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Councilor's death shocks, saddens Versailles officials

| Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 4:26 a.m.

Versailles officials are shocked by the death of a councilman who organized a successful write-in campaign for a colleague in last month's election.

Gary Roscoe, 61, died at home sometime over the weekend of natural causes. His body was discovered by police around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

A spokesperson from the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's office said on Monday that the office had yet to receive word from Roscoe's family as to where funeral services will be held.

“I was very shocked,” council president Linda Sheedy said. “It was not a phone call I expected to receive.”

Though Sheedy and Roscoe did not always agree on the issues at council meetings, she characterized Roscoe as someone “who took his responsibilities to heart.”

“He liked Versailles and wanted to make sure it stayed the nice place that it is,” she said. “He worked towards that.”

Roscoe placed an advertisement in The Daily News in the fall calling on residents to run as write-in candidates for council.

Evelyn Coddington answered the ad and was elected in November, edging out incumbent Cheryl Flaherty.

Roscoe was elected to council in November 2011 and had lived in the borough since 1998.

When he was sworn-in two months later, he said, “I want what everyone else sitting here wants. I want a nice, clean and safe town.”

Roscoe served as an alternate member of the Twin Rivers Council of Governments and called on the borough to develop a community website.

He was a strong supporter of hiring police Chief Charles Roka when former Chief William Kruczek retired in August.

This month, Roscoe expressed support for the borough becoming part of an economic Enterprise Zone program administered by the City of Duquesne.

“This makes it attractive for somebody to come in here,” Roscoe said.

Council will appoint someone to fini sh Roscoe's term. Sheedy said council likely will vote to advertise for applicants at a reorganization meeting on Jan. 6.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

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