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Vernon C. Spring

LeClaire has lost one of its biggest cheerleaders with the death of former Mayor Vernon "Vern" Spring, city leaders said.

The city's mayor for 12 years, serving through 2007, Spring died Sunday at the age of 87.

Opening up the LeClaire City Council meeting Monday, Mayor Ray Allen acknowledged the passing of two leaders — Spring and former President George H.W. Bush. He said the men showed how a leader can be nice and still accomplish things.  

"Vern was always promoting LeClaire," Allen said describing him as "extremely loyal, passionate" about his hometown.  

Spring served on the LeClaire City Council from 1992 to 1995 when he became the city's mayor — leading the city from 1996 to 2007. 

"His biggest attribute was his promotion of the city whether that be internally, locally or throughout the whole Quad-Cities," longtime LeClaire City Administrator Ed Choate recalled Tuesday.

Spring served on a number of Quad-City-wide committees.

"He had the inclination and the time, he was retired. But he saw that as his primary function or role," Choate added.

During Spring's tenure, LeClaire saw the start of its residential boom, the construction of a new city hall and library and the launch of the downtown's redevelopment. 

Bettendorf City Administrator Decker Ploehn recalled Spring as "very gentle, kind, positive and glass-half-full" person. Having served on LeClaire's tourism board and the Scott County Solid Waste Commission with him, Ploehn said. "He always gave the perspective of the smaller towns, which he was supposed to do. But he was always was a team player and made sure we were doing what was right for the region."

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at LeClaire Baptist Church.

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