Lombard Village President Bill Mueller, 76, died Saturday from complications of West Nile virus, The Daily Herald is reporting. Mueller, who had been battling cancer since 2008, had been hospitalized since Aug. 5.
His passing hit close to home in Elmhurst; Mayor Pete DiCianni counted Mueller among his close friends.
"Bill Mueller was a man that exemplifies what a mayor is," DiCianni said Sunday. "He was a champion for the town that he loved so dearly and for the residents he fought so hard to represent."
DiCianni said Mueller was a source of advice and inspiration as he took on his role as Elmhurst's mayor.
"Bill always told me that, while there are no books on how to be a mayor, his door was always open to other mayors like myself who called on him for advice.
"I am proud to say Bill Mueller was my friend and confidant. I will miss him dearly. The residents of Lombard lost their champion and I lost a great friend."
Mueller, a lifelong Lombard resident, served as village president since 1993. He began his political career in the 1950s as a member of the Lombard Safety Committee and the Lombard Youth Commission, according to the village of Lombard website. Over the years he served as village trustee, chairman of the Public Works Committee, chairman of the DuPage Community Development Commission, president of the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference and co-chairman of the Glenbard Wastewater Authority.
He is survived by his wife, Eileen; two daughters, Donna (Mark) Fruehe and Debbie (Keith) Rapata; and four grandchildren.
“Our father was truly a servant leader and everything he did was for others. We feel sincerely blessed. He was an amazing dad, husband and grandpa,” his daughters said in a prepared statement. “The family wants to thank everyone for the outpouring of thoughts and prayers. It has been amazing and has strengthened us to get through this difficult time.”
Visitation will be held from 2 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, at St. Pius Catholic Church, 1025 E. Madison St., Lombard. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at St. Pius. Interment will be at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.
Arrangements are being handled by Brust Funeral Home. To read Mr. Mueller's obituary, click here.
Two other cases of have been reported in DuPage County, one in Downers Grove and one in Villa Park, and 10 cases have been reported in Cook County. No other fatalities have been reported in the Chicago area this year. DuPage County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control have reported this is a for the disease.