Two city leaders pass away earlier this month

Bristol lost a pair of active community members in recent weeks. Stephen J. Duffy, left, and Beverly Bobroske, right, represented the city at the local and state levels.

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

Stephen J. Duffy and Beverly Bobroske, two active members of the Bristol community, passed  away earlier this month.

“Bev was a great lady, dedicated to making Bristol’s and the State’s education system the best,” said former Bristol Mayor John Leone. “She was a fighter for the kids, and was respected by all  who knew her.”

“I had worked with Steve Duffy as a councilman and when I was mayor. He always had a smile on his face and a big heart,” said Leone. “He loved politics and representing his district, [and was] truly one of the best representatives in the state.”

“When I needed something done at the state level, he would always get it done,” said Leone. “Steve was responsible for a state grant, helping [with] the purchase of Nelson’s Field on Burlington Avenue.”

Bobroske, a lifelong resident of Bristol, was born on June 30, 1934, and grew up serving customers in Redman Dairy.

Her working life began with a secretarial position for Connecticut Light and Power, but eventually moved to General Motors, which included modeling GM products.

After achieving both a bachelors and a master’s degree from Central Connecticut College, she began a long career in education by teaching at the East Main Street School in Plymouth, and counseling at the Harry S. Fisher Middle School in Terryville.

Former Mayor Michael Werner appointed her to the Bristol Board of Education in 1983, which she eventually chaired.

Bobroske became the first Bristol BOE member elected as a director for the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. She served as a CABE president from 2000 to 2003, and the organization bestowed her with the Philip S. Fenster Distinguished Service Award in 2005.

Former Governor Jodi Rell appointed Bobroske to the state Board of Education in 2005. She also received gubernatorial appointments to the Legislative Commission for School Transportation Safety, and the Governor’s Commission for Education Administrator Professional Standards.

Bobroske was preceded in death by her husband, Gerhardt Bobroske. They are survived by their three sons, Timothy, Martin, and Theodore.

Duffy, a lifelong Bristol resident, who died Jan. 9, was born on Sept. 18, 1953, and served in the Connecticut state legislature from 1982 to 1992.

Duffy is survived by his wife of 33 years, Kathy Burness, their sons, Stephen L. Duffy and Ryan A. Duffy, his sister Maureen McCarthy and her husband Francis, his sister Sheila Duffy, and several nieces and nephews.