EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County is mourning the loss of one of its own this week with the passing of its Probation and Court Services director.
Judy A. (Pieper) Dallas died early Monday at the age of 66 years old following a battle with cancer.
“(Judy) will be greatly missed,” Chief Judge David Hylla said. “Everyone admired her. She was truly was a dedicated public servant.”
Dallas made history on March 14, 2008, when she became the first female director of the Probation Department.
Hylla said Dallas was dedicated to her job as she was always the first one in the office and the last one to leave.
“She was an inspiration to all,” he said. “She never talked about her aches and pains or problems. She continued coming to work even when she was going through everything.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.”
Dallas was a lifelong resident of Granite City. She was a 44-year veteran of law enforcement and criminal justice community, with 29 years at Madison County.
Her career started with the Granite City Police Department. She served as a detective secretary and chief’s secretary before taking a job as a senior administrative assistant with the county’s probation department in 1988.
A year after Dallas started working for the county she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville.
Dallas worked way up through the ranks in a field dominated by men. She served as a supervisor, deputy chief and chief probation officer before being named the director by former Chief Judge Ann Callis. She replaced Darrell McGibany who retired.
In 2002, Dallas was the recipient of the prestigious Illinois Probation and Court Services Association's Pauline Gansauer Award presented to the individual who most exemplifies dedication to the profession and commitment to the improvement of probation services in Illinois
Chairman Kurt Prenzler said Dallas would be missed by all who knew her.
“Judy broke the glass ceiling in Madison County’s Probation Department,” Prenzler said. “She was loved by so many and she will be missed.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.