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Ted C. Wills, 91; Ex-Fresno Mayor Backed Development

November 10, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

Ted C. Wills, 91, mayor of Fresno from 1969 to 1977, died Thursday at the Community Living Center in Fresno of complications of Parkinson's disease.

During his tenure, Wills supported major development projects for the Central Valley city. Among them were the Internal Revenue Service's data processing center, which handles federal income tax returns for heavily populated Southern California. Others were Fulton Mall and Selland Arena.

Wills was appointed to the City Council in 1954 and went on to win reelection several times. He was named mayor in 1969 when the incumbent resigned, won reelection shortly afterward and again in 1973. He lost the 1977 election by a mere 118 votes, but later was reelected to the City Council and served until 1987.

A labor leader, Wills was chosen secretary-treasurer of the Fresno chapter of the Creamery Employees Assn. in 1936. He retired in 1971.

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