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.


* Money-changers in the sports temples
* Question of the day
* Another Bost rant ad released
* Uh-oh
* Today's quotable
* AFSCME goes with Quinn
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Paranoia will destroy 'ya
* *** UPDATED x2 - Sanguinetti responds - NORML blasts Rauner *** Rauner blasts medical marijuana law
* Bost responds to "rant" ad
* Another day, another Rauner deal under the microscope
* Rauner lashes out at Quinn over IDOT scandal
* Dueling ads are no contest
* Paying the price for making bad hires
* Entrenched party portrays itself as the "reform" party
* Starting to gear up a bit
* 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

          
        * Mobile banking on your Lumia
        * First iPhone 6 Unboxing Video Surfaces
        * ZTE ZMAX phablet is a T-Mobile “Un-carrier” exclusive
        * Official iPhone 6 Plus Reviews Report 1 GB RAM
        * iPhone 6 NFC features, Google Nexus 9, Android Silver & more – Pocketnow Daily
        * Pre-order period starts for Moto X, G, 360 and Hint
        * Apple’s iPhone 6 And 6 Plus Cases Offer Comfort And Light Protection With Few Concessions

        * AirVR Virtual Reality Headset For iOS Launches On Kickstarter (video)
        * Google Play Store 5.0 Redesign Leaked
        * Sony Announces Revised Earnings On Lower Smartphone Sales
        * Toshiba Encore 2 Write Windows Tablet With Digital Pen Unveiled
        * Apple Adds App Specific Passwords To iCloud For Third Party Apps
        * Sony Slashes Guidance on Struggling Smartphone Business
        * Apple Enables iCloud 2 Step Authentication Security Feature

        * White Sox 7, Royals 5: Kansas City bullpen titans falter
        * Sale seeks another stellar start in KC, series win
        * Gillaspie, White Sox solve Royals' bullpen
        * Out call on Viciedo confirmed on replay
        * High hopes, no set plan for Konerko's remaining ABs
        * Ace Sale lined up to make final starts on the road
        * Konerko honored by Clemente Award nomination


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

        Archives
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        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


        * Joliet Chamber honors Slinkard..
        * Candidates need reality check on pensions - Chi.....
        * Company Formally Owned by Rauner's Firm Settles.....
        * Rauner Would've Vetoed Medical Marijuana Bill..


        * 2014 MacArthur 'genius grant' winners unveiled
        * Teen eludes electronic monitoring, attacks student
        * APNewsBreak: Chicago DEA chief heading to DC
        * Southwest flight makes emergency landing at Midway
        * McLean County nixes marijuana cultivation center
        * CDC study: Americans' bellies are expanding fast
        * School bus driver killed during safety drill
        * APNewsBreak: Chicago DEA chief heading to DC
        * New subpoena issued for Ill. anti-violence program
        * Nik Wallenda to tightrope walk over Chicago River

        * Rauner questions medical marijuana program secrecy
        * New subpoena issued for Quinn’s anti-violence program
        * Evans: Eliminate conflicts of interest in legislature
        * State legislative panel delays decision on fracking rules
        * Quinn: Monitor not needed to oversee state hiring
        * Video of state lawmaker's tirade resurfaces in U.S. House race
        * Rauner’s call for firings of ‘illegal patronage hires’ would affect many in Springfield
        * Quinn, Rauner clash on business, hiring
        * Coaltion forms to push school funding reform
        * Rauner’s education plan raises eyebrows

        * American Airlines agents approve union
        * Southwest flight makes emergency landing at Midway
        * CME, floor traders settle lawsuit
        * Floor traders cave, settle suit against CME
        * Boeing, SpaceX to share big NASA contract


        * Flawed reform is better than none
        * CeaseFire worker charged in diamond theft
        * Wallenda will walk tightrope over Chicago River in November
        * Alleged “Orange is the New Black” kingpin must come to Chicago, court rules
        * Fioretti’s old campaign records ‘incomplete and disorganized’
        * Expert: Quinn’s handling of request to release subpoena ‘stinks’
        * Mayor gives Cubs green light on Wrigley renovation
        * Hundreds pay homage at slain Merrillville officer’s funeral
        * Rauner: Quinn pretending to be a ‘folksy, bumbling fool’
        * Man shot by cops charged with attempted murder


        * Two boys, two men injured in city shootings
        * Police seek man missing since August
        * Naperville sets new rules on bars, alcohol sales
        * Family of man killed by Wheeling police SUV files suit
        * Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile in Will County
        * Scots, Scottish Americans in Chicago brace for Thursday's independence vote
        * Barefoot man flees traffic stop, eludes police for hours
        * Ex-banker gets prison for raiding garages of Lincoln Park neighbors
        * Hinsdale high school district stops investigating teachers who 'liked' Facebook post
        * White supremacist Matthew Hale wants to play violin in solitary


        * N.J. Gov. Christie Stumps For Rauner In Springfield
        * I Like Illinois Website Debuts, In Time For The Election
        * Springfield Mayor Houston Points Out Sewer Improvements
        * Fracking Rules Action Delayed; Could Be A Sign Of Revision
        * Attacks Get Personal Between Quinn, Rauner
        * Who Owns The Rights To Vivian Maier's Photos?
        * Legislature Approved A $100 Million Tax On Business & Didn't Know It
        * Schools CEO: privatizing janitorial services not 'as smooth as we would like'
        * What's The Best Way To Help Kids In Struggling Schools?
        * Quinn Defends Public Education, Though He's A Product of Private Schools


        * Our Opinion: Carbon monoxide alarms belong in schools
        * Rauner questions medical marijuana program secrecy
        * New subpoena issued for Quinn’s anti-violence program
        * Evans: Eliminate conflicts of interest in legislature
        * Michael Gerson: Leading from behind the curve
        * State legislative panel delays decision on fracking rules
        * Quinn: Monitor not needed to oversee state hiring
        * Video of state lawmaker's tirade resurfaces in U.S. House race
        * Rauner’s call for firings of ‘illegal patronage hires’ would affect many in Springfield
        * Another view: New law might boost clothing recycling


        * Suspect seeks bond in Illinois meat-tampering case
        * Columbia murder victims' family seeking damages
        * Walk to benefit Alzheimer's Association
        * Bruce Taylor Sr.
        * Robert Keller
        * Edward Lively
        * John Spiller
        * Michael Cole
        * Carlotta Burlison
        * Ella Brown


        * Cary-Grove slips past Huntley
        * Vikings place Adrian Peterson on exempt list
        * Girls tennis: Tuesday's results
        * Girls volleyball: Tuesday's results
        * Girls swimming: Tuesday's results

        * Peter Roskam pushes for Alzheimer's resear...
        * Congressman: 'Some good stuff is going on'...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * News briefs: Lipinski accepting service ac...
        * Jesse Jackson Jr. political fund fined nea...
        * Enterprise Recovery Systems Hosts Congress...
        * US Rep. Lipinski accepting service academy...
        * Jackson Jr.'s political fund fined nearly ...
        * Letter: Roskam's actions should match his ...
        * Rep. Lipinski Accepting Service Academy Ap...

        * Southern Illinois airport receives $3.2M g......
        * Durbin: College Students Are Being Sentenc......
        * Durbin Announces Major Investments in Illi......
        * Durbin: College Students Are Being Sentenc......
        * Durbin Announces Major Investments in Illi......

        * Shangri La's Barr al Jissah ResortSpa to o......
        * ISIS fight: Congress to vote on arming Syr......

        * CBA ratings in "contested" Cook County judicial races on the November ballot
        * Recalling Hale’s violin
        * The [Friday] Papers
        * Fantasy Fix: Reality Intrudes
        * U of C, UIC Among Four Obama Library Finalists
        * New Poll Shows Quinn With 11-Point Lead Over Rauner
        * Illinois Education Association Endorses Schneider
        * Report: Wage Theft Costs U.S. Workers Billions Of Dollars Annually (UPDATED)
        * Activists Protest Near West Side Shooting Involving Chicago Police
        * Denzel Ford police shooting 3


        * New subpoena in federal probe of Quinn anti-violence grant program
        * Rauner calls on Quinn to halt secret medical marijuana licensing
        * BREAKING: Quinn in court filing says no to hiring monitor, stands by cronies
        * Governor Quinn, clean house
        * IDOT, Secretary of State and AAA Launch National Child Passenger Safety Week in Illinois - Statewide Effort to Ensure Proper Restraints and Save Lives of Illinois Children




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