Former Rockford mayor John McNamara dies at 81

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The City of Rockford announced the passing of former Mayor John McNamara, who was also the father of current Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.

McNamara, a Democrat, served as mayor from 1981 to 1989.

McNamara served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam from 1964 to 1966 and was decorated with a Bronze Star before becoming an assistant public defender in Winnebago County.

In 1974, he served as 3rd Ward Alderman.

He also served on the Rockford Area Catholic Board of Education, and was president of New American Theatre.

He was father to three daughters and three sons, the youngest, Mayor Tom McNamara, among them.

“My father was a true servant leader. He served his family, his country and his community,” said Mayor Tom McNamara. “He has been my greatest influence in how I’ve lived my life, how I’ve helped lead our great city and how I want my children to live their lives.”

In honor of Mayor John McNamara and his fondness for Rockford and a belief in its people, City Hall and the Morgan Street Bridge will be lit in multiple colors, reflecting the city’s diversity, from October 1 through October 8. Plans for a visitation will be announced soon.


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