The city of Marseilles announced on its Facebook page Monday that Mayor Jim Trager had died this weekend.
"It is with deep sadness on this New Years Day that the city of Marseilles mourns the passing of Mayor James Trager," the post read. "The Mayor deeply loved Marseilles and served five decades as commissioner and mayor. Our prayers go out to family and friends. He will be missed and never forgotten."
The mayor had missed some recent meetings for health issues. Marseilles Commissioner Jim Hollenbeck had been serving as mayor pro tem for the meetings Trager was unable to attend.
Trager, 79, won the mayoral seat in 2015 besting Patti Smith. He had served as mayor from 2007 to 2011. He also had served for 24 years as a Marseilles commissioner and some time as chairman of the 911 board.
Trager's political goal was to grow Marseilles infrastructure and create new incentives to attract new businesses to the community, which he hoped also would lead to future growth up to Interstate 80. A big part of his term was spent addressing the city's flooding issues.
Born and raised in Marseilles, Trager had retired after 38 years as a tools and die manager at Joliet Caterpillar.
Seals-Campbell Funeral Home in Marseilles is handling arrangements.