State of Illinois
90th General Assembly

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 1                       SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION
 2        WHEREAS, The members of  the  Illinois  General  Assembly
 3    were  saddened to learn of the passing of State Senator Harry
 4    "Babe" Woodyard on January 31, 1997; and
 5        WHEREAS, Senator Woodyard was  sworn  into  the  Illinois
 6    Senate in February, 1986; and
 7        WHEREAS,  Senator  Woodyard  had served for four terms in
 8    the  Illinois  House  of   Representatives   prior   to   his
 9    appointment to the Illinois Senate; and
10        WHEREAS,  For  eighteen  years,  Senator  Woodyard  was a
11    humble and willing public servant  for  the  people  of  East
12    Central Illinois; and
13        WHEREAS,  A  legislative  visionary  with a keen sense of
14    fairness, Senator Woodyard recognized the need  for  reducing
15    the reliance on property taxes to fund education and proposed
16    cutting  property  taxes in exchange for a slight increase in
17    income  taxes  long  before  the  idea  became  a  staple  of
18    education funding reform discussions; and
19        WHEREAS,  Senator  Woodyard  was  a  leading  voice   for
20    agriculture  in Illinois and aggressively promoted the export
21    of Illinois farm products; and
22        WHEREAS, One of only  three  production  farmers  in  the
23    Illinois  Senate,  Senator  Woodyard  encouraged  the  use of
24    ethanol and spearheaded the movement  to  make  the  Illinois
25    State  Fair self-supporting, touting the Fair's rich heritage
26    and its appeal as one of the best state fairs in the country;
27    and
28        WHEREAS, Senator Woodyard's pride in Illinois agriculture
29    heritage and diversity was reflected in his  chairmanship  of
30    the  Senate Agriculture and Conservation Committee and in his
                            -2-                LRB9003213CBcb
 1    successful efforts to  bring  quarter  horse  racing  to  the
 2    Illinois State Fair; and
 3        WHEREAS, A wise steward of the land, Senator Woodyard was
 4    a  strong  voice in reaching a balance between protecting the
 5    State's  natural   resources   and   providing   recreational
 6    opportunities   for   boaters,   hunters,  and  other  sports
 7    enthusiasts throughout the State; and
 8        WHEREAS, The Senator was instrumental in  developing  the
 9    State's  Conservation  2000  program, a long-term development
10    plan to strike the necessary balance between preservation and
11    recreation; and
12        WHEREAS, Harry "Babe"  Woodyard  was  co-founder  of  the
13    Legislative   Sportsmen's   Caucus  and  had  served  as  its
14    co-chairman; and
15        WHEREAS,  A  soft-spoken  man  known  for  his   abundant
16    generosity,  Senator  Woodyard  developed an exchange program
17    between downstate legislators  and  Chicago  legislators  and
18    their   constituents   titled  "Illinois  Neighbors",  giving
19    lawmakers the opportunity to better understand the  needs  of
20    different regions of the State; and
21        WHEREAS, Babe Woodyard's dedication to improving people's
22    lives knew no geographic boundaries; and
23        WHEREAS,   He  developed  a  rapport  with  local  public
24    officials in China, looking for  a  means  to  improve  their
25    quality  of  life,  and  took  several  trade missions to the
26    country to help  develop  strong  business  and  governmental
27    relationships between Americans and local Chinese; and
28        WHEREAS,  Closer  to home, Senator Woodyard was active in
29    pursuing affordable, accessible health care for the people of
30    rural Downstate Illinois; and
                            -3-                LRB9003213CBcb
 1        WHEREAS,  A  loving,  dedicated   father   of   two   and
 2    grandfather  of  four,  Senator Woodyard strongly believed in
 3    providing quality  education  for  schoolchildren  throughout
 4    Illinois  so  each of them would be prepared for whatever the
 5    future held; and
 6        WHEREAS, Senator Woodyard  instinctively  understood  the
 7    importance  of  a  strong  economy to the day-to-day lives of
 8    people; he pursued initiatives designed to  spur  job  growth
 9    both in his own district and throughout the State; and
10        WHEREAS,  A  U.S. Army veteran, Senator Woodyard played a
11    key role in establishing the Illinois Korean War Memorial  to
12    honor  veterans of what many people call the "forgotten war";
13    and
14        WHEREAS,  Senator  Woodyard  had  a  keen   interest   in
15    expanding  viable  means  of  transportation  throughout  the
16    Midwest  and  to  that  end  was  an  active  member  of  the
17    Interstate Rail Passenger Advisory Council; and
18        WHEREAS,  Harry "Babe" Woodyard offered his expertise and
19    insight throughout the years  by  membership  on  the  Senate
20    Revenue  Committee,  the Senate Appropriations Committee, the
21    Senate Executive Appointments Committee, and the Senate Local
22    Government Committee; and
23        WHEREAS, Senator Woodyard was an  active  member  of  his
24    community  and received many accolades from various local and
25    State organizations throughout the years for  his  dedication
26    and service on behalf of the people of Illinois; and
27        WHEREAS,  Senator  Woodyard was born December 3, 1930, in
28    Danville, Illinois, graduated from Ridge  Farm  High  School,
29    and attended Illinois Wesleyan University; and
30        WHEREAS, Many legislators have fond memories of Babe, ham
31    and   bean   equipment  in  tow,  pulling  into  town  for  a
                            -4-                LRB9003213CBcb
 1    fundraiser; and
 2        WHEREAS, Never one to judge a person by their  status  in
 3    life or their political party, Senator Woodyard counted among
 4    his  friends  and  allies people of all political persuasions
 5    and walks of life; and
 6        WHEREAS, Whether it be a bouquet of flowers to a  staffer
 7    for  a  job  well  done,  the produce of his garden, or bread
 8    lovingly baked  by  his  own  hands,  Babe's  generosity  was
 9    legendary; and
10        WHEREAS,  His  quick  wit,  ever-present  smile, and mild
11    manner endeared Senator Woodyard to the people he represented
12    and the legislators, staffers, lobbyists, and State and local
13    officials with whom he worked; and
14        WHEREAS, Babe Woodyard never forgot where he came from or
15    the people who instilled their faith and confidence  in  him;
16    therefore, be it
19    CONCURRING HEREIN, that we do hereby  offer  our  condolences
20    and  sincere  expressions  of sympathy to the family of Harry
21    "Babe" Woodyard on his passing; and be it further
22        RESOLVED, That we celebrate the life of  Babe  and  count
23    among  our blessings the opportunity to have known and worked
24    with him; and be it further
25        RESOLVED, That we hold  our  memories  of  Babe  Woodyard
26    close  to  our  hearts and minds as we reflect upon his life;
27    and be it further
28        RESOLVED, That we lift up Harry "Babe"  Woodyard  as  the
29    epitome of a dedicated public servant; and be it further
30        RESOLVED,  That  a  suitable  copy  of this resolution be
                            -5-                LRB9003213CBcb
 1    presented to Babe's wife, Mary D; their children, Leslie  and
 2    Kirk;   and  grandchildren,  Corrine,  Kendell,  Rachel,  and
 3    Nicholas.

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