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updated: 8/28/2014 5:01 PM

Construction to begin soon on memorial for late Lombard village president

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  • This is a rendering of the Bill Mueller Memorial, which is scheduled to be constructed next month outside the Victorian Cottage Museum in Lombard.

      This is a rendering of the Bill Mueller Memorial, which is scheduled to be constructed next month outside the Victorian Cottage Museum in Lombard.
    Courtesy of Alan Meyer

  • William "Bill" Mueller

      William "Bill" Mueller
    Daily Herald file photo

 
 

Everything has lined up for a memorial to be built in honor of the late Lombard Village President William "Bill" Mueller.

The memorial will consist of a garden-like gathering place with a gazebo, which is set to be delivered within the next few weeks to the Victorian Cottage Museum, 23 W. Maple St.

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"The order's in, everything is done and we're ready," said Carl Goldsmith, the village's director of public works.

Last week, the village board approved an amendment to an ordinance that allows for construction of the memorial on the site.

The project, which includes the gazebo, a concrete base, landscaping and electrical work, is expected to be complete by the end of September.

Resident Marymae Meyer came up with the idea for the memorial shortly after Muller died from complications of West Nile virus in 2012.

"I was visiting with (Mueller's wife) Eileen one day and I said, 'When I think of Bill, I just think there needs to be a gathering place,'" Meyer said.

Meyer brought the idea to Goldsmith and the two began to brainstorm designs.

"Together they decided this would be a wonderful tribute to Bill and I totally agree," Eileen said. "He was such a strong force in the village for so long and he loved the history of Lombard. How fitting for it to be there, I think."

Mueller was Lombard's longest serving village president, holding the position from 1993 until his passing. He also served as a village trustee from 1975 to 1979.

Goldsmith said $12,500 of the estimated $30,000 memorial is being paid for by the village.

This summer, Eileen won a $1,000 raffle at the historical society's Civil War re-enactment, which she put toward the memorial. In addition, the Lombard Jaycees agreed to donate $1 from every ticket sale on the first day of Taste of Lombard to the memorial fund.

Other funding has come from private donations by individuals and businesses. In total, there has been about $10,800 raised by the community.

Donations are still being accepted online at muellermemorial.org/donate. Checks also can be made out to "Community Memorial Site for Bill Mueller" and mailed to West Suburban Bank, 711 S. Westmore Ave., in Lombard.

Throughout the planning process and fundraising for the memorial, Meyer said she has been regularly reminded of one of Mueller's favorite sayings -- do what's good and right for Lombard.

"Erecting a gathering place in his honor is just right in tune with that," she said.

Eileen agreed, her voice cracking as she added how "very moving" it has been to see so many Lombardians work together to make the memorial a reality.

"I just love it as a gathering spot," she said. "It could be a quiet spot, it could be a fun spot, it could be all the things Bill loved."

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