McHenry County philanthropist, business leader, MCC patron Charles Liebman dies at 102

Longtime McHenry County philanthropist and business leader Charles Liebman – who has a building named for him at McHenry County College and was Bull Valley’s first village president – has died at age 102.

Liebman became a pillar in the community with his philanthropic work with the community college and other organizations, including The Community Foundation for McHenry County and Family Health Partnership Clinic in Crystal Lake.

Liebman founded The Community Foundation for McHenry County in 2001 to keep donation dollars within the county.

He envisioned The Community Foundation to be an “everlasting force for good in McHenry County,” Executive Director Amy Hernon said. She described Liebman as a “philanthropic visionary.”

“He knew that it took more than dropping a few coins in the kettle to make a lasting difference,” Hernon said.

Family Health Partnership Clinic Executive Director Suzanne Hoban describes Liebman as her mentor and an “outstanding” philanthropist.

“He was the most intelligent person I have ever known,” she said. “His intellect and curiosity ranged everywhere from art, science, politics, education.”

Liebman and his late wife Mary worked extensively with Crystal Lake-based MCC, including donating a collection of over 260 art prints and drawings and helping start a nursing program at the college, Hoban said.

His interest in healthcare and education helped create a nurse practitioner training program at Family Health Partnership Clinic, Hoban said. He also set up a fund for the clinic through The Community Foundation.

“He was exceptionally generous both with his treasure, but also with his time and his knowledge,” she said.

Liebman contributed a $5 million donation to MCC for a state-of-the-art science center in 2018 named the Liebman Science Center. He also most recently contributed to MCC’s University Center, MCC President Clinton Gabbard said.

“His belief that we can all do more was big. His heart was big,” Gabbard said. “And the hole his passing leaves us all is gaping. Now it is on all of us to fill that gap.”

Liebman served as the president and CEO of Cary-based electronics manufacturer Coilcraft, a company founded in 1945 that manufactures, engineers and distributes magnetic components, including chip inductors on an international scale, according to its website.

He also had a stint as Bull Valley village president, its first after it was incorporated in 1977.

Liebman served in the U.S. Army Air Corps before moving to Bull Valley with his wife Mary, where they raised four children, according to an online obituary.

“Our community is so much richer in so many ways because of Chuck,” Hoban said. “He will never know how widespread his impact was.”

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