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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois Senate are saddened to
3learn of the death of Ernie Russell; and
4    WHEREAS, Ernie Russell was born on July 20, 1938, in
5Peoria; his parents were Earl W. and Mary Jane Moore Russell;
6he married Sara Warrington in Peoria in 1961; and
7    WHEREAS, Ernie Russell was raised in Lacon and graduated
8from Mid-County High School in Varna; and
9    WHEREAS, Ernie Russell served in the United States Navy at
10the Naval Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a corpsman
11from 1956 to 1959; and
12    WHEREAS, Ernie Russell earned his bachelor's degree in
13political science from Illinois State University in 1973 and
14his master's degree in public administration from Sangamon
15State University in 1975; he also earned his associate's degree
16in fire science from Illinois Central College; and
17    WHEREAS, Ernie Russell was a proud member of the Peoria
18Firefighters IAFF Local 50 before being promoted through the
19ranks to the Peoria Fire Department Administration; he
20ultimately served as Chief of the Peoria Fire Department; and



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1    WHEREAS, Ernie Russell served as the city liaison during
2the construction of the Fire Training Academy on Galena Road
3and the construction of the Fire Central Station at Bryant and
4Monroe in Peoria; he served as Training Chief and Fire
5Prevention Chief during his tenure; he was named Chief of the
6Peoria Fire Department in 1994, where he remained until 2001,
7when he was appointed to the position of State Fire Marshal by
8the Governor of Illinois; he subsequently worked for many years
9as a consultant with Resource Management Associates of Tinley
10Park before being hired as the interim Fire Chief of the
11Village of Oak Lawn in August of 2008, where he served through
12July of 2009; he later served as the interim Fire Chief in
13Canton from November of 2010 through June of 2011; and
14    WHEREAS, In October 2011, Ernie Russell was honored with
15the title of Fire Chief Emeritus; this title is reserved for
16retired chiefs who have had distinguished careers and who have
17made significant contributions that set them apart from their
18peers; and
19    WHEREAS, Ernie Russell ran for election in the Illinois
20State Senate in the 46th District in 2006; and
21    WHEREAS, Ernie Russell served on numerous boards and
22committees in Peoria, including the American Red Cross and the



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1Boys and Girls Club of Peoria, where he also served as
2president; and
3    WHEREAS, Ernie Russell was a board member of the Peoria
4Area Labor Management Council and invested much of his
5professional career fostering relationships between labor and
6management to provide topnotch emergency services not only in
7Peoria, but in communities across Illinois, making Illinois a
8safer place to live; and
9    WHEREAS, Ernie Russell is survived by his wife, Sara; his
10daughters, Kelley Russell and Joan Ott; his sons-in-law, Bill
11Ott and Jay Duke; his granddaughters, Katherine Taylor Duke and
12Isabella Maree Ott; his grandson, Jeremy Russell Ott; his
13brothers, Raymond Russell and Robert (Jackie) Grieves; his
14sisters, Crystal Russell and Melody Grieves; and his many
15cousins, nieces, and nephews; therefore, be it
17ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we mourn, along with
18his family and friends, the passing of Ernie Russell; and be it
20    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
21presented to the family of Ernie Russell as an expression of
22our sympathy.