October 10, 2018: Barling, Ark., Mayor Jerry Barling, died on Friday, October 5, 2018, after a three-month battle with lung cancer. He was 73. "It is with a deep sadness to announce the passing of our beloved mayor, Jerry Barling," a statement on the city's website said. "Jerry has served our wonderful city in many capacities for many many years. He was a dedicated and loving servant of our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time." The town, which is located about eight miles southeast of Fort Smith, Ark., in Western Arkansas, is named after Barling’s family. Barling’s obituary said he worked for the city of 4,650 for forty-seven years. He started his career with the city government as the Recorder-Treasurer, and he then was elected Mayor two years later, in 1971, when he was 24 years old. He was listed as unopposed for re-election as Mayor on the Nov. 6, 2018, general election ballot. Barling worked for the U.S. Marshals Service, he had a real estate brokerage company, and he was the owner and operator of Gun City in Barling. Barling worked as the Mayor of the city off and on since the 1970s. Before his death, he ran unopposed as Barling’s Mayor, and he anticipated holding the office of Mayor for a new four-year term starting in 2019, said City Administrator Mike Tanner.