A dedicated volunteer and pillar of the community. One of the Brock Township’s longest serving politicians and its first female mayor. A loving mother of five and adoring grandmother of seven.
As family, friends and residents continue to mourn Mayor Debbie Bath Hadden – who died Sunday (Jan. 24) at her Sunderland home — tributes have poured in from Brock Township, across Durham Region and abroad (see below).
While Bath-Hadden had leaves of absence from township council to focus on her health in recent months, the news came as a shock to her colleagues.
“Debbie was a great and dedicated ambassador for Brock Township,” said Regional Councillor Ted Smith.
“She spent 15 years as a ward councillor, regional councillor and mayor working for the citizens of Brock to the best of her ability. She will be missed but we will always remember her dedication.”
“She was smart. She was inspiring. She was a great leader and organizer – from Sparks’ Breakfast with Santa to serving as the mayor of the Township of Brock,” said Ward 5 Councillor and longtime friend Lynn Campbell.
“She was a dear friend to many, and such a loving mom, wife and gram. A woman of action, she knew how to build relationships and get things done…I will miss her smile most of all.”
In addition to being elected Brock’s first female mayor in 2018, Bath-Hadden served three terms as a ward councillor and another as regional councillor.
She was also extremely active in the community.
Bath-Hadden was a longtime coach with minor baseball, served on the organizing committee of the Sunderland Maple Syrup Festival for more than a decade and helped co-ordinate a number of fundraisers for the Canadian Cancer Society, including the Relay for Life’s three-year run in Sunderland.
A celebration of Bath-Hadden’s life will be held at a later date. Brock Township has launched an online Book of Condolences that will be shared with her family.
Photos courtesy of Cindy Ouellette (slideshow below).
MP Jamie Schmale (Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock)
I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Brock Township Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden who passed away this morning at her Sunderland home. Mayor Bath-Hadden was a fearless advocate for all she knew to be true, the residents of the municipality and Canadian agriculture. My thoughts are with those who have been inspired by her work, words, lifetime of service and action.
MPP Laurie Scott (Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock)
Saddened to hear of the passing of Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden. She will be greatly missed. My condolences to her family, friends, and community members who had the pleasure of knowing and working with her.
MP Mark Holland (Ajax-Pickering)
It is with sadness that I learned Debbie Bath-Hadden, Mayor of the Township of Brock here in the Region of Durham, passed today after a long and courageous battle with cancer. My sincere condolences to the Bath-Hadden family, her friends and loved ones, and her colleagues at the Township.
Durham Region Chair John Henry
On behalf of The Regional Municipality of Durham, I send my deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Brock Township Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden. Mayor Bath-Hadden was a strong and positive force in municipal politics. She was a passionate leader who led many local community endeavours that will leave a lasting impact on the Township of Brock and Durham Region. She will be truly missed. Bath-Hadden was elected as mayor in 2018, becoming the first female mayor in Brock Township history. She was first elected as the Ward 4 local councillor in 1997; a position she held for three consecutive terms until 2006. She then served as Regional Councillor from 2010 to 2014.
Scugog Mayor Bobbie Drew
On behalf of the Township of Scugog, I offer deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mayor Debbie Bath–Hadden as well as to members of the Township of Brock Council, staff and the community. Debbie was a colleague for many years, I had the privilege of knowing and working with Mayor Bath–Hadden as a fellow board member of the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority, Regional Councillors and then as Mayors in Durham Region. Debbie had a unique and refreshing leadership style and sense of humour. It was wonderful to know that the residents of the Township of Brock supported her in the way they did, electing their first female Mayor. She was passionate about the community she served, and a true champion for the Township of Brock and North Durham.
Uxbridge Mayor Dave Barton
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I share that Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden passed away early this morning at home with her husband and family by her side following a courageous battle with cancer. I just got off the phone with Regional Councillor (Ted) Smith and offered him our deepest condolences on behalf of the staff, council and residents of the Township of Uxbridge.
Ajax Mayor Shawn Collier
I am truly saddened to learn of the passing of Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden. Mayor Bath-Hadden was a trailblazer in her community of Brock Township, and great colleague. I feel fortunate to have served on Regional Council alongside her. On behalf of Ajax Council, I’d like to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to her family, loved ones and the Brock community during this difficult time.
Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter
My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Debbie Bath-Hadden. I will miss my wonderful colleague. I know everyone in Brock will also miss their Mayor. Taken from us far too soon.
The Township of Uxbridge offers sincere condolences to Mayor Bath-Hadden’s family and the Brock Township community on her passing. Mayor Bath-Hadden cared deeply about her community. Brock Township has lost a valued leader. Our thoughts and prayers are with Brock Township.
The Municipality of Clarington would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Township of Brock Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden who passed away after battling cancer. Mayor Bath-Hadden worked tirelessly on behalf of the community and will be missed.
Flags at City facilities will fly at half-mast to recognize the passing of Mayor, Debbie Bath-Hadden, Township of Brock. Mayor Ryan & Members of Council extend their deepest condolences to Mayor Bath-Hadden’s family and loved ones.
The City of Oshawa extends our condolences to the family and friends of Brock Township Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden who passed away on Sunday, January 24 after courageously battling cancer.
On behalf of all DRPS members, our hearts and thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of Township of Brock Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden as we extend our deepest condolences.
Community Care Durham
The team at CCD extends our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Township of Brock Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden. Our thoughts are with the community at this difficult time. Debbie was a long-time supporter of CCD.
Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
Our Board members and staff would like to express sincere condolences and deep sadness at the passing of Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden, who was also a member of our Board of Directors. As a veteran elected official and a part of a long-time farming family in the watershed, Mayor Bath-Hadden brought a deep awareness and understanding of the environment to her role as both a member and a Chair on our Board. Her passing is a true loss for the Conservation Authority, for her family, friends and the community she served.
York Region Chair Wayne Emmerson (chair of LSRCA)
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mayor Bath-Hadden. Debbie was an unwavering supporter of the work of the Conservation Authority. She was authentic, always quick to share her ideas and was generous in her praise for staff. I know I speak for the entire board when I characterize her as a strong leader for her community and a valued advocate for the LSRCA. Debbie’s pragmatic contributions and her laugh, will be profoundly missed around our boardroom table.