Joe Terronez, the first Hispanic mayor in the state of Illinois, laid to rest

Local News

The first Hispanic mayor in the state of Illinois was laid to rest this afternoon.

91-year-old Joe Terronez died Saturday surrounded by his family.

He spent 30 years in public office for the city of Silvis and served as the town’s mayor from 1989 to 1993.

Stephanie Hernandez is Terronez’s niece and said her family felt the love from the community, after seeing dozens of community memebers pay their respects to her uncle.

“Having people come out and stand together so exactly what my uncle Joe stood for and that was unity and so having everybody line up to say their goodbyes especially in the Hero Street monument it’s such an honor,” said Hernandez.

Silvis’ current mayor Matther Carter said he will miss Terronez’s friendship and wisdom.

“Today Silvis lost an original genuine real person, big heart tremendous giver of his time and I’m going to miss him I really am,” said Carter.

For Felix Vallejo, he’ll treasure his uncle’s advice.

“We pass on our culture and what we know down to our children as far as the values and how important our family is,” said Vallejo.

Mary Vallejo said this is a difficult time for her family since they can’t comfort each other.

“We were not able to show the love when we usually do when someone passes away and that’s what hurts us now because we’re not able to be with our cousins and give them the sympathy so I would just like them to know that we love them, we send our love and prayers for them that they get through this,” said Vallejo.

The city of Silvis is discussing a couple of projects to honor Joe Terronez.

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