SYCAMORE – Former Sycamore Mayor Kenneth Charles Mundy spent his life serving the City of Sycamore.
His legacy is his leadership, and people leading Sycamore and DeKalb said their time working with Mundy has had an effect on them that has lasted to this day.
Mundy died of esophageal cancer Tuesday at the age of 73.
For current Sycamore Mayor Curt Lang, Mundy wasn’t only a leader and a friend. He was also his mentor.
“Many can lecture you, but he led,” Lang said. “He led with compassion, friendship, and he led by example. I took to heart the old feeling that he really cared about me.”
Sycamore City Manager Brian Gregory recalled how Mundy affected his career.
“He’s always someone I could depend on,” Gregory said. “He taught me several of the ins and outs of government and the intricacies of Illinois government.”
Gregory said Mundy always believed in him and he was grateful for the support Mundy showed him.
“Having someone support you like that is very powerful,” Gregory said.
Lang said he became an alderman while Mundy was mayor. After Mundy retired, and Lang was elected mayor in 2017, Lang continued to seek out his predecessor for advice.
“He was a leader and a friend,” Lang said. “He was someone I could go to with questions. Even when he retired, I called him for his opinions and thoughts.”
Gregory said Mundy spent his life serving Sycamore.
“He gave so much back to the city and to the entire community, and beyond,” Gregory said. “He was a faithful man who was involved in service clubs, church organizations and the local government.”
Mundy served the city of Sycamore for 48 years. Gregory said he would have served many more had Mundy’s health prevailed. He said Mundy loved Sycamore, and it showed in his demeanor.
“He was very supportive and positive about everyone he came in touch with,” Gregory said. “He was an overall great guy.” Mundy mentored Gregory early on in his career.
Lang said Mundy had a great big heart and always shared it with those around him.
Born in DeKalb, Mundy’s family moved to Sycamore in 1948. He attended Sycamore Schools and was part of the first class – Class of 1964 – to attend all four years at the new Sycamore High School.
He served in the Navy from 1966 to 1970 and spent time in Vietnam and San Diego. Following the Navy, Mundy enrolled at Kishwaukee College to complete a business associate degree. He also attended Northern Illinois University, where he earned a degree in finance, according to Mundy’s obituary.
Mundy married Juanita Eileen Carroll in 1967 at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. John. They had two daughters, Rhonda and Pamela.
Mundy began working for Sycamore in 1972 as treasurer for the Sycamore Library. After that post he served the Sycamore Fire and Police Pension Boards of Trustees. Mundy was later elected to Sycamore city treasurer in 1981. He served as treasurer until 2005, when he was elected mayor of Sycamore. Mundy served as mayor until his retirement in 2017.
Mundy was a member for more than 30 years of the Sycamore Kiwanis Club, a member of St. John Luthern Church since 1948, the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation, Sycamore Economic Development Commission, as well as many other area clubs.
DeKalb City Manager Bill Nicklas said Mundy's death is very personal for him. Nicklas served as city manager of Sycamore during the first years of Mundy's tenure as mayor.
"I've known Ken for probably 30 years," Nicklas said. Nicklas served as city manager in Sycamore from 1998 to 2011.
Lang said a lot of people are feeling the effect of Mundy’s passing.
“Hopefully we can pay tribute to him by continuing with his legacy that he’s given Sycamore,” Lang said. “I will miss his smile, his happy attitude, his kindness and his love for Sycamore. ... He was the kind of guy who loved our town, loved the people and loved the activities. He participated in everything Sycamore did every step of the way.”