Aubry Brent Jr., who served as a city alderman for over 20 years, died Monday afternoon.
Brent’s seat was empty during the Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s regular meeting Monday afternoon as the city council continued its operation. Almost an hour after Mayor Diane Delaware asked for prayers for Brent’s medical condition, the news then arrived that he had died.
“Alderman Brent served the city of Yazoo City for over 20 years,” Delaware said. “Our hearts and minds are with his family at this moment. We will miss him.”
Brent, the son of Aubry Sr. and Catherine Brent, served as alderman for the city of Yazoo City for over 20 years. He was also a local educator for 42 years, a dedicated volunteer and an advocate for veterans.
Brent will be remembered for his love and dedication to the Yazoo community. As an elected official, he tackled a number of issues, particularly education, veteran and senior citizen rights and future success for the city he called home.
Dr. Jack Varner, a former Yazoo City alderman, was elected to the city council in 1995, the same year that Brent joined the board. He and Brent served the city for two decades, developing a personal friendship outside of politics.
“He was a good man, a good friend and a good alderman,” Varner said. “He became not only a political friend, but he was my personal friend over the years. He was a good man who cared about people and Yazoo City.”
Varner said he will remember much about Brent, particularly with his city leadership. But he added that Brent’s service behind the scenes is just as admirable.
“He was out best go-between when it came to doing business with the Yazoo County Board of Supervisors,” Varner said. “He could go to the county and get things done, better than the rest of us could have. He solved a lot of problems and headaches between the city and the county.”
Brent was also a proud American, extremely supportive of veterans and active military members. He served in the National Guard for 26 years and was the first black first sergeant for a firing battery within the state of Mississippi.
After graduating from Alcorn University, Brent was drafted on Aug. 25, 1970. The county was in the midst of the Vietnam War. He was only out of college for about three months before his number was drafted.
“They had a draft lottery at the time,” Brent said, in a 2011 interview with The Yazoo Herald. “It was basically like a lottery number to determine if you were drafted. My number was 47. And I looked forward to having my name pulled.”
With so many of his friends being called into the service, Brent said he was ready if his name was pulled. It was to his disappointment that he was stationed in Germany.
“All my buddies got orders to head to Vietnam,” Brent said. “I wanted to join them.”
Serving as military policeman, Brent was proud of his service, despite his disappointment of not joining his friends. He would later join the National Guard, earn his master’s degree and begin a long career within Yazoo schools.
“I served because of the love I have for my country,” he said. “I know the price of freedom. I am very proud of the times I served.”
Funeral arrangements were pending as of press time.