GRAND DETOUR—John B. Roe III, known as Jack, of Grand Detour, Ill., and Holmes Beach, Fla., died Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, at the age of 78 from a very rare untreatable form of cancer known as Myelofibrosis.
He enjoyed horse racing, golf, reading and traveling. He attended Oregon, Ill., schools. He graduated from Centre College of Kentucky 1964, and attended American University, George Washington University Political Honors. He graduated from the University of Illinois Law School in 1967.
He was elected Ogle County State's Attorney in 1968 and was the youngest state’s attorney in Illinois history. He taught Criminal Justice at Sauk Valley and Kishwaukee Colleges for five years. He was admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court 1969.
He served two terms in the Illinois Senate (1973-1979). While in the Senate he sponsored the Illinois Campaign Disclosure Act requiring candidates for public office to disclose their contributors and their expenditures.
He sponsored Governor Thompson's Class X anti-crime bills providing for mandatory sentences for crimes of violence such as murder, armed robbery, rape etc. He sponsored the Horse Racing Act of 1976 completely revising the administration of horse racing in Illinois. He also sponsored the No Fault Divorce Act.
Mr. Roe obtained the money necessary to construct the Rochelle, Illinois, Overpass. He was appointed Chief Justice of the Illinois Court of Claims by Governor Jim Thompson in1979. He was a member the Rochelle Grade School Board Dist. 230, (1982-84).
He practiced law in Rochelle from 1973-1995, first as John B. Roe, then as Roe & Mallon, then as Roe, Mallon & Tess. He was appointed Circuit Judge in 1995 by the Illinois Supreme Court. He was elected Circuit Judge in 1996.
After retiring as a Judge in 2000: Member Governor's Commission to Revise and Rewrite The Illinois Criminal Code; Member of The Board of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield; Faculty, Stetson University College of Law, St. Petersburg, Fla., Adjunct Professor; Certified Florida County, Circuit and Family Mediator; Certified Mediator U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida and U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois; Florida Bar Association Arbitrator and Mediator; Certified Mediator and Arbitrator 12th Circuit, Florida and 15th Circuit, Illinois; Manatee County Florida Administration Hearing Officer; Arbitrator for New York and Nasdaq Stock Exchanges.
The Roe family has lived in Ogle County since 1837. His great-grandfather John B. Roe, was the first doctor of Ogle County.
He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, of 47 years — companion, love, best friend, caretaker; son, John B. "Ben" Roe IV (Irene) Roe, Grand Detour; stepdaughter Julie (Jim) Watt, Oregon; grandchildren, John Benjamin Roe V and Mary Margaret Roe of Grand Detour, and Justin Watt and Emma Watt, of Chicago; sister, Ruth Roe Arth, San Francisco, Calif.; and many nieces and nephews and extended family members.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Jane Gilbert Roe, and father, John B. Roe II.
A private family burial will be held at Lighthouse Church Cemetery, Ogle County. Unger Horner Funeral Home and Cremation services assisted family with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, it was Jack's wish that any memorial tributes be made in the form of charitable donations to: Foundation for Focus House and Community Programming, P.O. Box 491, Rochelle, IL 61068, https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/FoundationFocusHouse.
Guest book at www.UngerHorner.com.