The Jacksonville community is mourning the loss of a very influential man.
John Power, who served as publisher of the Jacksonville Journal Courier for almost 20 years, died yesterday. He was 69 years old. Power made a lasting impression on the city, working with many local organizations to seek both historical knowledge and continued community growth.
Local government officials are offering their thoughts in light of John Power’s passing.
Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard explains how Power affected both his life and the city.
“John was a character, and I mean that in the most respectful way. John was involved with many community-wide efforts; he wore that on his sleeve, and you always knew where you stood with him. I was honored to call him my friend, and learned from him to stay with things like John did and continue to advocate, because that is the only way to get things done. John accomplished much for our community, and he really loved our town.”
Ginny Fanning is a Morgan County Commissioner. Fanning says Jacksonville has lost a wonderful, dedicated historian.
“We have lost such a wonderful source of Jacksonville history. It was amazing all that he knew about our community, and Morgan County. That’s going to be a really hard spot to fill. He was able to share so much with us, and he always had such good memories and stories of the things that happened here.”
Fanning explains that she learned quite a lot during her time with the Jacksonville Journal Courier while Power was at the publishing helm.
“I worked at the paper in the late 90’s, just as a part time position with a focus on education. He was a great boss, he would tell us, ‘That’s your department. You deal with it.” I really appreciated the freedom to write and tell the stories how I saw fit. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work with him. It’s just tough to lose anyone, but we will miss him. That’s for sure.”
C.D. Davidsmeyer is state representative of Illinois’s 100th legislative district. Davidsmeyer describes Power as a steadfast member of the Jacksonville community.
“John was a jovial, fun-loving guy, but he always worked hard for the betterment of Jacksonville. He did a lot of things behind the scenes with Jacksonville Regional Economic Development and the Chamber of Commerce, among other groups, to make sure everyone was looking at every option for how to grow opportunity and jobs in the city of Jacksonville. He was a champion for Jacksonville wherever he went.”
Davidsmeyer says Power certainly knew the importance of the US Corridor 67 project.
“John had a part in all of the successes that this project has seen in the 100th legislative district. He regularly spoke with officials at IDOT and managed to keep a coalition together from Macomb down to Jerseyville. That’s a large geographic area, but we’re all working towards the same goal. Sometimes it’s tough, because any of the communities could come out and say they want their project done first, but he really managed to keep people together and focused on the greater good of expanding US 67 in Illinois.”
Power served on many local boards and commissions, including the Jacksonville Public Building Commission, where he was an instrumental part of many local projects, including expansion of the Jacksonville Public Library as part of the Better Jacksonville Plan.