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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mayor Ken McClure, on behalf of himself and the Springfield City Council, expresses his extreme sympathy upon hearing of the passing of former City Councilman Denny Whayne. “It is a sad night,” McClure said. “Springfield has lost an icon who worked tirelessly to bring communities of people together.”
Whayne was the first African-American elected to City Council since the Council/Manager form of government was adopted in 1953 and served as the Zone 1 representative for two consecutive four-year terms. First elected in 2001, Whayne served until 2009 and was a member of the Finance, Plans and Policies, Administration and Public Involvement committees.
Whayne, who grew up in Springfield, joined the NAACP at 11 and later participated in the Freedom Rides of 1961. He continued his civil rights work in Tulsa, where racial tensions were high in the late 1960s. He moved back to Springfield in 1972 and served as president of the Springfield chapter of the NAACP from 1980 until 1988. He worked for the City’s Finance department from 1975 until 1985.
City Council unanimously passed a resolution in 2018 honoring former Councilman Denny Whayne for his service on Council and his decades-long commitment to justice and equal rights. The Busch Municipal Building’s fourth-floor conference room was named at the time as the “Councilman Denny Whayne Conference Room.” A plaque detailing his accomplishments with his photo adorns one of the walls in the room in which City Council holds weekly workshops.
When interviewed in 2018, Whayne said, “Being on City Council was one of the best experiences of my entire life. My mindset on council was to try to move the city of Springfield forward.”
That he did.
Watch the dedication ceremony for the Councilman Denny Whayne Conference Room.
For more information, please contact Cora Scott at 417-380-3352 or [email protected]