Longtime Hoopeston Mayor Bill Crusinberry passed away Dec. 17 at his home.
Crusinberry, 72, had served as mayor for more than 12 years and had served as an alderman for four years prior to being elected mayor.
Crusinberry had recently announced his intention to retire from the position of mayor due to a protracted illness. His letter to the Hoopeston City Council, which was read at the Dec. 7 council meeting, is printed below:
“Honorable City Council, City Supervisors, their employees and the residents of Hoopeston. As many of you know, In February 2020, I was diagnosed with cancer. I was told it would be very treatable. Last November I had to make the decision as to whether I would seek another term as Mayor of Hoopeston. I consulted with my doctors and was told that my disease was still treatable. I talked with family and friends and decided to ask the voters of Hoopeston for their support for re-election as Mayor. Nearly two years have passed and while my cancer is still treatable, the treatments required are more extensive and have affected my everyday way of life. In talking with City supervisors, we feel that City business is being conducted thoroughly and effectively. However, I now feel that the time I am able to devote to conducting the business of the City of Hoopeston does not meet the standards I expect from myself. Therefore, after much deliberation, I have decided that it is in the best interest of the City that I step down from the office of Mayor of Hoopeston. I will soon be submitting my letter of resignation along with the process of the council seeking my replacement as laid out by the Illinois Municipal League in their handbook The league has definite guidelines which follow Illinois State statutes. This process will accompany my letter of resignation. I am very proud to have worked with this council to achieve many of the goals we have set for ourselves. When asked to run for City Council 17 years ago, it was not uncommon to walk down the street and hear comments like “this town is dying”. It’s not hard to understand why residents felt this way. During the nineties, Hoopeston had seen FMC remove their entire operation from town, either sold or transferring to another town. Schumacher Corporation decided that two dollar an hour labor could build their battery chargers taking 350 jobs out of Hoopeston. Stokely’s, Vermilion Iron and various small business left or closed their doors. It makes it understandable why residents felt the way they did. Although not all the council’s decisions were popular, I look around now and see a town on the move. It has been an honor and pleasure to work with these council members and the ones that have preceded them.”
Crusinberry’s obituary is printed below:
Charles William “Bill” Crusinberry, 72, of Hoopeston, IL, passed away at 5:17 P.M. Friday December 17, 2021, at his home. He was born July 27, 1949, in Danville, IL, the son of Floyd Cecil and Wanda June (Rothgeb) Crusinberry. He married Brenda Kay Denton on March 1, 1999, in Mesa, AZ. She survives in Hoopeston.
He is also survived by four daughters, Tina (Greg) Samet of Hoopeston, IL, Jeannie Miller of Hoopeston, IL, Lisa (Bryan) Johnson of Hoopeston, IL, and Stephanie (Brandon) Reffett of Pace, FL; one brother, Raymond “Skip” (Dawn) Crusinberry of Fresno, CA; eight grandchildren, Story (Rachel) Fenner, Kaylynn Bridgeman, Erica (Jeremy) Weber, Andrew Samet, Shelby Mayberry, Owen Reffett, Sidda Johnson, and Addisen Reffett; 2 great-granddaughters; 1 great-grandson; a special aunt, Joan Anderson; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Delmar Wayne Crusinberry.
Bill previously owned and operated Crunch’s Restaurant in Hoopeston for nearly 14 years. He also worked at DM Fertilizer which became Crop Production Services and later Nutrien Ag Solutions in Hoopeston for 20 years. Bill loved serving his hometown community as a humble servant, serving as the Mayor of Hoopeston for over 12 years and previously serving as a Hoopeston Alderman for 4 years. He was a member of the First Church of God in Hoopeston. He was also a member of the Hoopeston Chamber of Commerce, the Lion’s Club, the Sons of the American Legion where he held various offices and was a member of the Hoopeston Jaycees where he had previously served as Chapter Treasurer and was the past Chairman of the National Sweetcorn Festival in 1984. Bill enjoyed watching sports especially the St. Louis Cardinals and the Fighting Illini. He also enjoyed spending time with his family and traveling with his wife, Brenda. Bill was known for being very kind-hearted and always helping others.
Per his wishes, he will be cremated. A visitation will be held 4:00 – 6:00 P.M. Thursday December 23, 2021, at the First Church of God 1004 E. Orange St. Hoopeston, IL. The memorial service will follow the visitation and will begin at 6:00 P.M. Thursday December 23, 2021, at the church with Larry Baughn officiating. A private family burial will be held.
Memorials in Bill’s honor may be made to the First Church of God 1004 E. Orange St. Hoopeston, IL 60942 or the Gary Sinise Foundation (Homes for Disabled Veterans) P.O. Box 368 Woodland Hills, CA 91365.