Metro-East News

‘Founding father’ of Fairview Heights dies

Fairview Heights’ first ever public official has died at age 85.

Warren Baker Jr., who served as city clerk in October 1969 in Fairview Heights, just weeks after the city was incorporated, died Thursday morning.

“He served the community in so many ways, dedicating a large portion of his life to the city as an alderman,” the Fairview Heights Police Department said in a Facebook post. “Warren loved our city, and especially the men and women of the police department...To all of (Baker’s family), we thank you for the wonderful service your father provided to this community for many, many years.”

Fairview Heights Mayor Mark Kupsky credited Baker with guiding the the founding of the city.

“Fairview Heights is what it is, due to the work and dedication of Warren Baker! He will be missed!” Kupsky posted on Facebook.

Baker was acting city clerk for two months, until someone was found to permanently take the job. He was appointed Oct. 28, 1969, and Fairview Heights was incorporated Oct. 2, 1969. He had the city’s first municipal election in December 1969 at his insurance business.

He was then appointed as the chairman of the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners, and became an alderman in 1971, serving the city for three terms. He was reelected an alderman in May 2007, when he told the BND he was concerned “about the fact that sometimes there’s very little debate and discussion, and everything seems to have already been decided outside of council.”

When Baker ran for alderman in 2007, he told the BND he had a “never-ending desire to be of service to my city and help quality of life for its residents.” He served as alderman until 2009.