WOODRIDGE – Village of Woodridge trustee-elect Susan Burtnette passed away Sunday morning after an abbreviated battle with lung cancer.
According to her son Brad, Burtnette was diagnosed with lung cancer in late March, and suffered a stroke April 7 – two days prior to the election – before passing Sunday.
"Woodridge was a very big part of her heart and soul," Brad Burtnette said, explaining that involvement in Woodridge government was one of her life goals. "She was extremely dedicated to the community and her church."
Burtnette, 62, was active in the Woodridge community, where she lived for 35 years, including St. Scholastica Parish and the Woodridge School District 68 Board of Education, of which she was an elected member for eight years.
Additionally, she was member of the League of Women Voters, the Woodridge Area Chamber of Commerce, the Junior Women's Club and the Woodridge Jubilee Committee, among other groups, according to her obituary.
She was also employed locally, at an Edward Jones branch in Woodridge.
Burtnette was elected to the Woodridge Village Board April 9, receiving 1,424 votes in the election.
Although she was unable to speak on election day, Brad Burtnette said his mother was aware and conscious that she had won a trustee seat, an accomplishment that was a dream of hers, he said.
According to her obituary, Burtnette's "true passions were her giving spirit, her love of Woodridge, her faith, and her grand-kids."
"Not only will she be missed by her family, but many events and committees will feel the loss as events pass by and Sue is not there. It will take time to get used to not seeing her."
Burtnette is survived by her three married children Brad, Scott, and Kristina, and her grandchildren Riley, Reese, Carson and Landon.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. May 3 at St. Scholastica in Woodridge. Brad Burtnette said his mother is donating her body to science.
Code calls for mayor to choose trustee
Municipal Code gives the responsibility to fill Susan Burnette's trustee seat to mayor-elect Gina Cunningham-Picek.
Once Cunningham-Picek chooses a candidate, that candidate must be approved by the new sitting Woodridge Village Board, according to Robert Herr, executive director of the DuPage County Election Commission.
There is no requirement for Cunningham-Picek to choose the next top vote-getter in the April 9 election, Herr added.
Joseph Kagann, who had served on the village board for the last 10 years, trailed Burtnette in the race for the third trustee seat by just 36 votes (1,424 votes to 1,388 votes).
When reached for comment this week, Kagann offered his condolences to the Burtnette family and said he would like to be considered for the now-vacant seat.
Cunningham-Picek declined comment.