Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SR0659
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Full Text of SR0659  102nd General Assembly




SR0659LRB102 22132 MST 31261 r


2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois Senate are saddened
3to learn of the death of C. Dirk McGinnis, who passed away on
4November 23, 2021; and
5    WHEREAS, Dirk McGinnis was born in Winnetka to Clifford
6"Doc" and Francsis (Jackson) McGinnis on May 4, 1936; he
7graduated from Peoria High School in 1954 and attended Kansas
8State University; he graduated from Bradley University with a
9degree in accounting, where he was a member of the Sigma Nu
10fraternity and cultivated a love of singing; he married Martha
11E. Pfeffinger at First Federated Church in Peoria on October
1224, 1958; and
13    WHEREAS, Dirk McGinnis worked as an accountant and then as
14a Peoria realtor with Commercial National Realty; he joined
15the Downtown Rotary Club and eventually started Dirk McGinnis
16Realty, where he developed a subdivision in Mossville and
17Brimfield; he then bought a Century 21 franchise; in the 70s,
18he turned to acting and singing in Chicago and was soon
19appearing in commercials for many businesses, including
20McDonald's, Lipton Tea, and Amway; he was featured in
21industrial films and had a long run as Andrew McClaren in the
22Lincolnshire production of Brigadoon; he returned to Peoria
23and started teaching; he taught computers at Woodruff High



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1School and also taught accounting, bookkeeping, and real
2estate at Illinois Central College in the evenings; and
3    WHEREAS, Dirk McGinnis ran for a Peoria County Board seat
4to represent his neighborhood, Columbia Terrace North, which
5began a long career in local politics; he was also elected the
6Peoria County Recorder of Deeds for 12 years and attended
7state conferences, where he was known as the Singing Recorder;
9    WHEREAS, Dirk McGinnis was a long-time member of the
10Illinois Valley Yacht and Canoe Club; in college, he had been
11taught to sail and soon got a small sailboat of his own; he
12sailed various boats on Upper Peoria Lake for decades and
13taught sailing to adults through the Peoria Park District;
14being on the water was his greatest joy, and he got his
15captain's license and skippered charter sailing cruises to the
16U.S. and British Virgin Islands; he also crewed on a sailboat
17in The Mac, the dangerous Chicago to Mackinac Race; he helped
18friends do long sails from the Caribbean to Florida and up the
19New England coast; he was a great swimmer from an early time
20and encouraged his children to swim as well; he was well known
21through the swimming community for his personal and
22enthusiastic swim meet announcing; and
23    WHEREAS, Dirk McGinnis and his wife retired for a time on



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1their boat with the intent to circumnavigate the eastern half
2of the U.S.; they left on the Illinois River and went down the
3Mississippi River to the Gulf and around to Florida; they
4stayed several years in the Bahamas, living aboard their
5sailboat; they eventually retired in North Fort Myers,
6Florida; and
7    WHEREAS, Dirk McGinnis was known to sing at many different
8churches in town; he directed choirs at First Presbyterian
9Church, First United Congregational Church, and Northminster
10Presbyterian Church and even named his first boat the
11Hallelujah; he was often a guest soloist, and he sang at too
12many weddings to count; he was a life-long member of First
13Federated Church from his boyhood to participating in the
14choir into his 70s; he was recruited by his voice teacher to
15help fill out the canon at Temple Anshai Emeth, singing in
16Hebrew; he performed there for years on Friday nights, at
17weddings at many churches on Saturdays, and in church choir on
18Sundays; he said he was a "Community Christian" when asked
19about his faith; and
20    WHEREAS, Dirk McGinnis performed with numerous
21organizations, most notably the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, the
22Peoria Civic Opera Company, the Peoria Municipal Band, the
23Orpheus Club, and the Morton Civic Chorus; he also served on
24the board of directors for the Central Illinois Memorial



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1Kidney Fund; he was able to be a major fundraiser with his
2musical revues from 1990 to 1999 and raised over $100,000 for
3the local Alzheimer's Association; for many holidays, he led
4the Peoria Courthouse Plaza singalong; he led his McGinnis
5Family Singers at the Yule Like Peoria celebration for years
6as they performed at different downtown venues; and
7    WHEREAS, Dirk McGinnis co-organized a folk group composed
8of local high school students called The Young Folk, and they
9primarily performed every year at the Heart of Illinois Fair
10in the afternoons but were asked to perform at other locales,
11including an event in Peoria where President-elect Richard
12Nixon appeared; he received a personal thank you note from
13Nixon after the rally; and
14    WHEREAS, Dirk McGinnis had a long running Irish revue with
15good friends, Denise Adams, Helen Wade, Tom Joyce, and others
16over the years; they performed sold out evenings at Pekin's
17Chateau restaurant; with his love of Irish music, beer, and
18culture, he briefly owned the Limerick Pub on the Illinois
19River; and
20    WHEREAS, Dirk McGinnis performed at the Corn Stock
21Theatre, the second generation of four McGinnises to perform
22there; he was seen on stage in Brigadoon, 1776, South Pacific,
23Fanny, Finian's Rainbow, Kismet, and The Man Who Came To



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1Dinner; he music directed Flower Drum Song, Guys and Dolls,
2Little Shop of Horrors, and Chicago; he served on the board of
3directors for the Corn Stock Theatre and was seen in a Corn
4Stock ad campaign; he strongly believed in the importance of
5community theater and had season tickets there and at the
6Peoria Symphony Orchestra and the Heartland Festival
7Orchestra; and
8    WHEREAS, Dirk McGinnis was asked to sing the National
9Anthem for many years at the Illinois State Fair, the Peoria
10Motorcycle Club races, Bradley basketball games, Rivermen
11Hockey games, Peoria Chiefs games, and many other events; and
12    WHEREAS, Dirk McGinnis and his wife moved to Lutheran
13Hillside Village after a serious illness; he enjoyed his years
14there participating in the many activities, which still
15included entertaining; he strolled the hallways on Christmas
16Eve singing carols to the shut-in residents; and
17    WHEREAS, Dirk McGinnis was preceded in death by his wife
18of 60 years, Martha; his parents; his brother, Alex; and his
19son, Arran McGinnis; and
20    WHEREAS, Dirk McGinnis is survived by his daughters, Roz
21(Ron) Helms, Polly (Mike) McNally, and Meghan (Arnel) Tejero;
22his grandchildren, Keegan McNally, Colleen McNally, Lilianna



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1Tejero, Shannon Helms, Benjamin Helms, Samantha Helms, Bevin
2Helms, and Meredith Rager; his brother, Michael McGinnis; his
3sister-in-law, Mary Lou McGinnis; and numerous nieces and
4nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews; therefore, be it
6ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we mourn the passing of
7C. Dirk McGinnis and extend our sincere condolences to his
8family, friends, and all who knew and loved him; and be it
10    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
11presented to the family of Dirk McGinnis as an expression of
12our deepest sympathy.