He was in the closing chapter of Mobile's former system of governance – an elected three-member commission that rotated the mayor's position.

Former Mobile Mayor Gary Greenough has died at age 85.

Greenough was elected as Mobile's Commissioner of Finance and served for 11 years. During that time he also served as mayor from 1973 to 1975, 1979 to 1980, and from 1981 to 1983.

He was a contemporary of Mobile Commissioners Lambert C. Mims and Robert Doyle.

Greenough's time in office ended automatically when he was convicted in December 1984 of fraud at age 46. The charge was an alleged scheme to divert funds from operations of what was then called the city auditorium. It is now the Mobile Civic Center and is about to be demolished and replaced. It had opened in 1964.

Greenough continued to proclaim his innocence and maintained that the evidence did not prove him to be a co-conspirator nor to have criminal intent.

Greenough was sentenced in January 1985 to 25 years in federal prison. During most of the time he served, there was an almost continuous effort to get him released mounted by lawyers, political officials, church leaders, family and friends. The efforts at least partially succeeded in that his time to serve was dramatically reduced, and he was released.

After serving time, Greenough returned to Mobile and lived quietly with family and friends. He spoke about a "faith journey" that he went through in prison and after release. On a podcast last month called "Jeff's Last Cast," Greenough testified about his "journey to forgiveness."

Greenough served in the U.S. Marines.

Services will be held on Saturday, March 30, which would have been Gary's 86th birthday. Visitation will be from 1-3 p.m. at Luke 4:18 Fellowship on Cody Road in Mobile with service following. 

Jim' Zig' Zeigler writes about Alabama's people, places, events, groups and prominent deaths. He is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at ZeiglerElderCare@yahoo.com.

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