemetery in Berkley.

Read the full obituary here.


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