CHICAGO (AP) -- Services will be held this weekend for colorful southwestern Illinois sheriff Mearl J. Justus.
Justus was 81 when he died Tuesday at a hospital, about two months after he had his gallbladder removed and exactly a week after retiring as St. Clair County sheriff.
During his nearly 60 years in law enforcement, Justus built a reputation as jovial but effective. For years, his official website showed him modeling a sombrero, showing off a picture of his parking spot, admitting a fondness for the Three Stooges and letting visitors disfigure his portrait.
Gov. Pat Quinn credits Justus as among the state’s most effective public servants, saying “the kindness he showed to everyone will never be forgotten.”
Justus’ funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Holy Family Church in Cahokia.