Cover photo for David J. Root's Obituary
David J. Root Profile Photo

David J. Root

d. September 7, 2016

David Root, age 42, of Sherman, passed away on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.

David was born February 23, 1974 in DeKalb, Illinois the son of James and Beverly Root, formerly of Hampshire, Illinois.

He married his beloved wife, Julie Smith, on August 5, 2000 in Decatur, Illinois.

David served as Superintendent of Williamsville-Sherman School District since 2007.  He worked as an administrator in the Greenview and Athens School Districts from 2002 thru 2007.  He taught and coached in Williamsville prior to his administrative service.

He graduated from Hampshire High School in 1992, earned a Bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University in 1997, received his Master’s degree from University of Illinois at Springfield, and attained his Superintendent Endorsement from Illinois State University.

David is survived by his wife, Julie; two children, Mia and Dalton; his mother, Beverly; one brother, Darren (Kim) Root; four sisters, Dawn (Steve) McGrath, Darla (Hank) Gunn, Debbie (Deron) Rueff, and Dyan Lausas.  Also surviving are his father and mother-in-law, David and Susan Smith; sisters-in-law, Janet Smith, Jennifer (Andy) Smith-Multerer, and Colleen Smith; brother-in-law, Kevin (Sara) Smith; nieces and nephews, Carson and Morgan Root, Chris and Nick McGrath, Kevin, Kyle, Kelly and Katie McCarthy, Mitchel and Elaina Gunn, Jackson, Taylor and Grant Rueff, Brittney Lausas, and Ethan and Max Smith.

He is preceded in death by his father, James Root (December 7, 2015).

David earned the University of Illinois at Springfield Administrators’ Round Table Citation for Distinguished Professional Service (2009-2010), serving as president.  He was awarded Superintendent of Distinction from the Illinois Association of School Administrators Abe Lincoln Region (2015), received Superintendent of the Year from Horace Mann (2015), and was honored with an Award of Excellence from the Villages of Sherman and Williamsville (2015).  David was a brilliant leader who has left an enduring impact on his profession.

David was a dedicated family man and enjoyed watching his children participate in their activities.  He was a talented musician and athlete, had the unique ability to be the funniest person in the room, and made every person he knew feel valued.  He demonstrated a tremendous commitment to the communities where he served, making decisions which put children first.

Visitation will be held at the Williamsville Jr. High School Gymnasium on Sunday, September 11, 2016 from 1:00 until 6:00 PM.

Funeral Mass, officiated by Father Jeff Goeckner, will be held at St. John Vianney Church in Sherman on Monday, September 12, 2016 at 10:00 AM.

Memorial donations can be made to Williamsville School District David Root Memorial Fund.


  1. So very sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. Julie, I just want you to know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Dave was a wonderful person and is really going to be missed!! I pray that God gives you and the kids the strength and peace to get through this hard time. I will continue to pray! Sending you and the kids a great big HUG! God Bless All Of You! Love, Jennifer Meister

  3. Julie, Mia, and Dalton: Our hearts go out to you as you deal with the loss of your husband and dad. He was respected by so many and was a great leader. He was always very sincere and you knew he cared about the kids whether they were still in school or had graduated and moved on. He will be greatly missed by many, but none as much as you will miss him. You are in our hearts and prayers. Hugs to all of you. With Sympathy, Kevin, Rita, Mark Schultz and Andrea Price.

  4. So terribly sorry for your loss! You are in my prayers.

  5. So very sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers in the weeks and months ahead.

  6. It is such an honor to be from the Williamsville school district and a lot of that has to do with Dave Root’s exemplary leadership. He was committed and kind and was always present in the community. Praying for the Root family.

  7. Julie and family…My thoughts and prayers are with you all. David was such an honorable, caring and compassionate person who loved life, his family, his community and the children and families he served during his career. I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to know him during my employment at Williamsville-Sherman School District (1998 – 2002).

  8. As a fellow superintendent for just short of 10 years I have had a deep abiding respect for David. I took superintendent coursework with David at Illinois State University about ten plus years ago. I found David to be very witty, knowledgeable, and fun to be around. His editorials in support of education in Illinois were exceptional. He was also a rock during hard times for Williamsville over the years. I will miss him and he will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    With Deepest Sympathy,

    K. Scot Reynolds
    Spoon River Valley CUSD #4
    35265 North IL Hwy 97
    London Mills, IL 61544

  9. To the Root family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Mr. Root was a great man, friend and teacher. You guys have taught me and others so much. He is now not only teaching our communities but now the world from his new home in heaven. God Bless.

  10. Dear Bev, Dawn, Darla, Darrin, Deb and ‘Weezy’:
    I am so sad for the loss of David. I am reading the obit this morning and looking at all the pictures. What a lovely man he grew to be. My memories are from long ago when David was about 10 years old. I remember him as being strong and athletic and so affectionate. I am certain even though I didn’t know David as a man, that he was a wonderful individual. My healing prayers are with you all at this terribly sad time.


  11. Root Family,
    Our deepest sympathies to all family members and heartfelt condolences. May time heal your sorrow, may friends ease your pain and may peace replace heartaches. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and all family members during this very tough time.

  12. Jerry, Jeremy, and I want to offer our deepest sympathy to the Root family. Julie, I remember seeing you the day after you had met Dave. You walked into my classroom with your face beaming and your eyes shining. It seemed to me that it was “love at first sight!” I pray that your warm memories of your wonderful husband will bring you comfort as you grieve his loss. May God wrap you all in his tender embrace and bring you peace.

  13. Jerry, Jeremy, and I extend our deepest sympathy to the Root family. Julie, I remember the day after you had met Dave. Your face was beaming and your eyes were shining. It seemed to me that it was “love at first sight!” I pray that your warm memories will bring you comfort. May God wrap you in his warm embrace during this difficult time.

  14. The world has lost one of the finest men I’ve ever known. My thoughts and prayers are with Dave’s family and the Sherman-Williamsville staff during these most difficult times. Having known Dave has made my life more enriched.
    Respectfully, Roger Harris former Program Manager for
    Renaissance Learning

  15. We are very sorry for your loss. He will be missed by so many people whose lives he touched.

  16. Dear Dawn,
    We are praying peace for you and your family. You will remain in our thoughts.
    Michael and Tessa Sutton

  17. Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your loved one. In the Bible, a man named Job raised the question: “If an able-bodied man dies can he live again?” Then he answered: “I shall wait [in the grave] until my relief comes. [God] will call, and I myself shall answer.” (Job 14:14, 15) What a joy it will be when that time arrives and the dead are reunited with their loved ones! “What happens when you die”, Find the Bible’s answers to this question at (Go to Bible Teachings -› Bible Questions Answered.

  18. Prayers to the family, friends, and community. The outpouring of love reflects Dave’s character and leadership. I am honored to have known him for the short time that I did.

  19. May love and light embrace all of the Root-family and may comfort find you. No words are grand enough to grasp the person David eas and the legacy he leaves with us, but hopefully we all have memories of him that bring a smile to our face and warmth to our heart such that we may “visit with him” a while in order to find the strength needed to continue. I hope family and friends will share these dear memories with one another, such that we may find strength in unity and in adoration of a person who managed to touch so many lives and inspire so many. Our deepest and most heartfelt condolances, Anne-Marie Sven-Ake Carina and Pernilla Haglund

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