Ray Fick former mayor

Photo provided courtesy of the Elmhurst Historical Museum

Considered the man behind the underpass

By Dee Longfellow

For The Elmhurst Independent

Early Tuesday morning, the Independent learned that former Mayor Ray Fick had passed away on April 25, 2016, in the home he shared with his wife Mary Ann in Naples, Florida. In addition to his wife, Fick is survived by a son Doug who lives in a suburb of Milwaukee with his wife and two children. The Fick’s other son Neil predeceased Ray, passing away from lung cancer in 1985 at the age of 24.

One of the Ficks’ claims to fame was living in the McCormick house, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, which is now the home of the Elmhurst Art Museum. After the Ficks called it home for almost 30 years, the building located at 299 Prospect was sold to the Museum. House movers came, hoisted it up and moved it to its current site in Wilder Park next to the Elmhurst Public Library.

Fick served as mayor of Elmhurst from 1973-77 and during that time, he oversaw the construction of the Robert T. Palmer Drive underpass. Many feel completing that massive project was his greatest accomplishment while in office.

Also during Fick’s tenure, the Bicentennial Fountain was built on Spring Road at Wild Meadows Trace. Along with the leaders of other communities, Fick was instrumental in the development of DuPage Public Safety Communications.

After serving as mayor, Fick accepted an appointment to the Elmhurst Park Board in 1981. He remained as a Park Commissioner until 1989. At that time, the Park Board was working on changing the tennis courts facility on West Avenue into Courts Plus as it is known today. Fick served two terms as Board president.

Beyond the City and the Park District, Fick didn’t hesitate to get involved in numerous local community endeavors. He was a director on the Ray Graham Association Board, chaired the Board of Trustees at Elmhurst Presbyterian Church, and was active in the Elmhurst Jaycees. Fick was also a part of bringing Lake Michigan water to the suburbs, forming the DuPage County Water Commission. He was also a founder of the College of DuPage.

Services were held in Florida.


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