Former Peoria County Sheriff and Illinois State Senator George Shadid has died.
The Peoria County coroner says Shadid died at 1:37 a.m. Saturday at his residence at Heartis Village, Route 91, Peoria. Shadid died of natural causes. He was 88.
Shadid was born to Lebanese immigrants. He became a City of Peoria police officer in 1953. He was elected Peoria County sheriff 1976.
Shadid was appointed to the Illinois State Senate in 1993 to replace Richard Luft of Pekin, who was appointed to a statewide position. Shadid retired in 2006 and was replaced by current Illinois State Senator Dave Koehler.
“George Shadid was a friend and a mentor to me,” Koehler told 1470 and 100.3 WMBD.
“I worked with George when he was in the senate and helped him on a campaign,” Koehler said. “He asked me if I would consider running after he retired and I said I would and we just had a strong friendship for a long, long time.”
“He was such a unique individual. He would always could make you laugh and smile.”
Koehler said Democrat Shadid was also able to accomplish that in Springfield.
“George was always involved in bipartisan discussion,” Koehler said. “He never, ever just related to Democrats. George was very determined, very focused. When he saw something that needed to be done he just jumped in with both feet.”
The Peoria County Jail was officially named the George P. Shadid Law Enforcement Center in 2014.
“The jail is named after him for a good reason because he was the one that got that built,” Koehler said. “One of his legacies in the Senate is that he was a good friend to President Barack Obama. Every time I was with George and the president was there he would call out to George and Lorraine (Shadid’s wife) to see how they were doing.”
Shadid’s son, Jim, is currently chief U.S. District judge for central Illinois. Another son, George Jr., died in 2005.
“(Shadid’s) legacy is going to be that he was just a good public servant. He was a man of the people.”
Republican State Represenative Mike Unes of East Peoria released the following statement:
“Peoria has lost one of its most notable icons with the passing of George Shadid. Generations of Peorians remember him well for his gregarious personality and dedication to public service. Many will recall his advocacy for school consolidation – one of his many bits of wisdom that still holds true today. George will continue to be well-remembered for years to come, and very sorely missed.”