Saraland councilman, ex-mayor dead at 76

SARALAND, Ala. (AP) - Saraland City Councilman and former Mayor Charles "Charlie" Harben, who served more than 29 years in public office, has died from pancreatic cancer, his son said. He was 76.

Unopposed in the 2008 city election, Harben, who died Friday, served on the council since 2000. He was mayor from 1980 to 1992 and also served as a councilman from 1972 to 1980.

Born in Leeds, Harben grew up in Chickasaw.

He worked 48 years for the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad before retiring in 1997, his son, Charles "Chuck" Harben, said.

Visitation is set for 5 p.m. Monday at Radney Funeral Home in Saraland. A chapel service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

Besides his son, Harben is survived by his wife, Pauline; three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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