Arlington Heights Elementary School District 25 board member Phil Crusius died this week after a battle with cancer.
Crusius, 57, had been on the school board since 2009, but had been involved with the community for much longer, friends say.
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He became involved with District 25 when his children were students, and volunteered many hours coaching Science Olympiad at South Middle School where his children attended, said teacher Kim Dyer.
He also served as the tech coordinator for the drama department at South, she said.
"He did a lot for the community in a lot of ways," Dyer said. "He was always wonderful with those kids."
Crusius, who had fought pancreatic cancer over the past year, died Tuesday, said fellow board member Rich Oiejniczak.
An Arlington Heights resident, Crusius is survived by his wife, Patty, and their two children. His son, Daniel, graduated from Rolling Meadows High School over the weekend. Crusius was able to attend the ceremony, Oiejniczak said.
"That was something he really wanted to do," he said. "Phil fought this cancer tooth and nail."
Throughout his battle, Crusius only missed one school board meeting, said board President David Page.
"Phil always took very seriously his commitment to the board and having his attendance record be darn near perfect," Page said. "He showed a tremendous commitment to education as a whole, the students and the community."
Crusius also was an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scouts, a volunteer with PADS homeless shelters, a member of United Methodist Church and had once run for Arlington Heights village board. He worked as a self-employed software engineer.
"Phil was very passionate about many things, but he was very quiet in his approach to those things. He was a thinker," Oiejniczak said. "He loved to evaluate and really get into the topic at hand. That will be deeply missed by all within the district."
A memorial service has been tentatively set for July, friends said.