'The epitome of Elk Grove Village': Community mourns former Trustee Edward Hauser

Elk Grove Village lost one of its longest-serving public servants last week with the passing of Edward Hauser.

Village officials credit Hauser with shaping the Elk Grove Park District and later the community itself through his work on the zoning board of appeals, board of health, plan commission and village board.

He died Jan. 14 at the age of 93. Elk Grove municipal leaders lowered flags in the village to half-staff in recognition of his more than 45 years of service.

"No one had more institutional knowledge than Ed," said Mayor Craig Johnson. "He never gave up, never stopped serving and never stopped giving to this community."

Hauser grew up on Chicago's South Side, where his life revolved around sports. He served with the 88th Infantry Division in Italy in World War II and in the 101st Airborne during the Korean War. After returning home, he played basketball for the legendary Coach Ray Meyer at DePaul University.

After he and his wife, Rita, started a family, they looked to Elk Grove Village and the new subdivisions being built by the Centex Corp. as the place to raise their three children. They had to wait for the second wave of development but eventually moved to the village in 1958.

By 1966, when Centex donated 11 parks to the village, the seeds of the Elk Grove Park District were sown. Hauser was among the first five commissioners elected to its board, and served two terms as president, during years that were prolific.

In the first 10 years, the board oversaw the development of seven parks, two pools, 13 tennis courts and four baseball diamonds, as well as the start of the teen center, a preschool program and a summer concert series.

"My dad always wanted to make life better for people," said his daughter Kim Faehnrich. "He always wanted to do what was right for the community."

After his service with the park district, Hauser was elected to the village board in 1979. He served the next 10 years, during a period of continuous residential, commercial, and industrial growth in the village.

Hauser also served on the zoning board of appeals and sat on the plan commission until he was in his mid 80s.

Johnson said Hauser was one of the "forefathers" of Elk Grove who selflessly gave back to the community and influenced the next generation of leaders - including Johnson himself - to step up.

Beyond his public service, Hauser was well-known throughout the community. He was a manager at the village' first drugstore, Suburban Drugs, and when the park district opened its first golf course, Fox Run Golf Links and Driving Range, in 1984, Hauser was the manager.

In recent years, the village added his name to its Elk Grove Village Wall of Achievement.

"His heart was truly in this community," Johnson said. "He was the epitome of Elk Grove Village."

Hauser was preceded in death by his wife. In addition to Kim Faehnrich, he is survived by another daughter, Caryn (Dennis) Leaf, and a son, Jim (Nancy), as well as four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Services have been held.

Edward Hauser, in center with shovel, joined fellow community leaders for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Lions Park pool in Elk Grove Village. Courtesy of the Elk Grove Historical Museum
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