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
* Today's map: Every state's wealthiest person
* Question of the day
* The Sun-Times' inexcusable reefer madness
* Today's long read
* How times change
* 4,700 percent increase in Chinese students at UIUC since 2003
* Pollapalooza
* Another day, another $1.5 million
* Justifiable turnabout or pay to play?
* Cook moves Enyart district from "Lean D" to "Toss-up"
* Two important inversion opinions
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* 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

          
        * Pardon the dust
        * FCC’s new proposal will put a stop to any Sprint, T-Mobile spectrum-acquiring joint venture
        * Google Workshop tipped to deliver custom Nexus cases
        * What the world’s saying: 10 must-read quotes about the Lumia 930
        * Cell Phone Unlocking is now legal, bill gets final seal of approval
        * Google Now Launcher now supports a lot more devices
        * Windows Phone HTC One M8 shows up on Verizon servers: this looks official

        * The Easiest Way to Remove a Broken Construction Nail
        * Unlocking cellphones is legal again; here's the skinny on the law
        * Wikipedia’s new apps are good for you, but they’re even better for the developing world
        * Sorry, Sprint, T-Mo. The FCC isn’t letting you collude in the upcoming spectrum auction
        * Say No to New Projects When You First Get Back from Vacation
        * Airbnb closes its rumored $475M round
        * You Can Now Legally Unlock Your Cellphone, Here's What It Means for You

        * So what do the White Sox do now?
        * White Sox Charities Week kicks off with auction
        * July struggles bury Dayan Viciedo, Gordon Beckham
        * AL Central trade deadline wrapup
        * White Sox 7, Tigers 4: Returning home in one piece
        * Abreu's hit streak reaches 20 with first-inning single
        * Ventura loses replay challenge in ninth inning


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

        Archives
        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


        * Illinois governor hopeful pledges $1M of fortun.....
        * Tom's Mailbag Aug. 2, 2014 - Champaign/Urbana N.....
        * They cut the chatty minister off with music - T.....
        * Shimkus seeks investigation of federal disaster.....


        * Illinois governor hopeful pledges $1M of fortune
        * Firefighter puts out neighbor's Bloomington blaze
        * Memorial set for ex-Ill. Commerce Chairman Manshio
        * Quinn signs law expanding ban an cyberbullying
        * Illinois patients continue nursing home care waits
        * State halts disposal of gas waste at Clinton site
        * Trial of man in officer's death to stay in Pontiac
        * Kirk seeks investigation of federal disaster funds
        * July ties the record for coolest ever in Illinois
        * Chicago high-rise shooting victim remains critical

        * Rauner pledges $1M in personal funds, catches criticism
        * Quinn, Rauner budget plans debatable
        * Memorial set for former ICC chairman Calvin Manshio
        * Rauner meets with Sangamon County GOP
        * Back pay, OT pushes state government's '$100,000 club' to 7,800
        * Quinn signs law expanding ban on cyberbullying
        * Rauner event on Saturday moved to Boondock's
        * Illinois patients continue nursing home care waits
        * Kirk seeks investigation of federal disaster funds
        * State lawmaker's replacement named

        * Quinn TV ad portrays an Illinois comeback many voters don't feel
        * Illinois governor hopeful Bruce Rauner pledges $1 million of fortune
        * July ties the record for coolest ever in Illinois
        * Lake Forest mansion quietly hits market for $8.9 million
        * Chicago Loop shooting victim remains critical


        * Open door to third parties on ballot
        * Whitney Young students release endangered turtles in swamp
        * Man found dead in Cicero attic after fire
        * Computer glitch delays teachers’ pension deposits; checks can be picked up at Loop office
        * Everything you need to know about Lollapalooza 2014
        * Judge, big supporter of Israel, balks at leaving Palestinian terrorism-related case
        * 20-year sentence in Wicker Park choking, stabbing case
        * 1 dead, 1 critical in Loop workplace shooting
        * Former co-worker recalls shooter, victim in Loop office tragedy
        * VA manipulated vets’ appointment data in Chicago, elsewhere, audit finds


        * Four charged with heroin trafficking, DuPage prosecutors say
        * Astronaut sky high on list of best graduation speakers
        * Mississippi man charged in 2013 slaying on West Side
        * Reckless homicide charges filed in fatal Edgewater Beach accident
        * Loop shooting: How did trusted partner become disgruntled gunman?
        * Rosie sign on Kennedy Expressway gives family hope
        * Wheaton library board seeks operator for coffee shop
        * Chicago, Glenview to pay $195K in case of cops lying on stand
        * Lawsuit filed by woman who lost estranged husband and son, 4, in murder-suicide
        * McCarthy defends department's crime reporting, faults media coverage


        * Durbin Files Legislation Reacting To Hobby Lobby Decision
        * Listen to State Week - August 1, 2014
        * "The Civil War" Becomes A Downtown Musical
        * New Choir Brings A Level Of Expertise
        * Republican Attorney General Candidate: Pension Changes Unconstitutional
        * Some Historic Sites To Curtail Hours Due To Lack Of Money
        * At Historic Sites, Budget Cuts Could Lead To Closures
        * State Fair Manager "Moving Forward" After Ethics Violation
        * Community Prosecutions Credited With Drops In Crime
        * Community prosecutions credited with drop in crime


        * Rauner pledges $1M in personal funds, catches criticism
        * Memorial set for former ICC chairman Calvin Manshio
        * Quinn signs law expanding ban on cyberbullying
        * Illinois patients continue nursing home care waits
        * Kirk seeks investigation of federal disaster funds
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Changes coming to Prairie Capital Convention Center board
        * Margaret Niederer: Bruce Rauner is not the change Illinois needs
        * E.J. Dionne: The GOP’s impeachment two-step
        * Esther Cepeda: Giving teachers their voice
        * State lawmaker's replacement named


        * 5 things to do this weekend
        * Clown: 'I do apologize'
        * Edwardsville Police search county office; special prosecutor requested
        * Stormy weather may linger into evening hours
        * Boil order ends in Mascoutah
        * TMAD to host Italian dinner
        * Williamson County man arrested on child sex charge
        * $1,000 fine for driver in girlfriend's death
        * Kennel Club to host AKC dog show
        * Ford named interim provost at SIU


        * U-46's Torres headed to Illinois Math and Science Academy
        * Tropical Storm Bertha approaches Caribbean
        * July ties the record for coolest ever in Illinois
        * After 69 years of pain, Purple Heart comes home
        * Grab a beer and take a seat at new Brody's in Aurora

        * Dem Rep Schakowsky Suggests US Torturing I...
        * Politicians Give Living on Minimum Wage a ...
        * Malkin's news for Dems: It's 'not an inter...
        * Labor Dept., Dems renewing push to hike mi...
        * Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Imwit) Dares To #Li...
        * Illinois Congresswoman Takes on Minimum-Wa...
        * Rep. Jan Schakowsky's minimum-wage menu is...
        * What Does Representative Schakowsky Usuall...
        * Representative Schakowsky Statement on Fin...
        * Taking care of the immigrant children cros...

        * FDA to Require Premarketing Approval for "......
        * FDA to Require Premarketing Approval for "......
        * Durbin: No special prosecutor needed to lo......
        * Durbin: No special prosecutor needed to lo......
        * Durbin: No special prosecutor needed to lo......

        * Trial exposes CEO's calls, texts to Va. fi......
        * 62 killed in Gaza; Israeli soldier feared ......
        * A look at Israeli soldiers who have been c......
        * Kirk seeks investigation of federal disast......

        * Earned Sick Time Chicago Coalition Delivers Petition Signatures To Mayor's Office
        * Chicago manufacturing lags during nation's economic recovery
        * Agriculture Coalition supports Rauner for Governor
        * Chicago Officials To Hold Public Hearing On Crime Stats
        * Illinois Governor Hopeful Pledges $1M Of Fortune
        * National Night Out Comes To Clarendon Park August 5
        * City Releases Annual Financial Analysis for 2014: Budget Projections Do Not Include Increase in Police and Fire Pension Fund Payments
        * The Purpose of Purple
        * Positive Loitering Tonight, 7pm-8pm
        * The Beachwood Radio Hour #16: Peotone Saves Lives


        * ICYMI: Federal funds misused in Quinn anti-violence program
        * Governor Quinn Invites Applications for 32nd Annual Hometown Awards
        * Governor Quinn Announces Completion of Cutting Edge Broadband Network - $100 Million Illinois Century Network Construction Brings Ultra-Fast Access to Communities Across 55 Counties
        * Veteran Hiring Event Nets 26 On-the-Spot Job Offers - Pre-Registration and Illinoisjoblink.com Key to Hiring Success
        * Governor Quinn Announces Investments to Expand Recreation and Tourism in Rockford Area - Investments Will Help Expand and Improve Rockford Area Facilities to Create Jobs, Support Recreation and Drive Tourism




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