By Barnett Wright
The Birmingham Times
Leroy Bandy, the former Birmingham City Councilman known for love of his community and his culinary skills, died on Tuesday. He was 68.
Mr. Bandy served on the council from 1997 to 2001.
“It is with a heavy heart and an overwhelming sense of loss that we mourn the passing of former city councilor Mr. Leroy Bandy,” said Birmingham Mayor William Bell. “He devoted his life to the service of the city and his beloved Pratt City. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. The city will have a true void without his sense of service and character.”
Friends say Mr. Bandy died doing what he loved. He was at his church preparing meals for vacation Bible school.
“He was a servant at heart,” said Eric Hall, a consultant to district 9, which Bandy represented during his term on the council. “He loved the church, and he loved serving. He would spend his time giving back to the community, cooking meals for the community, catering events—that was his passion. He lived a life of being an example of what a servant leader is all about.”
Mr. Bandy was a longtime leader in Pratt City politics, serving 15 years as president of the Central Pratt neighborhood and four years as president of the Pratt community.
“It’s a great loss. He was a great ‘Pratt Citian,’ and he worked diligently throughout his life for PC,” said the Rev. T.L. Lewis, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Pratt City. “He will be greatly missed. He had this relentless spirit about the betterment of Pratt City. He always sought ways to make sure Pratt City was up to speed, particularly as it relates to the community, as well as recreation for the children. And he always sought ways keep the seniors feeling like they mattered.”
Mr. Bandy was a member of the First Missionary Baptist Church in Pratt City. He graduated from Western-Olin High School and Booker T. Washington Business College before joining the Alabama Gas Company as a meter reader.
He first ran for City Council in 1993 but lost to Linda Coleman, who was backed by the Jefferson County Citizens Coalition. Four years later, he won the same group’s endorsement as Coleman’s challenger and defeated her to join an all-new council following the 1997 election. Mr. Bandy served on that City Council along with Mayor Bell, a council member at the time, and current Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown.
“He loved his civic work,” Brown said. “It was a part of him. He was devoted to his church family and pastor. I will miss him. I already miss him. My heart is heavy.”