21,000 stronger

A family’s painful burden, a city’s helping hand, and a State of Illinois Prisoner Review Board does its job, and does it well!

We honor today Joey Didier’s memory with 21,000 signatures that were compiled protesting the parole of Rober Henry Lower.

With the passing of both our dear beloved parents, George (1999) and “Sue” Rosemary (2007) Didier, my four siblings and I have vowed never to risk complacency! Every three years now, I receive the dreadful letter (that was previously mailed to my mother), which comes between Thanksgiving and Christmas, stating that Rober Henry Lower once again — for the 19th time — was up for parole consideration. How would we manage, how would we cope?

It does not seem fair that celebrating Christmas and collecting petitions to keep a killer in prison should have to co-exist in our family. But, my mother taught us, “There are powers in numbers!” Sue Didier’s promise of commitment, hope and courage lives on in each and everyone who lent support to this worthy cause.

In the absence of both parents, we have asked the community, as well as the citizens throughout the state of Illinois, to step in to help ensure that Mr. Lower never lives as a free man.

With hundreds and thousands of signatures, whether it be online with the Rockford Register Star, coupon signing with The Rock River Times, faxing or signing in businesses, stores or neighborhoods, people who never knew Joey Didier realized we cannot allow Mr. Lower to be unleashed as a sexual predator in our — or anyone’s — society. We have to protect our natural resources — our children!

Myself, as well as the entire Didier family, would like to express a deep, heartfelt thank you to everyone who signed our petitions, helped or supported us in various ways, or even prayed for the success of the drive. It was only because of the wonderful, caring, and giving people of this Rockford community that the drive was so successful! Thank you to The Rock River Times for their tremendous support, and a very special thank you to Joe Bruscato, our state’s attorney, and John Hay, state’s attorney for Jo Daviess County, for their unwavering dedication and commitment to Joey! This also goes to prove working together, we can and have made a difference! Illinois will be a safer place for the next five years (when Lower will once again become eligible for parole).

Diane Didier-Adolphson

Editor’s note: Diane Didier-Adolphson is Joey’s sister.

From the March 19-25, 2014, issue

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