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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

WSD releases September workshop schedule
Tammy Reiher
/ Categories: News, Press Releases, Home Page

WSD releases September workshop schedule

JOLIET – Workforce Services Division of Will County has announced its September workshop schedule.

Microsoft Word will be offered at 1:30 p.m. Mondays and 10:30 a.m. Thursdays with the exception of Labor Day, Sept. 5. 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.

Standout Resumes will be offered at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 2. Attendees will learn the basics of creating a competitive resume and cover letter. Participants may then schedule one-on-one resume reviews with WSD staff.

Participants will learn job interviewing techniques at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7, 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.

LinkedIn Lab will be offered at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 16. Participants should already have a basic LinkedIn account. During the lab, they will review LinkedIn features and best practices for success in finding a job. LinkedIn Lab lasts 90 minutes.

 Networking Your Way to a New Job will help job seekers learn how to develop relationships and contacts with relatives, friends and acquaintances that can assist with the job search. This class also shows how social media fits in with networking for employment. The workshop will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21. 

A session on job search skills, Master Your Job Search, will be offered at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28. The workshops will include a review of basic job search techniques, including networking and how to use the internet to conduct a job search.

Workshops last about an hour, depending upon class size, except for the LinkedIn Lab. They are offered at no cost to Will County residents.

Career Cafe will meet at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays. 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.

To reserve a seat at a workshop or Career Cafe, call (815) 727-4444 and press 0 or e-mail chellis@willcountyillinois.com

WSD is in the Will County Workforce Center, 2400 Glenwood Ave. For more information about the Workforce Services Division of Will County, go to www.jobs4people.org.

WSD is led by Administrative Manager Susan Flessner and is under Will County Executive Larry Walsh’s office.  

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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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Upcoming Events

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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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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.

Read more
6

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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