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90_HJ0035 LRB9005907KBkbA 1 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 2 WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of 3 Representatives and the Illinois Senate are saddened to learn 4 of the death of their friend, Representative Terry Deering of 5 DuBois, Illinois; and 6 WHEREAS, State Representative Terry Deering was born on 7 November 7, 1958; he was a lifetime resident of Washington 8 County; and he went to Nashville Community High School; and 9 WHEREAS, As a young man, Terry Deering married Reita 10 Peradotta; together they had three lovely children: Greyson, 11 Clayton, and Allyssa; and 12 WHEREAS, People who knew Terry Deering knew that he was a 13 Southern Illinoisan through and through; it was no surprise 14 when he joined many other young men in the 1970's and went to 15 work in the coal mines; as a result, he learned early in life 16 about the importance of coal to the economy of Southern 17 Illinois; it was a lesson he never forgot; and 18 WHEREAS, As a young man, Terry also respected the value 19 of public service; he was only twenty years old when he was 20 elected to his very first office, Trustee for the Village of 21 DuBois; one year later, Terry became Mayor; for the next 22 twelve years he earned the respect of his community by 23 fighting for its interests, and never forgetting the people 24 who elected him; and 25 WHEREAS, When Terry made the decision to run for State 26 Representative in 1990, none of the "political experts" gave 27 him much of a chance of winning; Terry was such a long shot 28 that the party leaders gave him only $800 to help with his 29 campaign; but Terry prevailed by bringing his trademark 30 commitment and dedication to that campaign; he relentlessly 31 traveled from door-to-door, and got his votes the old -2- LRB9005907KBkbA 1 fashioned way, by earning every single one; and 2 WHEREAS, On election night, the people in Springfield did 3 not know that Terry had won his seat; when they learned of 4 his shocking victory, they realized that they did not have 5 his phone number so they could call to congratulate him; but 6 they did find him, congratulated him, and were faced with his 7 wicked sense of humor when he asked, with a straight face, 8 "Who's Mike Madigan?"; and 9 WHEREAS, Terry arrived in Springfield, bringing his 10 Southern Illinois roots with him; he immediately established 11 himself as an expert on clean coal technology and other 12 energy issues; he understood that keeping the Southern 13 Illinois coal industry vital was the key to his region's 14 economic health; he fought hard for legislation that ensured 15 safe working conditions for mine workers; and he battled for 16 tax credits for the research of new coal technologies; and 17 WHEREAS, Terry was a relentless advocate for good 18 government; shortly after arriving in the State Capitol, he 19 led the charge for an emergency audit of the Department of 20 Children and Family Services; the waste and mismanagement 21 that was uncovered sparked several legislative reforms of the 22 agency; and his efforts eventually earned him a position as 23 Co-Chairman of the Legislative Audit Commission, allowing him 24 to continue his fight for accountable State government; and 25 WHEREAS, Terry fought to build new markets for 26 agriculture by promoting legislation that required State 27 vehicles to run on ethanol, which would increase demand for 28 Illinois corn products; as the Chairman for the House 29 Transportation Committee, he was able to fight for improved 30 roads in Southern Illinois, bringing millions of dollars back 31 to his region for State road projects; and 32 WHEREAS, Despite his hard work and tireless efforts, -3- LRB9005907KBkbA 1 Terry never forgot about his family and friends, and he 2 quickly became known for his generosity; when session days 3 went long and ran into the late evening hours, Terry would 4 call his children every night from the House floor; it did 5 not matter if tensions were high or tempers were flaring, 6 colleagues nearby were always treated to Terry and his 7 children discussing a television episode of "Hee-Haw" or 8 "Green Acres"; and his colleagues were astonished at his 9 ability to recite lines from memory for his children from any 10 episode of those shows; and 11 WHEREAS, When the Great Flood of 1993 caused widespread 12 damage to his district, he joined thousands of other 13 volunteers to fill and carry sandbags, and help evacuate 14 people at risk; and he worked with State and federal 15 government to get important disaster relief; and 16 WHEREAS, During his time in the House of Representatives, 17 Terry became quickly known for his ability to make friends, 18 have fun, and always take time to ensure everyone felt 19 included; his reputation for being the center of attention, 20 as well as his size, earned him the nickname "Big Cat"; Big 21 Cat was always ready with a joke; he played the drums while 22 his father played the accordion, made up songs, and loved to 23 make people laugh; he loved to cook for his friends, 24 sponsoring annual parties for staff and friends in 25 Springfield; he was always the chef, cooking hundreds of pork 26 chops, and supplying food and drink at his own expense; he 27 bent over backwards for people in need and showed his deep 28 generosity at every turn; and 29 WHEREAS, People who first glimpsed Terry were often 30 astonished at his size; his appearance was large and often 31 intimidating; upon his arrival in Springfield, he was often 32 asked how tall he was, and his reply was always that he was 33 "bigger than most"; and -4- LRB9005907KBkbA 1 WHEREAS, This is how we will remember Terry Deering; he 2 was "bigger than most" in more ways than one; despite his 3 intimidating size, he was known as an approachable man who 4 was funny and likeable; he was a giant of a man with an even 5 larger heart; and he was a loving father and husband, a 6 dedicated public servant, and a person with a hearty and 7 booming laugh; and 8 WHEREAS, Terry Deering was one of a kind, truly "bigger 9 than most"; and we will miss him; therefore, be it 10 RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 11 NINETIETH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, THE 12 SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that we mourn, along with his 13 family, his friends, and the citizens of Southern Illinois, 14 the death of State Representative Terry Deering; and be it 15 further 16 RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be 17 presented to the family of Terry Deering along with our 18 sincere condolences.
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