Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SJR0040
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Full Text of SJR0040  102nd General Assembly




SJ0040LRB102 22861 MST 32012 r


2    WHEREAS, It is highly fitting that the Illinois General
3Assembly pay respect to the life of former Illinois State
4Senator John Benjamin "Jack" Roe III by honoring him with a
5memorial overpass on Rochelle State Route 251; and
6    WHEREAS, Sen. Roe's family has a long history of service
7to the State of Illinois; and
8    WHEREAS, Sen. Roe's great-grandfather, Dr. John Roe, was
9born near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1800 and moved to Ogle
10County in 1836; he was the first doctor in the Rock River
11Valley; he established a farm and medical practice on a hill,
12which later became known as "Lighthouse Point" because Dr. Roe
13and his wife kept a light burning in a window as a beacon so
14that all knew how to find the doctor; that land now houses the
15Lighthouse Church and Cemetery and was donated by the Roe
16family; and
17    WHEREAS, Sen. Roe was born to Jane Gilbert and John B. Roe
18II on November 21, 1942; he graduated from Oregon Community
19High School in 1960 and Center College in Danville, Kentucky
20in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and
21History; and



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1    WHEREAS, Sen. Roe attended the University of Illinois,
2where he graduated from law school in 1967 and began his
3practice of law in Ogle County; he served as a public defender
4for the county and was then elected the youngest state's
5attorney in Illinois in 1968; and
6    WHEREAS, Sen. Roe was elected State Senator of the 35th
7District of Illinois in 1972 and was the first freshman
8senator to be appointed to the Committee of Committees; he
9also served on the Legislative Investigative Commission; and
10    WHEREAS, Sen. Roe sponsored the Illinois Campaign
11Disclosure Act, requiring candidates for public office to
12disclose their contributors and their expenditures; and
13    WHEREAS, Sen. Roe sponsored and passed legislation that
14appropriated the necessary funds for the first leg of the
15North-South Freeway from Rockford to the west tollway
16extension of Rochelle and legislation allocating money for the
17U.S. 20 Freeway Bypass system to be built from Lena to east of
18Freeport; and
19    WHEREAS, In 1976, Sen. Roe was approached by Robert "Bob"
20Hultgren, a local businessman and entrepreneur, and Mayor Bill
21Cipolla to obtain assistance and funding to place an overpass
22on then U.S. Route 51 through Rochelle; at that time, U.S.



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1Route 51 was the major north-south thoroughfare through the
2state; Rochelle had two sets of railroad tracks, the Chicago
3Northwestern and Burlington Northern; as many as 80 trains a
4day went through Rochelle, creating delays of 15 to 20 minutes
5for each train; the city had become known as Jamtown and
6Delaysville by truckers; and
7    WHEREAS, Sen. Roe obtained the money necessary to
8construct the Rochelle overpass; and
9    WHEREAS, Sen. Roe was appointed Chief Justice of the
10Illinois Court of Claims by Governor Jim Thompson in 1979; he
11was a member of the Rochelle Grade School Board of District 230
12from 1982 to 1984; and
13    WHEREAS, Sen Roe. practiced law in Rochelle from 1973 to
141995; he was appointed a circuit judge in 1995 by the Illinois
15Supreme Court and was elected as a circuit judge in 1996; and
16    WHEREAS, Sen. Roe retired as a judge in 2000 and was a
17member of the Governor's Commission to Revise and Rewrite The
18Illinois Criminal Code; he was also a member of the board of
19the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and served
20on the faculty at Stetson University College of Law in St.
21Petersburg, Florida as an adjunct professor; he was a
22Certified Florida County Circuit and Family Mediator and a



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1Certified Mediator of the U.S. District Court Middle District
2of Florida and U.S. District Court Northern District of
3Illinois; he was a Florida Bar Association arbitrator and
4mediator and was a certified mediator and arbitrator of the
512th Circuit of Florida and the 15th Circuit of Illinois; he
6was a Manatee County Florida administration hearing officer
7and was an arbitrator for the New York and Nasdaq Stock
8Exchanges; and
9    WHEREAS, Sen. Roe was preceded in death by his parents;
11    WHEREAS, At the time of his passing, Sen. Roe was survived
12by his wife of 47 years, Phyllis, who was his companion, love,
13best friend, and caretaker; his son, John B. "Ben" (Irene) Roe
14IV; his stepdaughter, Julie (Jim) Watt; his grandchildren,
15John Benjamin Roe V, Mary Margaret Roe, Justin Watt, and Emma
16Watt; his sister, Ruth Roe Arth; and many nieces and nephews
17and extended family members; and
18    WHEREAS, Without the leadership, statesmanship, and
19perseverance of Sen. Roe, the Rochelle overpass would not have
20been built; therefore, be it



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2Rochelle State Route 251 overpass as the "Sen. John B. "Jack"
3Roe Overpass"; and be it further
4    RESOLVED, That the Illinois Department of Transportation
5is requested to erect at suitable locations, consistent with
6State and federal highway regulations, appropriate plaques or
7signs giving notice of the name of the "Sen. John B. "Jack" Roe
8Overpass"; and be it further
9    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
10presented to the family of Sen. Roe, the Secretary of the
11Illinois Department of Transportation, and the Mayor of City
12of Rochelle.