Human Interest

Ask just about anyone on their thoughts of former Sedona City Councilman Dan McIlroy and you’ll hears words like “professional,” “kind,” “dedicated” and “gentlemanly.”

McIlroy, who served on the council from 2010-14, died on Friday, Oct. 21. He was 77. He is survived by his wife, Maureen, and their two daughters. A memorial service is planned for Saturday, Nov. 19, at 10:30 a.m. at the Sedona Creative Life Center.

“He was a dedicated and loving father and husband,” Maureen McIlroy said. “His faith was very important to him. And he truly cared about this community. Everyone I have talked to have had such kind things to say about Dan.”

Prior to retiring to Sedona in the early 2000s, he was a prosecutor for the Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office for 27 years. Before his days as an attorney, he served in the U.S. Army as an airborne ranger and achieved the rank of colonel.

Like others, Rob Adams, a former Sedona mayor, called McIlroy the consummate gentleman.

“He never had a bad thing to say on council — he always tried to find the middle ground,” he said. “He always had a smile and a hug for everyone. He was very passionate about politics but I think he somewhat begrudgingly decided to serve. I think he would have preferred to serve and work on causes behind the scenes.”

During his run for Sedona City Council in 2010, McIlroy made a pledge and stuck to it four years later.

“I pledge one term and I will go home,” he said in a 2010 interview with the Sedona Red Rock News. “You serve your term — you don’t make it a career or build a dynasty.”

Like Adams, former Vice Mayor Mark DiNunzio served four years on the council with McIlroy.

“My thoughts spun deeper and concluded that Dan at his core was a devout Christian man,” he said. “I think that is how he would prefer to be remembered. A native Phoenician, he had a military career, a legal career and a citizen serving on City Council in Sedona. He was successful in all three. And, he would acknowledge that his success was a gift from his creator for which he was always thankful and grateful.”  

Current Vice Mayor John Martinez said he had the honor and pleasure to have known McIlroy since 2010 when Martinez was selected to be on the Budget Oversight Commission. He said the two spent many an hour discussing the merits of upcoming spending projects and projected revenue sources.

“Dan provided me valuable information when I ran for City Council in 2012,” he said. “We worked together on many projects during those two years and I appreciated the fact that he was a tenacious individual that established goals and would not let anything get in his way to accomplish those objectives.

“He was an active member of the local Boys Club group and dispensed guidance in following the lord’s path. Dan was the consummate gentleman. He will be missed by all that knew him.”
Current and former city staff also reflected with fond memories on their time working with McIlroy.

“Dan was the consummate gentleman with a gentle heart and caring soul,” Former Sedona City Manager Tim Ernster said. “He was always very professional and respectful in his interactions with staff and the public. He will be sorely missed by all of us who knew  him.”

Assistant City Manager Karen Osburn agreed.

“Councilor McIlroy was a man of great integrity with strong personal convictions, and a loving kindness to those around him,” she said. “I had the utmost respect for him and he will be missed.”


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