SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
*** UPDATED x1 *** Bill O’Connell

Monday, Sep 24, 2012

* There will just never be another one like him. May he rest in peace, and I hope there’s a bar there for him

From a slate of senators, congressmen, governors and two Mayor Daleys on down, anybody who was anybody in Illinois politics over many decades knew and respected Bill O’Connell, the last of a breed of journalist-activists who covered the news in Springfield and wasn’t shy about making the news happen behind the scenes along the way.

William J. O’Connell Jr., 83, died Sunday, Sept. 23, of complications from cancer.

From 1955 until his retirement in 1996, he commanded the political and Statehouse beat for the Peoria Journal Star. He quickly built a reputation for keeping a keen watch over Illinois’ public officials.

But it was Mr. O’Connell’s deep understanding of why and how things got done that brought admiration from his readers, fellow reporters and top politicians. […]

When Richard M. Daley was a young man sent to work on the state’s 1970 Constitution in Springfield, he was urged to sit down with Mr. O’Connell to learn some of the more important ins and outs. And whenever Daley returned as mayor before retiring last year, he would speak about the one reporter he knew well in Springfield: Bill O’Connell.

O’Connell was somebody I always looked up to. We had different styles, different goals, different ways of doing business, different tastes, but Bill was the man. And everybody knew it

Credited with the ability to bring together lawmakers from downstate and the Chicago area to the benefit of both, O’Connell was both journalist and community promoter. His influence helped persuade lawmakers to, among other things, fund the Peoria Civic Center and other area improvements.

“I can’t think of a major project or event in the Peoria area that he didn’t have a powerful hand behind the scenes in making happen,” state Rep. David Leitch, a former reporting colleague, said at O’Connell’s 1996 retirement.

He stomped on the terra.

*** UPDATE *** Bill O’Connell Services…

Visitation will be 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Wright & Salmon Mortuary, 2416 N. North St.

Visitation also will be from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 509 E. Kansas St., Peoria. Mass will start at 10 a.m. Saturday at the church.

Mass will be followed by burial at Resurrection Cemetery, 7519 N. Allen Road, Peoria, according to Wright & Salmon.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


8 Comments
  1. - redrum - Monday, Sep 24, 12 @ 1:50 pm:

    John O’Connell never burnt a source or put his friends in a bad light. O’Connell was a reporter everyone trusted. In return, he scored huge points for his community!


  2. - Commonsense in Illinois - Monday, Sep 24, 12 @ 1:50 pm:

    Billl was a true gentleman in every sense of the word, but he didn’t suffer fools. I was very fortunate to know him.


  3. - anon sequitor - Monday, Sep 24, 12 @ 2:12 pm:

    “Never argue with a guy who buys ink and paper by the train load!”

    God bless and keep you Bill! And if I know Bill, he already negotiated a good place in heaven before he passed.


  4. - Matt jones - Monday, Sep 24, 12 @ 2:15 pm:

    when I first came to Springfield to work on staff after being an ASA in peoria, the universal advice was to talk to Bill. at first I thought it was old school hyperbole, but after the zillionith war story involving Bill, I decided I should respect my elder. I’m glad I did. I certainty wasn’t a protege’ but he was generous with his time and insights. we all would be better if more legislators followed the example he showed for those many years. I’m a better in Springfield because of him.


  5. - Brendan - Monday, Sep 24, 12 @ 4:03 pm:

    Mayors Daley, not Mayor Daleys.

    Just like “Attorneys General”.

    ;-)


  6. - Steve Brown - Monday, Sep 24, 12 @ 4:46 pm:

    Capt Fax:

    Thanks for passing along the info on Bill’s services.

    When I first went to the State House in the mid 70s for the DaiIy Herald I was shown a desk in a corner office. I was told to pay attention to the little guy nearby because he had probably forgotten more about journalism, the legislature, politics and life than most of us would ever learn. My guide was right.

    Ziggy was a friend and mentor.
    He was happy to share.
    He was an advocate for the Peoria region.
    He understood how to match the interests of downstate with the urban areas better than anyone I have ever met.

    He did it all with wit and wisdom.

    The last few weeks have not been good because I knew a great friend was not going to be with us much longer.

    Keep a hand on our shoulders Bill in the time ahead.

    My prayer is for your family to be comforted and strengthened in these difficult moments. I hopend that they take great pride in your life and all the Gracve and Elmers you informed and helped.


  7. - Esquire - Monday, Sep 24, 12 @ 4:53 pm:

    My acquaintance with Bill O’Connell was due to his active participation in Irish fraternal organizations and he was the genuine article. He was willing to put in the miles and travel to Irish functions throughout the State of Illinois.

    I thought that it was a great honor when he served as the Illinois State President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. He was bright and energetic and how he loved Peoria!

    God bless Bill! I am positive that St. Patrick rushed tp the Pearly Gates in order to push St. Peter aside to be the first to tell Bill “Welcome Home!”


  8. - tom dun - Saturday, Sep 29, 12 @ 8:44 am:

    If he trusted you, it was like a kid having the key to what he wanted the most of.We shared more than one drink, slept at his house more than once.It is true,it will be a long time before we see the likes of him again.You really don’t miss many,he is in the top ten.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Afternoon updates
* Stop the satellite TV tax!
* *** UPDATED 1x *** Twitter suspends parody account @peoriamayor
* Lesson learned: Don't 'Leave'
* Fitch affirms Illinois GO Bond rating
* BGA: Rauner firm holds state contracts; political round-up
* Question of the Day
* CAPTION CONTEST!
* Morning Shorts
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Nike Layoffs Add Fuel to Apple iWatch Rumors
        * Nike Says The FuelBand Isn’t Dead, New Color Options Coming
        * Beats Music Gets In-App Subscriptions, Beefs Up Free Streaming Options
        * Nokia Lumia Instagramer of the Week: Sigrid Sohm
        * Incomparable
        * The Week in iPad Cases: Big grip, small hands
        * Google Nexus mid-ranger, Google Glass trials, iOS 8 features & more – Pocketnow Daily

        * Use Everyday Toiletries in a Basin to Mask Bathroom Smells
        * Avoid a Mess While Eating Watermelon With Two Strategic Cuts
        * B1 File Manager Accesses Multiple Dropbox Accounts on Android
        * Nike Layoffs Add Fuel to Apple iWatch Rumors
        * Save Sticky Photographs by Soaking Them in Lukewarm Water
        * Moore’s law gives way to Bezos’s law
        * Choosing the best cloud based music app on iOS for your CD music library

        * White Sox place Felipe Paulino on DL, call up Andre Rienzo, outrigh...
        * Right on Q: Cuban baseball, where every man is an island.
        * Andre Rienzo returning to White Sox, says Andre Rienzo, report
        * Felipe Paulino awaits bad news after bad start
        * White Sox turn to focused Quintana vs. Rangers
        * Ramirez extends season-opening streak to 17
        * Paulino struggles in opener against Rangers


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Mayor's View: Gov. Quinn sends Freeport a welco.....
        * Illinois paid $12M in Medicaid for dead people..
        * Gov. Quinn Promises Tighter Controls After Medi.....
        * Quinn: New controls after Medicaid paid for dead..


        * Gov. Quinn backs state spending for Obama library
        * Quinn: New controls after Medicaid paid for dead
        * Ill. GOP officials who wanted Brady out replaced
        * $14M awarded in suit linking contraceptive, stroke
        * $14M awarded in lawsuit linking pill to stroke
        * Boeing to give California workers $47M in back pay
        * APNewsBreak: Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead
        * Democrats: Illinois schools could face major cuts
        * Illinois approved for No Child Left Behind waiver
        * Cook County issues 1,000th gay marriage license

        * U of I officials seeking to prevent retirement rush
        * U of I asks state legislators to prevent retirement rush; could affect 200 at UIS
        * 2015 tax rates still far from settled
        * Strip club tax brings in much less than expected
        * Quinn grants 43 clemency requests
        * Illinois approved for No Child Left Behind waiver
        * University: State pension reform had costly mistake
        * House bill urges schools to make digital emergency plans
        * Illinois Medicaid paying for dead clients
        * Rutherford's lawyers ask judge to dismiss sexual-harassment lawsuit

        * Census: People are leaving all six Chicago-area counties
        * Trixie and Chad have kids!
        * Quinn administration funds Diana Rauner's nonprofit
        * Why Lenovo's Moto bid is looking smarter
        * Ignoring Shakespeare's butcher, law firm advises how to cut legal bills


        * $14 mil. awarded to woman who suffered stroke after taking medication
        * Illinois schools get waiver from No Child Left Behind progress mandate
        * $14 mil awarded to woman who suffered stroke after taking medication
        * Ex-con who robs bank to go to jail gets 3.5-year sentence
        * Free, but not from the past
        * Five dead, 12 wounded in shootings since Friday evening
        * Anthony Porter: free, but not from the past
        * Five dead, 13 wounded in shootings since Friday evening
        * Woman in serious-to-critical condition after being pulled from Lake Michigan
        * Five dead, 9 wounded in shootings since Friday evening


        * Cops: Parolee charged in series of robberies, including same business twice
        * Cops: 3 dead, 4 others injured in shooting incidents
        * Two killed in West Side shootings; 9 others wounded across city
        * Man hit by truck on Near North Side dies


        * Illinois Finally Gets 'No Child Left Behind' Waiver
        * U Of I: Illinois Pension Overhaul Had Costly Mistake
        * Fish fry dinners bring food, community to Catholics during Lent
        * Listen To State Week - April 18, 2014
        * Murray Center Advocates Win Appeals Decision
        * Employment Improves, But Illinois Still Lags U.S.
        * Nine Illinois lawmakers vote to fund Obama library - but only five members in attendance
        * WBEZ's Student Stories
        * Interview: John Tinker & The Landmark Case On Students' Right To Free Speech
        * State Legislation Hints At Marijuana Legalization


        * U of I asks state legislators to prevent retirement rush; could affect 200 at UIS
        * Quinn grants 43 clemency requests
        * Illinois approved for No Child Left Behind waiver
        * Illinois Medicaid paying for dead clients
        * Democrats: Illinois schools could face major cuts
        * State prisons to use costly drug for hepatitis C
        * University: State pension reform had costly mistake
        * DNR mining-oversight official fired
        * Clock ticking for states to adopt health exchanges
        * GOP lawmaker objects to 9-0 vote for Obama library


        * Art on the Square, Talbots team up to show art, clothing collections
        * Illinois Volleyball at Kenney Gym 2014
        * City Council votes Monday on hiring architect for Belleville Police station
        * Author to give presentation
        * Easter egg hunt draws four-legged competitors
        * Community to present film screening
        * OF FAITH AND FACEBOOK: Actress Kim Furness takes her cancer diagnosis, beliefs public
        * 'Kabaret' to raise money for Furness, Norma Leah
        * Actress Kim Furness takes her cancer diagnosis, beliefs public
        * Charity golf scramble set


        * The 10th District money race
        * Aurora Democrat calls out IHSA
        * Lawyers: Ill. hazing law vague, unconstitutional
        * Ill. House OKs lower-cost hunting bill for seniors
        * Quinn’s running mate takes new consulting job

        * Schakowsky in Tokyo for Aspen Institute co...
        * Schakowsky on pre-Passover Kansas Jewish C...
        * On Equal Pay Day, Rep. Schakowsky Calls fo...
        * Statement by Rep. Jan Schakowsky on Senate...
        * Statement by Rep. Jan Schakowsky on Suprem...
        * Northwestern unionization leaders turn eff...
        * Rep. Jan Schakowsky: The Republican Ryan B...
        * The Affordable Care Act's Successful First...
        * Rep. Jan Schakowsky: The Affordable Care A...
        * "Is The New GM Responsible?": Barra Fields...

        * Loading Koch Industries Website Too Many T......
        * Maryland and DC among worst for food aller......
        * Cleveland State University to reestablish ......
        * Convicted political boss Al Sanchez runnin......
        * Candidates make last filings for local, st......

        * Illinois Lt. Gov. Simon opposes pension le......
        * Dillard Odd Man Out on Pension Deal Reaction...
        * Sen. Mark Kirk sides with Rauner on pensio......
        * Governor's race infighting threatens pensi......
        * SCHOONERS - Home of Everyone's Favorite Be......

        * Weyermuller: "Taxed Enough Already" rally in St. Charles
        * Gutierrez calls on House Republicans to vote on immigration reform [video]
        * Governor Quinn. Veto Rahm’s pension bill.
        * The talented Mr. Biss.
        * Durbin banks more than $6M for 2014 Senate bid
        * Illegal Immigration: Will Illinois' GOP leadership abandon the party's platform?
        * Walsh: Sorry, Sen. Kirk, That Train Has Already Left the Station
        * Will County GOP provides insight into how party decides officials and policies
        * City Journal: Chicago's Vanishing Middle Class
        * Vinyl Lovers, Get Over To Shake Rattle & Read


        * Governor Quinn Announces Investments to Conserve Lake Michigan Shoreline - Visits Volunteer Beach Clean-up to Announce Investments That Will Support Environmental Education and Stewardship Projects
        * Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action
        * Proposed Rules for Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act Filed
        * Adopt-A-Highway Spring Cleanup Begins Today - Annual Event Honors Earth Day, Tackles Roadside Litter After Harsh Winter
        * Illinois Schools Win No Child Left Behind Waiver - Federal Government Approves Flexibility Needed for Successful Implementation of State Strategies to Improve Student Learning




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller