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Longtime O'Fallon school board member dies
[June 30, 2011]

Longtime O'Fallon school board member dies

O'FALLON, Jun 30, 2011 (Belleville News-Democrat - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Dr. Ron Thouvenot, a longtime member of both the O'Fallon Township High School and the Central Grade School District boards, died Thursday after a short illness.

High School district Superintendent Darcy Benway said school leaders are still trying to come to grips with the loss of a person who had helped shape the school system for the last 30 years.

"He gets much of the credit for the quality of education this school district is known for," Benway said. "He always had a unique perspective on his decision-making and always wanted to be sure that we were moving forward. What makes this district is not just the decisions we make today, but the ones we have made for the last 30 years. His legacy is in the halls of our school." Thouvenot, according to his family, suffered a stroke June 21. He was 70.

Mayor Gary Graham said Thouvenot's dedication to districts 203 and 104 was incredible.

"Ron was really all about schools," according to Graham, who served with Thouvenot on the high school board before his career in city government. "He loved being on the board. He was always talking about bringing up the kids in a way that they were going to be able to compete." A dentist, Thouvenot seemingly spent all his free time working for both school boards from the late 1970s until he decided not to run for re-election to the Central School District Board in 2005 to spend more time with his family. He remained on the high school board, and Benway said there's been no decision made yet on filling the vacancy.

"I don't know if he had any other hobbies," Graham said. "He just loved the schools. But I can tell you that he had a wild sense of humor. He was very outspoken and he really liked to tell jokes." Benway said she is sure that District 203 will honor Thouvenot for his service. But she said it was too early to determine how.

"We're still coming to grips with the fact that he's gone," Benway said.

Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at or 239-2626.

To see more of the Belleville News-Democrat, Ill., or to subscribe, visit Copyright (c) 2011, Belleville News-Democrat, Ill.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For more information about the content services offered by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services (MCT), visit

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