ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford’s 11th Ward Alderman Tuffy Quinonez has died.

He had been hospitalized since Tuesday after suffering a stroke. He was first elected to his seat in 2017 and was dedicated to his ward.

He was especially passionate about investing into the Broadway area.

“I want to see Broadway come up and be lively again like it was back in the day,” Quinonez said. “With the new organizations and Broadway businesses coming up, we’re headed in the right direction.”

Quinonez was dedicated to improving his community, which included bringing in local businesses. He was excited to welcome a new ethnic food store to the area earlier this month.

“This will show the community that to invest into the Broadway area, that we’re expecting more new businesses to come in when this place opens up,” Quinonez said.

He was proud of his Hispanic heritage, which was always represented with the Mexican flag at his seat. He served on the city’s Code and Regulation Committee, as well as the Liquor Commission.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said in a statement that “Tuffy was a proud veteran, successful businessman and dedicated community servant. He was also a strong advocate for small businesses and the revitalization of the Broadway business district. I’m saddened by his passing. I join his family, friends and constituents who are mourning this tremendous loss to our community.”

Quinonez previously served Winnebago County as well. Current Winnebago County Board Chairman Joe Chiarelli said that “as a current Alderman and former Winnebago County Board Member, Tuffy dedicated his life to serving his community and he will be sorely missed.”

Tuffy Quinonez was 76.

The city cancelled Monday night’s city council meetings due to his passing. They are rescheduled for March 6.