Joseph R. Tybor, longtime spokesperson for the Illinois Supreme Court, died Oct. 10 at his home in Countryside. He was 68.
Tybor began working for the Court in 1998 as its director of communications after a 30-year
journalism career in Chicago.
"My colleagues and I are deeply saddened by Joe’s passing," said Chief Justice Rita B. Garman. "He was truly dedicated to his role as the voice of the Illinois Supreme Court, and we watched in awe as he continued to carry out his duties even as he fought his illness
"He was an example to us all of courage and strength. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, in which he took such great pride. We will miss his professionalism, his optimism, and his cheerful demeanor."
Third Circuit Chief Judge Dave Hylla remarked, "Joe was a great friend and ally of the entire judiciary of the State of Illinois, as well as a great ambassador of the City of Chicago."
Tybor's journalism career started at the Associated Press in the late 1960s. After serving in the U.S.Army and attending night classes to earn a law degree, Tybor took a job at the Chicago Tribune, where he wrote about legal affairs and then Notre Dame sports.
In 1986, the Chicago Tribune nominated Tybor for a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the city's criminal justice system. He also founded "Irish Eyes," one of the first subscription-based sports sites of its kind.
"While Tybor took great pride in his work as a journalist, he frequently described his position with the Supreme Court as the best job in the world," according to a press release from the Court.
During his 17 years as the Supreme Court’s spokesperson, Tybor responded to countless media calls and helped the justices plan and implement dozens of initiatives, including the Court’s policy on extended media coverage, the release states.
He is survived by his wife, Sandra; daughter, Sarah (Kevin) Clark; son, Adam (Kelly) Tybor; siblings, Julia Moore, Donna Siedschlag and David Tybor; grandchildren, Harrison Joseph Clark, Charles Jacob Tybor and Erin Catherine Tybor; and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation is being held from 3 to 9 p.m. today at the Hallowell & James Funeral Home in Countryside. Prayers will be at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14 at the funeral home, followed by mass at 10 a.m. at St. Cletus Church in LaGrange.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Block Integrative Cancer Center, Skokie, Ill. or the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.