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Will County Executive Larry Walsh loses battle to cancer; leaves long career in public service and unique legacy behind

Will County Executive Larry Walsh

WILL COUNTY - Lawrence M. “Larry” Walsh, a loving husband, proud father and grandfather, faithful farmer, dedicated public servant, and lifelong Will County resident, died Wednesday evening at his home in Elwood, Illinois.  He was 72.

Walsh battled complications of prostate cancer for more than five years.  He was first treated for prostate cancer in late 2014 and continued to receive medical care in the following years.  In late 2018, he again began chemotherapy treatments for a reoccurrence of the cancer.  Walsh was a strong supporter of cancer research and a proud participant of the annual Will County Relay for Life.  He always encouraged others to get screened for cancer to obtain early detections of this disease.

Known for his strong commitment to serving his community, Walsh began his public service at age 21 on the Elwood School Board, which he followed ­as the Jackson Township Supervisor, a Will County Board member, an Illinois State Senator, and culminating as the Will County Executive, first being elected in 2004.  Walsh was the longest-serving County Executive and led the fourth largest county in the State of Illinois.

Walsh and his wife, Irene, are loving parents of six children and 20 grandchildren and have numerous extended family members who formed a strong network of service to their communities for many years.  Walsh always acknowledged the love and support he received from his wonderful family during his years of political life. 

Respected for his bipartisan approach at every level of government he served, Walsh prided himself in working collaboratively to find solutions to the challenges that were faced.  His longest tenure has been as County Executive where Will County built a strong financial foundation that improved the County’s bond rating.  That success led to the largest capital improvements campaign in the county’s history and sustained investments in roads and bridge infrastructure.  This campaign included a new Public Safety Complex and consolidated 911 dispatch center, a new County Health department facility, and a new Courthouse.

Sentiments from his peers are flowing in, noting his commitment to the residents of Will County and more than 50 years of public service.

“Larry’s passing is a tremendous loss to his family, certainly, but also to the community,” said Denise Winfrey, Speaker of the Will County Board.   “He dedicated his life to service. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve with him and learn from him. He touched numerous lives, forged alliances, and reached out to work with people from all walks of life. The work he has done speaks for him. Rest in peace Larry, job well done.”

County Board member Jim Moustis and Walsh began a friendship back in 1992 when they served together on the County Board.

“Larry loved Will County and being the County Executive,” said Moustis.  “He always wanted the best for the people of Will County and was a true leader.  I will sadly miss him and have had great respect for him, despite our differences at times.” 

Longtime Chief of Staff Nick Palmer worked with Walsh for many years, both in the State Senate and in Will County. He said Walsh is a perfect example of a public servant.

“Larry cared about the residents he served and never wanted to say no to a request for help. Larry is a one of a kind guy who always had a hearty laugh and smile for those he interacted with, no matter a person’s place in life.  He knew the cleaning crew and he knew the President of the United States Barack Obama.  He loved them all and always talked about the friendships he had made throughout his life in Will County.  His passing has left a huge void in this community and I will truly miss his friendship.”

Arrangements for Executive Larry Walsh will be announced once they become available.


What's Happening in Will County

WCWC releases June workshop schedule
Tammy Reiher

WCWC releases June workshop schedule

JOLIET – The Workforce Center of Will County June schedule has been released.

An orientation into Alison.com will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 4. Alison offers more than 1,000 free online courses in more than 300 categories. Orientation includes an overview of the courses and categories and information on how to set up an Alison account.

Career Cafe will meet at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays, June 4 and 18. Career Cafe is a networking event designed to connect people looking for work. In addition to sharing tips with other job seekers and learning job search techniques, participants will hear from guest speakers sharing their hiring expertise.

Illinois JobLink, a workshop teaching users how to register on Illinois JobLink by creating and uploading resumes to the site, with tips on how to get the most views from employers. Also on the agenda will be how to search for jobs on the site and how to complete a work search record. The workshop will be offered at 1:30 p.m. Monday, June 3, 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 14, 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, and 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 27.  

Job Readiness gives participants an overview of resources for job seekers, including networking, completing applications, resumes, interviewing and Illinois JobLink. It will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays, June 5 and 19.

LinkedIn Lab – Starting Your Profile will be offered at 1 p.m. Monday, June 17. Workshop attendees will get help creating basic LinkedIn accounts to aid in their job searches. They should come ready to have their photos taken and added to their new accounts.

LinkedIn Lab – Maximize Your Profile will be offered at 1:30 p.m. Monday, June 17. The workshop helps participants make the most of their basic LinkedIn accounts. Review features and best practices to help attendees maximize their profiles for success in finding employment.

A session on job search skills, Master Your Job Search, will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 27. The workshops will include a review of basic job search techniques, including networking and how to use the internet to conduct a job search.

Math Review will be offered at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, and 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18. A review of basic math skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, percentages and integers will be covered.

Basic Microsoft Excel will be offered at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, and 9:30 a.m. Thursday, June 27.  Attendees will learn the basics of Excel and how to navigate its many features.

Microsoft PowerPoint will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, June 13. Learn to create a professional presentation.

A workshop on Microsoft Word will be offered at 1:30 p.m. Monday, June 3, and 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 19. The basics of how to use Microsoft Word in a job search and in creating a professional looking resume and cover letter will be taught.

Networking Tools for Today’s Job Market teaches job seekers how to use a variety of tools to maximize their job searches. The workshop includes how to create and use job search networking business cards and how social media outlets are used. The workshop will be held at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18.

Standout Resumes will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 7. Participants may then schedule one-on-one resume reviews.

Participants will learn job interviewing techniques at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, in Successful Interviewing. Learn how to prepare for a job interview, be confident and make a positive impression. Attendees may schedule an individual, digitally recorded mock interview after completing the workshop.

Workshops last about an hour, depending upon class size, except for Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, which run approximately 90 minutes each. All workshops are offered on a walk-in basis and at no cost to Will County residents.

Career scholarships are available to Will County residents who meet eligibility guidelines and are interested in occupations in demand in Will County. The first step in applying for a career scholarship is to attend an Industry Orientation workshop. Sessions are available based on the industry or occupation. To register, go to www.jobs4people.org or call (815) 727-4444.

Sessions for those interested in professional, financial and information technology will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday, June 3, and Thursday, June 13, 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 18, and 1:30 p.m. Monday, June 24.

Industry Orientation for manufacturing, transportation, distribution and logistics will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 6, 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 11, and 1:30 p.m. Monday, June 17, and Thursday, June 27.

Orientation for those interested in the healthcare field will be offered at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 4, 1:30 p.m. Monday, June 10, 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20, and 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 25.

On The Job Training Orientation will be offered at 10 a.m. each Monday in June. On the job training is available to Will County residents interested in learning new skills while working. It is available in a range of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, information technology and transportation, warehousing and logistics.

There will be an Adult Education Information Session at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 13. Services provided by Joliet Junior College’s Department of Adult Education and Literacy, including English as a second language and high school equivalency classes, will be explained.

High school equivalency (GED) will be offered at 1 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday in June.  

Reservations are required to attend Industry Orientation sessions. Adult Education and On The Job Training Orientation are offered on a walk-in basis.

In addition, WCWC hosts weekly job fairs at which job seekers can meet with multiple employers. The two-hour sessions will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday, June 6, 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, 9 a.m. Thursday, June 20, and 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 26.

“The Workforce Center is the place for anyone who needs assistance with their job search,” said Susan Flessner, WCWC manager. “Whether you need help with a resume, opportunities to network with other job seekers, or a Microsoft Word class, the Workforce Center can help.”

The Workforce Center of Will County is at 2400 Glenwood Ave., Suite 100.  For more information about WCWC, visit www.will.works

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Tribute to Will County Executive Larry Walsh
Senator Dick Durbin (D, IL) pays tribute to the life and service of Larry Walsh Sr.

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Executive Committee - 10 a.m.

Meetings will be held in the County Board Committee Room in the Will County Office Building, 302 N. Chicago St., Joliet, Illinois, unless stated otherwise. Meeting agendas and cancellations are available on the website www.willcountyboard.com. To contact us, e-mail: countyboard@willcountyillinois.com or phone 815.740.4602.

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Expanded Will County textile, shoe collection set for July 13-17

Expanded Will County textile, shoe collection set for July 13-17

Will County’s annual textile and shoe collection event, usually held in May, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 13, through Friday, July 17, at the County Office Building.

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Expanded Will County textile, shoe collection set for July 13-17

Expanded Will County textile, shoe collection set for July 13-17

Will County’s annual textile and shoe collection event, usually held in May, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 13, through Friday, July 17, at the County Office Building.

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Public Health & Safety Committee - 10:00 a.m.

Meetings will be held in the County Board Committee Room in the Will County Office Building, 302 N. Chicago St., Joliet, Illinois, unless stated otherwise. Meeting agendas and cancellations are available on the website www.willcountyboard.com. To contact us, email: countyboard@willcountyillinois.com or phone: 815.740.4602.

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Executive Committee - 10 a.m.

Meetings will be held in the County Board Committee Room in the Will County Office Building, 302 N. Chicago St., Joliet, Illinois, unless stated otherwise. Meeting agendas and cancellations are available on the website www.willcountyboard.com. To contact us, e-mail: countyboard@willcountyillinois.com or phone 815.740.4602.

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