Joe E. Sylvester, 65, of Pleasant Plains, died on Monday, May 14, 2012 at his home.
He was born August 29, 1946 in Noblesville, Indiana, the son of Ruth N. and Russell L. Sylvester. He married Susan M. Lehocky in 1969. He married Mary Clare Johnson in Macomb, Illinois, on February 2, 1983.
Mr. Sylvester graduated from Warren Central High School in 1964, earned a bachelor's degree from Ball State University in 1970, and a master's degree in Administration of Criminal Justice from Michigan State University in 1978.
He graduated from the Detroit Police Academy in 1970 and worked at the Wayne State University Police Department for 10 years, earning 26 Letters of Commendation and attaining the rank of sergeant. In 1980, he was appointed as Director of Public Safety at Western Illinois University in Macomb, where he retired with 20 years of service. Mr. Sylvester was hired by the Illinois Department of Public Aid as an Internal Security Investigator for the Bureau of Internal Affairs where he served until he retired in December 2011.
Mr. Sylvester was a U.S. Air Force veteran and served 17 years in the U.S. Army reserve, before receiving a medical retirement as a Major in 1990, after suffering a heart attack in 1989. During his tenure at WIU, he was appointed and later elected to the McDonough County Board of Supervisors from 1986 to 1996, serving as Vice Chairman from 1995 to 1996.
He was a member and past President of the Metropolitan Detroit Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, a member and past Vice President and past Secretary of the Illinois Campus Law Enforcement Administrators Association, a member of the Illinois Police Chiefs, Central Illinois Police Chiefs, Illinois Police Associations, and also past Vice President and founding member of the Macomb Area Umpires Association.
He is survived by his wife, Mary; one sister, Sherrill (husband, Jimmie) Kiritsis of Indianapolis; son, Jeremy (wife, Catherine) Sylvester of Lexington, KY; two daughters, Mary Nicole of Springfield and Cassandra Marie of Mansfield, MO; grandsons, Luke, Joseph, Thomas and Van; and several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
Cremation was accorded by Butler Cremation Tribute Center.
Memorial Gathering: Family will receive friends from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at Peter Cartwright United Methodist Church, 205 West Church Street, Pleasant Plains.
Memorial contributions may be made to: American Heart Association, Midwest Affiliate, 3816 Paysphere Circle, Chicago, IL 60674 or a charity of the donor's choice.