‘Titan of Buffalo Grove’: Former Lake County Board chair Stolman left legacy of public service

Former Lake County Board Chair and Treasurer David Stolman is being remembered as a caring public servant, devoted family man and active community leader.

The Buffalo Grove resident died Sunday at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights. He was 75.

Stolman served on the Lake County Board from 1992 to 2014, starting as a Democrat before switching to the Republican Party in 1995. He was the board’s chair from 2010 to 2012 and elected county treasurer in 2014, spending one four-year term in office.

A real estate attorney, Stolman earned his law degree from DePaul University, where he was a classmate of future Buffalo Grove Village President Elliott Hartstein. The two enjoyed a lifelong friendship and later a professional relationship.

“He was a larger-than-life sort of guy with just a super-big heart, and I loved him,” Hartstein said. “He really, really cared about people. I think that’s what made him a good lawyer. It made him a good public servant.”

Planting his roots in Buffalo Grove in the mid-1970s, Stolman’s first foray into public service was as a member of the village’s zoning board of appeals.

Longtime friend Sidney Mathias, a former Buffalo Grove village president and state representative, said Stolman was a mentor who brought him into public service.

“He was one of the very few people that I can say was a real mensch,” he said.

“Everybody loved David,” added Rita Mathias, Sidney’s wife, who first met Stolman when they were students at the University of Illinois. “He was just a loving, wonderful person, and people just adored him.”

As a member of the county board, Stolman was an advocate for the proposed Route 53 extension into central Lake County and touted his efforts to keep the county’s budget balanced. He insisted on paying all county-related expenses out of his own pocket and avoided attending out-of-town conventions.

As treasurer, he worked to make property owners’ tax bills more transparent, in part by including information about tax increment financing districts for the first time, and developed a comprehensive investment strategy that resulted in millions of dollars in earnings for the county.

“He seemed to truly want to make a difference in everything that he touched or put his mind to and participated in,” said his son, Kenneth Stolman. “He was a titan of Buffalo Grove. He was one of the pillars that made Buffalo Grove what it is.”

David Stolman Daily Herald File Photo, 2018

Outside of politics, Stolman poured himself into a variety of community activities. He was a founding member of the Northwest Suburban Jewish Community Center, and served as president of Congregation Beth Judea in Long Grove.

“He was a wonderful president of the congregation,” said Howard Lifshitz, rabbi emeritus of Congregation Beth Judea. “There was a time when our synagogue was going through some difficult financial times, and through his ideas of how to draw people into the synagogue and how to handle the various problems at that time, I think he was one of the people who kept the synagogue afloat.”

Stolman is survived by his wife of 52 years, Maureen Stolman, daughter Karen (Adam) Firsel, son Kenneth (Shelley) Stolman, and five grandchildren.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Congregation Beth Judea. They also will be livestreamed at

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