Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SR0638
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Full Text of SR0638  100th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois Senate are saddened to
3learn of the death of Jesse A. "Tony" Clements of Champaign,
4who passed away on June 9, 2017; and
5    WHEREAS, Jesse Clements was born in Raleigh, North Carolina
6to Jesse Jr. and Doris Baugh Clements on February 24, 1949; he
7earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University
8of Illinois, where he was on the basketball team his freshman
9year and the football team after that; and
10    WHEREAS, While working on his graduate degree, Jesse
11Clements joined the Division of Campus Recreation at the
12university, where he remained for 38 years; in 1979, he was
13named its director, one of the first black men to hold that
14position at a major university in the United States; he also
15served as the official scorekeeper for the university for 30
16years; and
17    WHEREAS, Jesse Clements was active in the National
18Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA), serving as
19president of that organization from 1988 to 1989; he was
20presented the NIRSA Honor Award in 1996; in 2002, he won the
21University of Illinois' Chancellor's Academic Professional
22Excellence Award; he was named the recipient of the Monsignor



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1Edward J. Duncan Service Award, presented annually a football
2letterman who has displayed exemplary dedication to his
3community, state, and country; and
4    WHEREAS, Upon his retirement, Jesse Clements was appointed
5as a board member of the United Way of Champaign County (UWCC);
6during his time with the United Way, he was the co-chair of the
7Annual Campaign, co-chair of the Pillar Committee, and co-chair
8of the Marketing Committee; he also served as a member of the
9UWCC's executive committee; in 2012, he was the UWCC interim
10CEO; and
11    WHEREAS, In January of 2014, Jesse Clements received the
12Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser award from the National
13Philanthropy Association; he also joined the board of the
14Marajen Stevick Foundation; in May 2017, he was inducted into
15the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as a
16Friend of Basketball; and
17    WHEREAS, One of Jesse Clements' favorite pastimes was
18performing stand-up comedy; he produced his own annual comedy
19show, The Clements Comedy Cafe, from 1990 through 2014;
20throughout the 25 years, the Comedy Cafe supported a number of
21social service organizations, including the East Central
22Illinois Foodbank, the C-U Schools Foundation, and the
23Champaign Parks Foundation; he also performed with comedian



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1Sinbad, emceed shows for Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin, and
2had been the opening act for Jerry Butler and Ray Charles; in
31998, he was asked to be the warm-up act when President Clinton
4and Vice President Gore visited the University of Illinois; and
5    WHEREAS, Jesse Clements' highest priority was his
6relationships with his family, friends, and community; and
7    WHEREAS, Jesse Clements was preceded in death by his
8parents; and
9    WHEREAS, Jesse Clements is survived by his companion,
10Debbie Shilts; his sister, Deborah Blanks; his nephew, Geraud
11Blanks (Element Everest); his great-niece, Karma Blanks; his
12stepmother, Lois Clements; his aunt, Cornelia Jane Jackson
13Liggins; and his uncle, Robert Jackson; therefore, be it
15ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we mourn the passing of
16Jesse A. "Tony" Clements, and extend our sincere condolences to
17his family, friends, and all who knew and loved him; and be it
19    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
20presented to the family of Jesse Clements as an expression of
21our deepest sympathy.