Former Three-Time Kalamazoo Mayor Ed Annen, Jr. Dead at 70
Vanished Kalamazoo reported this morning that former Kalamazoo mayor Edward Annen, Jr. died early Wednesday. He was 70 years old. Annen served three times as Kalamazoo's mayor. (At that time, the top vote-getter in the election of city commissioners was named mayor, until the method of choosing a mayor was changed several years ago, and separated from the Commission election.)
Annen was first elected to the City Commission in November of 1977, and then, in 1979, garnered the most votes to become the mayor of Kalamazoo. He then left office after that term, but ran again in 1985 and was elected mayor for three consecutive electoral terms before slipping to second place in 1991 to be vice-mayor for the 39th City Commission. But he was again the top vote-getter in 1993 and returned to the Mayor's office. After that term, he left office, and was succeeded by Barbara Larson.
It was during his first term as mayor that the Kalamazoo tornado ripped through the west side and then to downtown Kalamazoo. A post on Vanished Kalamazoo features a photo of Annen, in the aftermath, holding a "Yes, there still is a Kalamazoo" t-shirt.
Even in the final years, his love for the city showed as when, in 2017, he complained about the state of Milham Park, comparing it to a "junk yard", but offered suggestions on how that could be remedied.
Annen was a lifelong Kalamazoo resident. He graduated from the University of Michigan, got his law degree from Wayne State and was certified in international law at the Hague.
Coincidently, at the time news of his death was made public, the City of Kalamazoo was announcing an enormous $400 million grant to the Foundation for Excellence.