For Immediate Release:
Tuesday October 2, 2018
Toby Trimmer, Communications Director
(217) 622-7547 |

Statement Regarding the Death of Menard County Chair & 18th Congressional Democratic Committeewoman Shirley McCombs

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Longtime Illinois Democratic Party activist and Menard County Chair Shirley McCombs has passed away at the age of 81. News of McCombs’ passing last night (October 1, 2018) reached Democratic Party leaders and activists this morning.

Although McCombs’ work in supporting the party is comprehensive, it is notable that held the longtime role of Secretary of the Democratic Party of Illinois and was a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention multiple times. McCombs was an institutional force in shepherding women into leadership roles within the Democratic Party and made it her life’s work to maintain a strong Democratic Party presence throughout the entire state of Illinois.

Democratic County Chairs’ Association president, Doug House, issued the following statement on behalf of the IDCCA:

“Illinois Democrats have lost a remarkable friend in the passing of Shirley McCombs. I share the deep sadness and personal grief in hearing this news. Shirley was an irreplaceable force when it comes to passion and dedication to the Democratic Party.

For me, Shirley McCombs was a mentor and a dear friend for more than 30 years. She remains a giant in Democratic Party politics and a woman who took great pride in her family, cherishing, most recently, her role as a great grandmother.

While I suspect, given her humble nature, she would prefer to be remembered as a tireless volunteer for the politics she loved, Shirley was instrumental in shaping and influencing the Democratic Party of our state. In our worst defeats, she doubled her efforts to activate ordinary people to stand up and fight. In our victories, many of which were inconceivable without her participation, she quietly moved to the sidelines to allow others take the credit.

Shirley’s optimism never ceased. She believed in organizing to grow the Democratic Party – especially in places where naysayers and pundits said it couldn’t be done. Democrats, citizens and our communities reap the benefits of Shirley’s work.

Scores of Illinoisans hold Shirley McCombs in great esteem. She is proof that one person can improve the world by ‘doing,’ instead of just ‘talking.’

On behalf of every County Democratic Chair, precinct committeeperson and dedicated Democrat, we send our deepest sympathies to her family and friends. And, for this election and many more to come, we’re determined to not let Shirley down in our fight for victories up and down the ticket.”

About the IDCCA…

The Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association (IDCCA) is a statewide, grassroots Democratic Party organization comprised of the elected Democratic County Chairs in all 102 counties in Illinois. The mission of the IDCCA is to help elect Democrats in every county and region of Illinois while continuing to grow the Democratic Party throughout the state. Rock Island County Chair Doug House is the President of the IDCCA.

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