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updated: 2/14/2011 5:56 PM

Former Bloomingdale Twp. Republican leader dies

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Scott Kassal says a family friend described his father, former Bloomingdale Township Supervisor William "Bill" Kassal, just perfectly.

"He said my dad was the last of the cowboys," Kassal said. "He was a big, burly guy and that was kind of his thing, but he loved everybody."

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William Kassal served as head of the Bloomingdale Township Republican Party for 18 years, ending his run in 1996. He also served for 17 years as Bloomingdale Township supervisor until losing a re-election bid in 1997 after his party ousted him and Kassal ran as an independent.

Kassal, 80, died due to kidney failure in his home Friday, surrounded by family, said his son.

"He made a conscious decision not to continue dialysis and did this on his own terms, and I am proud of him," Scott Kassal said.

During his time in office, Kassal was known as a staunch Republican who aimed to be fiscally conservative, said his son.

"He was very conscious of not spending the taxpayers' money if he didn't have to," Scott Kassal said.

During one of his re-election bids in the late 1990s, Kassal said he was proud of his efforts to try and freeze elected officials' salaries and his success in establishing intergovernmental agreements for special police for unincorporated areas.

Kassal's son said he also worked hard to increase public transportation, especially for seniors. At one point during his tenure, Kassal said the township transportation department had grown to 13 buses and 4,000 rides per month. He also put emphasis on funding youth and family services in the township.

"He was a Republican, but in a sense some of his programs might have been considered the opposite because the programs he was instituting were about helping the people," said Scott Kassal. "He really was all about the community."

Visitation for William Kassal will be from 3 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Countryside Funeral Home and Crematory, 333 S. Roselle Road, Roselle. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday. Interment will be in Queen of Heaven Cemetery. For details, call (630) 529-5751 or visit countrysidefuneralhomes.com.

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