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Park Ridge mayor David Schmidt dies of sudden illness

David Schmidt, the mayor of northwest suburban Park Ridge, died Wednesday night at the age of 57.

“The City of Park Ridge is deeply saddened to announce that Mayor David Schmidt died on Wednesday, March 4, of a sudden illness,” according to a statement from City Hall.

“Please join the Elected Officials and City Staff in keeping Mayor Schmidt’s family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Schmidt was pronounced dead at Lutheran General Hospital at 11:41 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Park Ridge City Hall is expected to release a statement shortly on Schmidt’s death.

Schmidt represented Park Ridge on the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission. As a member of the commission, Schmidt was known for his pointed comments as he fought the new jet noise that an October 2013 change in O’Hare flight paths has wrought. He called one top Midwest Federal Aviation Administration official an uninformed “mouthpiece” and publicly supported the resignation of the outgoing Noise Commission chairwoman, whom he accused of turning the Commission into “a lap dog for the Chicago Department of Aviation.”

Schmidt also pushed through a Noise Commission resolution endorsing a supplemental environmental impact study of O’Hare jet noise after the big flight path switch. He charged that the FAA’s pledge to do a “re-evaluation” instead was a “smoke screen” and “delay tactic.”

Schmidt was born in Detroit in 1958, according to a biography on his website. He graduated from New Trier East High School, then attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he double-majored in business administration and political science.

He attended Loyola Law School and went on to become an attorney. In 2003, he founded the law firm of Chittenden, Murday & Novotny.

He was first elected mayor in 2009.

He also was a Little League coach, middle school football coach, Cub Scout den leader and church choir member.

Contributing: Rosalind Rossi