DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – The late Macon County Sheriff Roger Walker, Jr. was remembered Thursday along the state highway bearing his name.

Walker was the first elected African American Sheriff in the state of Illinois.  He later became the Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections and served on the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.

“He did what he could for everybody,” said his nephew Corey Walker who put together the remembrance ceremony at Route 48 and Mound Road in Decatur. 

Among those attending was former Decatur school board president Sherri Perkins. 

“Right now Americans need a role model.  They need to see someone who has really given back and sacrificed for this community,” Perkins told WAND News.  “Every time you saw him he had a smile on his face.  He would call you by his first name and he was just someone that was a strong leader.

Walker died after a series of illnesses in 2012.  He was 63.