Mayor Robert L. Butler (City of Marion Illinois/Facebook)

Mayor Who Served Nearly 55 Years Dies At Age 92

April 23, 2019 - 3:46 pm

MARION, Ill. (AP) -- The man believed to be the longest-serving mayor in Illinois has died at age 92.

According to Hughes Funeral Home former Marion Mayor Bob Butler died Monday at an assisted living center in Herrin.

Butler served as the southern Illinois city's mayor for nearly 55 years. He took office in 1963 and was elected by three generations of voters before he retired in 2018.

Anthony Rinella replaced Butler as mayor. Rinella told The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan that Butler "gave Marion stability, and for a lot of people, he's the only mayor that they ever knew."

Butler graduated from the University of Illinois law school and was a Korean War veteran. His father was a state representative and state senator. His grandfather also was mayor of Marion.

When Butler retired he looked back saying, "I have been given more credit than I deserved and more criticism than was warranted."

By comparison, former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley was mayor for 22 years.

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