Sycamore mayor dies

By Paul Kirk

For the second time in less than six months, Sycamore was jolted once again by the cold reality of human frailty.

Mayor Phillip Ramsey was rushed to Kishwaukee Community Hospital and was pronounced dead at 7:29 a.m. of natural causes. He was 65.

The Sycamore Fire Department responded to an emergency call at Ramsey’s 437 South California Street home at 7 a.m. Sunday.

City Clerk Gail Brantner said she was informed of the death shortly after 7 a.m. She said she was told Ramsey apparently suffered a heart attack.

“This was so shocking,” Brantner said. “It was so sudden, and so soon after Red’s death.”

Ramsey’s death occurred less than six months after longtime Mayor Harold “Red” Johnson died of a massive heart attack Sept. 29, 1991.

“Phil had a lot of ideas for Sycamore that now may never be finalized. He was trying to bring a lot of business and industry to Sycamore,” Brantner said.

According to an ordinance passed nearly three years ago, the chairman of the Finance Committee will assume the mayoral position.

Ramsey’s duties will now fall to 1st Ward Alderman Bernie McMillan. McMillan is in Florida, but is expected back late today or Tuesday.