Former colleagues remember Mary Haynes, a Peoria trailblazer

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Mary Haynes was a Peoria trailblazer who died Friday, Nov. 26 at the age of 79.

Haynes was the first female elected as Peoria City Clerk.

Her obituary states:

“She was grateful to the citizens of Peoria for the privilege of having the best job in the world from 1985-2012. One of her most satisfying roles was to chair the ‘Rediscovering City Hall’ project, bringing City Hall back to its former glory.”

State Representative Ryan Spain worked with Haynes during his time on Peoria City Council.

“Mary Haynes was a trailblazer. She was the first female clerk in the City of Peoria. She was also a mentor to so many people, myself included,” he said. “She helped us understand how city government works, and how we can provide the best services possible to all of our constituents.”

Spain said she worked to make the city hall a monument to local government. He also said she worked hard to educate the entire staff to keep city hall running.

“I just think of someone who served for over 25 years as our city clerk,” Spain said. “The incredible contributions that she made to the history of Peoria, to the efficiency of city hall, to the transparency that is so important in government.”

Former Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis said in a statement: “She was an outstanding clerk and held elected officials to a high standard for the benefit of our entire community.”

Her obituary, published in the Peoria Journal Star, can be found here.

According to the obituary: “The family will receive friends from 4-7 PM, Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at Gary Deiters Funeral Home & Cremation Services in East Peoria. A Memorial Service will be held at 11 AM, Thursday, December 2, 2021, at Great Oaks Community Church in Germantown Hills, with an additional hour of visitation prior to the service at church.”

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