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In Memorial: Ron Tendick

Former Jacksonville Mayor and Network Knowledge Chairman Ron Tendick recently passed away at Passavant Hospital on March 27, 2016 at age 73. A devoted and active supporter of his local PBS station, Tendick served on the Network Knowledge Board of Directors for many years, as Vice Chairman and later as Chairman, when he transitioned into that role in July 2013.

As a Rotarian, Tendick lived a life of service—and service to our station was no exception. Over the years, he dedicated countless hours to furthering the efforts of quality public television in west central Illinois. He will be greatly missed. Memorial gifts are suggested to Westfair Baptist Church, Passavant Hospital Foundation, or Jacksonville Rotary Foundation.

His obituary has been published in full:

Ronald L. “Ron” Tendick, 73, of Jacksonville, IL, a dedicated, humble, and honest servant of God went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016 at Passavant Hospital in Jacksonville.

He was born April 18, 1942 in Jacksonville, the son of Lee O. and Marjorie I. DeLong Tendick. He married Rosemary Dawson on June 30, 1967 in Jacksonville and she survives.

Left here to celebrate his life on earth and his patience, kindness, compassion and sense of humor are the love of his life, Rosemary; his daughter, Lana Keen (husband, Joe) of Jacksonville; his son, Lane Tendick (wife, Rachel) of Jacksonville; his grandchildren, Levi Rogers and Katie Purdue, both of Jacksonville and Pvt. James Purdue stationed in Fort Gordon, GA; and two nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Doris Kennedy.

A 1960 graduate of Jacksonville High School, Ron attended Illinois College, which presented him with an honorary Bachelor of the Arts Degree in 2004. Music was an important part of Ron’s life since his time in the JHS Band. Following high school, he played with three bands including The Dynamics, The Clarke Brothers, and The Sound Organization where he became known as “Rockin Ron”.

From 1969 to 1985, Ron served as News and Sports Director at WLDS/WEAI Radio where he became well-known for covering the city council to broadcasting high school sports in west central Illinois, often with his long-time friend and fellow broadcaster, Jerry Symons.

He later joined Passavant Hospital in Jacksonville serving as their Community Relations Director from 1985 to 1989. He was elected a Jacksonville 5th ward alderman in 1987 and left the hospital following his successful election as Mayor in 1989. He was a five-term mayor for Jacksonville, serving 20 years until his retirement in 2009.

A devoted community servant, Ron served on the boards of Prairieland United Way, Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Municipal League, and Illinois News Broadcasters. He was a founding member and past chairman of the Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation. He was a past chairman of the Passavant Area Hospital board of directors and a past president and member of the Jacksonville Rotary Club. He was currently serving as member and vice chairman of Network Knowledge (Public Television), committee chairman for the Passavant Hospital Foundation, and vice president of the Jacksonville Area Visitors and Convention Bureau.

He was a devoted member of Westfair Baptist Church where he served as a Sunday school teacher for young people and later for adult classes until his health prevented him from continuing. He was an integral part of the music ministry of the church, singing in the choir, playing his guitar, and providing vocal solos. His love and interest in young people carried through his role as Mayor where he was often seen communicating with children in schools, camps, and public events.

In his spare time, Ron enjoyed restoring antique cars, working in his flower beds, researching genealogy, studying history, drinking coffee at the Elks Club, and playing Farkle and relaxing with his family.

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