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‘I love public service;’ Frank Beach is the longest serving alderman in Rockford history

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Most people dream about retiring one day, but not Rockford's 10th Ward Alderman Frank Beach.

On April 6, Beach won his eleventh term on Rockford City Council, officially making him the longest serving alderman in Rockford history and possibly the state of Illinois.

"I decided that I would run in 1980," Beach says about his very first election, "I felt that this is what the good lord would have me to do serve him.

"What better way than to love on people."

For 41 years, Beach has served not only his ward, but the entire Rockford community. Founding, supporting and running some of the cities most beloved events and impactful initiatives.

Events like the Festival of Lights, the Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition and the Rockford Concert Band. Initiatives like the Miracle Mile, town halls to combat domestic violence and the rehabilitation of the Alpine Dam.

"I love public service and I love being a part of this community."

His political career spans across four decades and is still going.

"I don't know who will give out first: his car or Mr. Frank," says Winnebago County Chairman and former colleague Joe Chiarelli.

"After all these years he continues to be a force in that ward and its reflective because they keep re-electing him."

The list of accomplishments goes on for Beach, but he says his proudest is being a dedicated husband to his wife Sonja and father to their two daughters.

"He always made an effort to know that we were his number one priority," says Lori Beach-Grass, Beach's eldest daughter, "he would make sure that meetings were scheduled after dinner or before, he was there for bedtime every night, homework every night. "

"And the people in his ward knew that they were his priority. He is kind of magic like that."

"He's my hero," says Jodi Beach, Beach's youngest daughter. "You know I've seen him in waders in peoples basements dumping out floods, and phone calls come in, in the middle of the night.

"We never had a lack of a father, but he is always there for his constituents."

Dedication to God, family and the community is what Beach says he wants to be remembered for one day, but that day is far from here.

With 41 years of service under his belt, and more to come, retirement isn't even in his vocabulary.

"Each four years they seem to vote me back and I'm grateful for that," Beach says.

"My major goal is whatever I do, do it to all the honor and glory to God."

Beach will be sworn in for his eleventh term with the rest of the Rockford City Council next month.

Maggie Polsean

Maggie Polsean is an anchor for 13 News Today. Born and raised in Rockford, she is excited to be back home working for the station she grew up watching. Maggie is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and Christian Life high school in Rockford.

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