This week, the Illinois House of Representatives paused during floor proceedings for the presentation of House Resolution 543. HR 543, filed by State Representative Mike Murphy (R-Springfield) with State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) as the chief co-sponsor, honors the life of former Sangamon County Sheriff Wesley “Wes” Barr, Jr., who passed away suddenly earlier this month.
“Wes was more than just a distinguished member of our law enforcement community, he embodied the best of public service by being involved in so many wonderful causes that improved the lives of children and families throughout Sangamon County,” said Murphy. “Perhaps best known for his contributions to Toys for Tots, where he became the face of our local organization and always will be. For his willingness to go above and beyond to help those in need, he was named First Citizen by the State Journal Register in 2007 and there have been few more deserving of the honor than Wes.
“Wes’ friendly nature, love of country, community and family was always on display as a model for others. He was a wonderful man I am fortunate to have called my friend and will be sorely missed.”
Barr served as Sangamon County Sheriff from 2014 to 2018, but had a long distinguished law enforcement career with the Sheriff’s Office and the communities of Loami, Illiopolis and Chatham prior to being elected Sheriff. Barr was born and raised in Springfield, and prior to his law enforcement career, served in the United States Marine Corps.
As Murphy referenced, Barr, along with his wife Sherry, was actively involved in numerus charitable and community organizations. Those organizations included Contact Ministries, the Illinois Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, the United Cerebral Palsy Fund, the Springfield Park District Foundation and Toys for Tots.
Speaking after Murphy during the presentation of HR 543, Butler echoed Murphy’s comments of friendship and the tremendously kind and generous person that Sheriff Barr was, along with his impact on the community.
Barr’s wife Sherry and several family members, along with members of the law enforcement community, observed from the Speaker’s Gallery as Barr was honored by the House.