Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR1558
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Full Text of HR1558  99th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives have learned with deep sorrow of the death of
4our friend and former colleague, State Representative Irvin
5Ronald Lawfer of Jo Daviess County, who passed away on December
618, 2016; and
7    WHEREAS, A native of Illinois, Representative Lawfer was
8born on May 15, 1934, in Kent; he attended grade school at
9Wards Grove School and graduated from Stockton High School in
101951; he majored in agriculture and journalism at the
11University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he worked as a
12reporter, covering stories for the "Daily Illini" and the
13"Champaign News-Gazette"; as a young man with deep ties to
14agriculture, he pledged at the FarmHouse Fraternity, and
15presided over the house in his senior year; and
16    WHEREAS, Upon his graduation from the University of
17Illinois in 1955, Representative Lawfer married Patricia A.
18"Pat" Renken, who was his wife partner in life for 61 years;
20    WHEREAS, In 1955, at the height of the Cold War,
21Representative Lawfer joined the United States Army; he was
22commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and served on the front



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1lines of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ); he brought new
2Illinois findings in the reduction of soil erosion to the
3attention of his superior officers and was seconded to the
4Engineering Division of the Eighth Division, working on soil
5erosion reduction projects at U.S. installations throughout
6the peninsula and earning the Army Commendation Ribbon for his
7service; and
8    WHEREAS, Upon completing his term of enlistment as a First
9Lieutenant in 1957, Representative Lawfer returned to
10northwest Illinois and took up dairy farming in his home
11township; as a member of the Midwest Dairymen Cooperative, he
12was named Outstanding Dairyman of Jo Daviess County; he served
13as Director and Vice-President of the Jo Daviess County Farm
14Bureau, and was appointed as Chairman of the Jo Daviess County
15Agricultural Extension Council; known as a man who was both an
16operating farmer and an expert in land conservation, he won
17many recognitions for his expertise, including the 1986 "Master
18Farmer" Award from "Prairie Farmer" Magazine; he served on the
19Illinois Agricultural and Stabilization Committee as an
20appointee of United States Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Butz;
22    WHEREAS, As a leading local farmer and community leader,
23Representative Lawfer was chosen by his neighbors for public
24service; he was elected as Wards Grove Township Supervisor from



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11974 to 1982 and served on the Jo Daviess County Board from
21982 until 1992; in November of 1992, he ran to represent the
374th Representative District in the Illinois General Assembly,
4winning by a narrow margin of 860 votes; so popular was his
5first term service that in November of 1994, when he first ran
6for re-election, he faced no opposition; and
7    WHEREAS, Representative Lawfer served the 74th
8Representative District, which comprised all of Jo Daviess and
9Stephenson Counties, and parts of Carroll, Ogle, and Whiteside
10Counties; as an Illinois House member with experience in
11farming, land conservation, and local government, he served as
12minority spokesman on the House Committee on Agriculture &
13Conservation; he also served on Counties & Townships,
14Environment & Energy, and many other committees; in the 89th
15General Assembly, he chaired the House Committee on Aging; and
16    WHEREAS, When Representative Lawfer retired from the
17Illinois House of Representatives at the close of the 92nd
18General Assembly, the House recognized his service by adopting
19House Resolution 1127 in his honor; during his retirement, he
20planned on concentrating on farming and spending time with his
21family; and
22    WHEREAS, From the end of 2002 until the end of 2016,
23Representative Lawfer fulfilled those life plans, handing his



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1farming heritage on to his family; and
2    WHEREAS, Representative Lawfer was a lifelong member of the
3Lutheran Church; he was baptized at St. John Lutheran Church in
4Massbach and confirmed at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Kent; he
5was a member of Christ Lutheran Church in Stockton, where he
6served as member and Chairman of the church council; and
7    WHEREAS, Representative Lawfer and his wife had four
8daughters, Kathy, Karen, Kay, and Kristine, and a son, Ronald
9L.; they have nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren;
11    WHEREAS, The death of Representative Lawfer is deeply felt
12by his family, friends, neighbors and all who knew him; he was
13one of the men of Illinois who leaves an empty space behind him
14when he goes; therefore, be it
17we, along with his family and friends, mourn the passing of
18former State Representative Irvin Ronald Lawfer; and be it
20    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
21presented to Representative Lawfer's widow, Patricia Lawfer,



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1and their family as an expression of our deepest sympathy and