A public memorial service honoring longtime state leader and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka will be held at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17, at the Local 150, 6200 Joliet Road in the Chicago suburb of Countryside.
Fellow state leaders, colleagues and family will share stories and celebrate the life of Topinka, the first woman in Illinois history to be elected to two constitutional offices and the first state treasurer to be elected to three consecutive terms. Between her time in the General Assembly and in statewide office, Topinka served Illinois for more than three decades.
Gov. Pat Quinn Wednesday morning released the following statement regarding Topinka's passing:
“Today is a sad day in the state of Illinois. I am heartbroken to hear of the passing of my friend, Judy Baar Topinka.
“As the first female Treasurer of Illinois and a longtime public servant, Judy was a trailblazer in every sense of the word.
“Never without her signature sense of humor, Judy was a force of nature. She left her mark on the state she has called home her entire life. Her leadership improved Illinois and paved the way for countless women in politics.
“My deepest sympathies go out to Judy’s son, Joe, daughter-in-law Christina, granddaughter Alexandra, her family, friends and devoted staff.
“Today the entire state mourns the loss of one of the greats. Judy Baar Topinka will be incredibly missed.”
State Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton) released the following statement following Topinka's death:
"Judy Baar Topinka was caring, honest and capable constitutional officer and she will be deeply missed. I had the pleasure of working with her throughout the years, and I don’t believe there was anyone who disliked her.
"She was unfailingly gracious to everyone and a great lady."
According to media reports, Topinka died early Wednesday, Dec. 10, less than a day after suffering a stroke. She was 70.