R.I.P. Les Bellah. Longtime Kirkland citizen and 16 year mayor Les Bellah passed away over the weekend at OSF Saint Anthony's Center for Cancer Care in Rockford at the age of 68.

He was long known as one of the 'good guys' and man so proud of his town of Kirkland. He was a man that served his community, first getting elected to the local village board in 1983, and eventually serving as Mayor of Kirkland from 1997-2005 and 2008-2017.

Les was on hand when the deadly tornadoes struck in Fairdale, near Kirkland.

I recall seeing Les on  regular basis since the 1980's. During his term as Mayor, every time I popped into the Kirkland post office, I would give Les a wave as he was always hard at work across the street in his office at City hall, and always with a smile.

What you may not know about Les was that he was a huge Cubs fan and country music fan! In fact, he combined his love for both, in a song he recorded back in 1989 called "The Promise - Those Doggone Cubs."  Check it out.

 

Family member Jamie Bellah (Les Bellah's was Jamie's father in law) told me 

Les was at my house the night the Cubs won the pennant, and he had the best tears. I'm so glad he got to see the Cubs win the Series. It made his whole world!

We are thrilled that Les got to see this happen before his passing.

Jamie Bellah told me that a celebration of life for Les on will take place June 24th at Franklin Township Park in Kirkland from  2pm - 10 pm.. It is an open memorial for everyone who knew and loved him. But just as Les would have loved it, there will be music at the event and everyone will partake in celebrating all of his amazing memories.

Les, you will be missed. The entire community thanks you for your dedication and service.

Catch Mark Charvat on Q98.5 from 3 p.m to 7 p.m.. Follow him on Twitter, and Facebook