A special Soapbox devoted to the memories of public servants important to the suburbs lost in the past week.
The suburbs and nation suffered a remarkable number of losses in politics, entertainment and public service this week. We devote today's Soapbox to the memories of individuals who touched our lives in various corners. They all will be missed and we mourn their loss.
Jim Kendall was a businessman himself, but for 16 years he wrote a weekly Daily Herald column on marketing tips and business successes focused on the achievements of others. He died last week at 81. James Kane, then-business editor who started Kendall's "On Small Business" column in 2005, remembered him as "a genuine nice guy, a class act and a straight shooter."
When John Schmitt became village president in 2002, driving from one end of Algonquin to the other could feel like a rush-hour commute into Chicago -- and there wasn't nearly much to do once you got there. Schmitt helped change all that as a driving force in the push for road improvements, downtown renewal and development of the Randall Road corridor. Schmitt, 72, died last Saturday.
As the first Kane County Board chairman, serving from 1990-1996, Warren Kammerer is remembered for championing reforms that gave the board better financial stability; but also for the many ways he served his community -- ranging from the VFW and Kiwanis to community theater.
Vernon 'Vern' Oie
Vernon Oie started his St. Charles career as a dishwasher in an ice cream shop in 1940. He would go on to become a prominent businessman, conservationist and even actor. Awarded the Barth Award from Tri-City Family Services and, with wife Sharon, the Charlemagne Award from the St. Chamber of Commerce, he was known as "a champion for St. Charles." He died this week at 93.
The Flying Illini defined Lou Henson as much as his Lou-Do hair and orange blazer. Henson, the former basketball coach at the New Mexico and the University of Illinois, passed away at the age of 88. He will be remembered for so many things that go beyond his 779 wins and two Final Four appearances, most notably the impact he had on hundreds of lives.
Herman Cain rose from poverty to become CEO of the nationwide Godfather's Pizza chain and, later, spent a brief time as a leading candidate for the 2012 GOP nomination for U.S. president. He was a staunch ally of President Donald Trump and co-chaired the Black Voices for Trump organization. He died last week at 74 from the effects of COVID-19.
"Charming, lovable and could take a punch" was how David Letterman affectionately referred to TV personality Regis Philbin, who died Friday, July 24, at 88. To many fans, Philbin was the ever-smiling co-host of talk shows with Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa. He will also be remembered for the TV catchphrase, "Is that your final answer?" In 2011, he brought his charm to the suburbs, wowing a Naperville audience during an appearance to promote his autobiography.
We remember Lewis most by his inspiration and by the challenge that he leaves us: "Freedom is not a state; it is an act. It is not some enchanted garden perched high on a distant plateau where we can finally sit down and rest; freedom is the continuous action we all must take."
This week's clippable quote
"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than 10,000 tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love."
-- Washington Irving
19th century author