A former Round Lake mayor who also was the College of Lake County's first board chairman is being remembered as a friendly and kind person who cared deeply for the communities he served.
F. James Lumber, 78, died Monday at Lake Forest Hospital following a lengthy illness.
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Born in Ingleside, Lumber graduated from Grant Community High School and earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Marquette University in Milwaukee.
After earning a law degree at the University of Michigan, Lumber maintained a law practice in Antioch. In that role, he represented some local school districts and other government agencies.
Lumber joined the CLC board in December 1967. He helped hire the college's first president and employees.
"(He) helped set the direction and the policy of the college when it was just in the infant stages," current board Chairman Amanda Howland said.
In 1976, Lumber left the CLC board and made an unsuccessful bid for Congress.
Lumber was re-elected to the CLC board in 1977 and remained on the dais until 2003.
During his time on the CLC board, the college grew from temporary classrooms to a multi-campus facility.
He received the college's Illinois Outstanding Citizen Award in 1994.
"(He was) very concerned about other people and making people's lives better," Howland said.
A Round Lake resident since 1967, Lumber simultaneously served as that town's mayor from 1989 to 2001. As mayor, he oversaw improvements to the downtown business district, the construction of Veterans Memorial Park and the construction of a new village hall, among other projects.
Lumber's ties to CLC remained after he left the board. The performing arts center at the school's Grayslake campus was named after him in 2003.
"Wherever he went, Jim Lumber was a great ambassador for the college," CLC President Jerry Weber said in a news release. "People were very drawn to his kindness."
Lumber's brother, John, also served on the CLC board.
Visitation is scheduled for 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the foyer of the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts, 19351 W. Washington St.
In addition to his brother, Lumber's survivors include: his wife, Barbara; sons James and Robert; sisters Charlene Van Kirk and Mary Olander; and five grandchildren.
A funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 114 N. Lincoln Ave., Round Lake.
Interment will be private.
Instead of flowers, donations can be made to the CLC Foundation in Lumber's name.