Mark Eckert Obituary, Long-Serving Mayor of Belleville, Passes Away After Battle with Cancer

Belleville mourns the loss of Mark Eckert, the second-longest serving mayor in the city’s history. Eckert, aged 67, succumbed to cancer after a courageous seven-month fight. He left an indelible mark on the community, serving as mayor for an impressive 16 years and four months.

Join The Current Pulse on Telegram for the Latest News!

A Legacy of Dedication and Service

Eckert’s mayoral journey began in December 2004 when he was appointed by former Mayor Mark Kern, who had assumed the role of St. Clair County Board chairman. However, Eckert’s journey in public service started much earlier. Prior to his mayoral career, he was recognized as a passionate community activist and was elected as Ward 5 alderman in 1997. From there, he went on to win mayoral elections in 2005, 2009, 2013, and 2017, accumulating a remarkable three decades of service to Belleville.

A Compassionate Leader

Known for his unwavering dedication to Belleville, Eckert always put the city and its residents first. He exemplified this commitment during his tenure, attending countless meetings and community functions, and earning a reputation for being accessible to citizens at all hours. His cellphone was always on, a symbol of his unwavering devotion to his role as mayor.

Memories and Accomplishments

Eckert’s time as mayor was marked by numerous achievements and challenges. One of his proudest accomplishments was the downtown streetscape improvements on Main Street, which revitalized local businesses and served as the backdrop for various festivals and events. Throughout his tenure, he oversaw substantial infrastructure and street improvements, totaling around $130 million.

Additionally, Eckert spearheaded the renovation of City Hall to meet ADA requirements, established a new police headquarters and “tornado-proof” dispatch center, and implemented significant sewer system improvements amounting to approximately $90 million. He also played a crucial role in celebrating Belleville’s 200th anniversary in 2014, with the development of Bicentennial Park as a tribute to the city’s rich history.

Challenges and Resilience

While Eckert faced his fair share of challenges, he navigated them with resilience and determination. He fought to keep St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, advocated for the city’s interests, and worked tirelessly to secure the best outcomes for his constituents. Though some initiatives, like the proposed Hofbräuhaus development, didn’t come to fruition, Eckert’s commitment to progress never wavered.

Remembering a Compassionate Leader

Mark Eckert’s legacy extends beyond his time as mayor. He was a devoted husband to his wife, Rita, and a loving father to his four children and soon-to-be five grandchildren. He leaves behind a city forever grateful for his unwavering dedication and compassionate leadership.

As Belleville bids farewell to one of its most beloved public servants, Eckert’s profound impact on the community will endure, forever etched in the hearts and minds of those he served.

Note: This article is subject to updates as more information becomes available.

Similar Posts