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Long-time Ward VI Albany City Commissioner Tommie Postell died Thursday.

ALBANY — Tommy Postell, one of the most outspoken leaders in local government in recent years, died Thursday around 2 p.m. He was 86.

Ward III Albany City Commissioner B.J. Fletcher, who called Postell her mentor and “a walking history book,” confirmed Postell’s passing Thursday evening.

“I thank God we celebrated Tommie’s service on the commission a few months back,” Fletcher said. “He was in good spirits, and his family, friends and fellow church members were able to see him honored. That was a good thing.

“Tommy’s knowledge and memory of city government was amazing. People talked about his gaffes, but he really cared about this community and the constituents of Ward VI. Tommie was a self-made man — nobody gave him anything — and he became a force in this community. He will be missed; I have nothing but respect for him. Postell ... he was a trip.”

Postell’s son, Tommie Postell Jr., said the funeral for his father would be private.

“Please let the people who have attempted to call and leave messages know that the family really appreciates it,” Postell said. “But my dad’s funeral services will be private. We will keep this private.”

Born and raised in Albany, Tommie Postell Sr. was a Navy veteran who served as an educator — in the classroom and as an administrator — for 37 years. He retired in 1999 and shortly thereafter got involved in local politics. He served on the Albany City Commission as the Ward VI representative for 16 years before choosing last year not to seek re-election. Health concerns forced him to give up the seat he loved.

City- and state-imposed limitations on funeral gatherings enacted in response to the coronavirus will limit attendance to family members.

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