Thursday, February 10, 2011

Senate Memorializes Father of Illinois Wine Industry

The Illinois Senate passed a resolution today honoring Guy Renzaglia for his role in developing the state's modern wine industry. State Sen. David Luechtefeld, R-Nashville, introduced Senate Resolution 35 Tuesday.

Renzaglia died three months ago on Nov. 4, 2010, at his home in Mahomet, Ill. He was the founder of Alto Vineyards at Alto Pass, the oldest of the modern-era wineries in Southern Illinois.

The Senate resolution includes the following history.

WHEREAS, Guy Renzaglia enlisted to serve his country during World War II and finished first in the Officer Candidate School in the Army Air Corps; he served with distinction during five years in uniform, and, like many of his peers in the Greatest Generation, he returned home and attended college on the GI Bill; and

WHEREAS, Guy Renzaglia, the son of Italian immigrants, was an accomplished athlete and scholar and a member of the George Washington University Hall of Fame; he earned his bachelor's degree at GWU and his master's degree in physical education at the University of Minnesota; he subsequently earned his second master's degree in psychology and his doctorate in counseling psychology; and

WHEREAS, Guy Renzaglia had a vision to provide support to underserved persons; he applied his determination and wisdom to develop the Rehabilitation Institute at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, making it one of the few universities in the country at the time to provide services for the blind, deaf, and persons using wheelchairs; and

WHEREAS, Through Guy Renzaglia's strength and charisma, the Rehabilitation Institute became a nationally acclaimed program which trained more than 1,000 professionals in rehabilitation and mental health services; and

WHEREAS, Guy Renzaglia retired from SIU-C after 23 years of service; at the age of 60, he started a partnership with two friends, Ted Wichman and Skip Cosgrove, and began a vineyard and winery later known as Alto Vineyards; and

WHEREAS, People from across the globe have come to southern Illinois to sample the brilliant wines and warm hospitality of Alto Vineyards, seeing and tasting for themselves the labor of love which Guy Renzaglia passed along to his son, Paul Renzaglia, as well as a love for life and people which is evident in every delicious sip; and

WHEREAS, Alto Vineyards has served as the model for dozens of other wineries and as the birthplace of the wine industry in Illinois, which now boasts some 90 working wineries and hundreds of acres of vineyards, and brings Illinois national respect as a wine-producing region enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year; and

WHEREAS, Our hearts are heavy with his loss, but we rejoice in the time he shared in our lives; we are comforted by the knowledge that Guy Renzaglia's heart will never leave the fertile and beautiful rolling hills of southern Illinois, the wonderful people of southern Illinois, and the SIU community; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, BY THE SENATE OF THE NINETY-SEVENTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we mourn, along with his family, and friends, the passing of Guy Renzaglia; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm that his spirit remains a living part of us all and that his family and friends will love and forever miss him; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be presented to the family of Guy Renzaglia as a symbol of our sincere sympathy.

State Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, filed a similar resolution, HR51 in the Illinois House yesterday.

No comments: