WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. -- Bob Ellis, a former mayor of West Frankfort, died Saturday afternoon.
Ellis was appointed in 2004 when former Mayor Jack Woolard resigned.
In addition to his time as mayor, Ellis also spent 46 years working at the West Frankfort Daily American.
Ellis also served on the John A. Logan Board of Trustees and was voted West Frankfort Citizen of the Year in 2016.
Current West Frankfort Mayor issued a statement Saturday on the passing of Ellis.
"Bob Ellis was not just the former Mayor of West Frankfort, he was my friend. In 1968, Bob covered sports for the Daily American newspaper and I was a West Frankfort basketball player. He never could beat me at H-O-R-S-E. Bob later began writing the news for the Daily American and I became a Fire Fighter. We spoke frequently about events related to the Fire Department. I loved talking to him and we had a great relationship. After I became Mayor, Bob told me, 'You're the second best Mayor West Frankfort has ever had.' Bob would then add 'I was the Best!' Bob will be missed and my thoughts and prayer are with Kaye and the family. 'Hawk,' West Frankfort loves you. Rest In Peace."
Benton Mayor Fred Kondritz also released a statement, adding Ellis was a dear friend.
"I have known Bob Ellis (The Hawk) for 40 years. Beside being a dear friend, Bob was the most trustful and exact newspaper reporter I have ever known. He gained people's trust immediately with his accurate reporting and his friendly personality. His favorite saying was, 'I am not from West Frankfort, but I got here as fast as I could.' He was a master at hilarious one liners. I love Bob Ellis and society has lost a legend!!"