SPRINGFIELD – George Darnell, a Warren County Sheriff's deputy, responded to a call of suspicious activity in the early morning hours of Dec. 7, 1981. He died in the line of duty after being shot and killed by two suspects.
The Illinois Senate voted Thursday to honor his memory and his sacrifice.
Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) sponsored a resolution dedicating a portion of U.S. Route 67 north of Monmouth in Darnell's memory. The mile-long stretch would be designated "Deputy George V. Darnell Memorial Highway," and the Illinois Department of Transportation would post signs.
"Today, the Illinois State Senate honored the memory, service and sacrifice of a dedicated public servant: Deputy George Darnell. Even though his sacrifice happened years ago, it does not diminish the impact and importance of his life," Sullivan said.
Darnell was an 11-year veteran of the Warren County Sheriff's Office and a veteran of World War II. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2301 and Immaculate Conception Church in Monmouth.
He was survived by his wife of 39 years, Eva Darnell, who passed away in 2012, and seven children. He was 61 years old when he was killed.
Warren County Sheriff Martin Edwards and State Police District 14 Commander Capt. Robert Elliot brought this case to Sullivan's attention. Both Edwards and Elliot testified before a Senate committee in support of this resolution in March.
The resolution, Senate Joint Resolution 48, passed the Senate with bipartisan support by a 55-0 vote and now moves to the House for approval.