State of Illinois
92nd General Assembly

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 1                          SENATE RESOLUTION

 2        WHEREAS, The members  of  the  Illinois  Senate  wish  to
 3    express  their  sincere condolences to the family and friends
 4    of the Honorable John A. Oremus, who passed away on April  4,
 5    2002; and

 6        WHEREAS,  Mayor Oremus was known as "Mr. Bridgeview", the
 7    man who, like an artist with a  blank  canvas,  took  a  tiny
 8    suburb   with  few  paved  streets  and  painted  it  into  a
 9    prosperous community; and

10        WHEREAS, For more than 40 years,  Mayor  Oremus  led  the
11    village  of Bridgeview and for a long time was the only mayor
12    many residents ever knew; in  some  ways,  his  mark  on  the
13    village is obvious, there is John A. Oremus Drive, the Oremus
14    Community   Center  and  Prairie  Material  Sales  Inc.,  the
15    multimillion-dollar construction materials supplier he  built
16    from scratch; and

17        WHEREAS,  Born  in  Chicago  on  December 29, 1913, Mayor
18    Oremus emigrated to Europe two years later with  his  mother,
19    who  died  of diphtheria only months later; he and his sister
20    returned to the United States a few years later to live  with
21    their father, moving to an area of unincorporated Cook County
22    that  is now Bridgeview; when he was a sophomore at Argo High
23    School, his stepmother urged  him  to  find  a  job  to  help
24    support the family; and

25        WHEREAS,  Mayor  Oremus  held  several  jobs,  and in the
26    mid-1940s bought 16 acres in the  7600  block  of  West  79th
27    Street;  there  he founded Prairie Material Sales, one of the
28    Midwest's largest suppliers  of  construction  materials  and
29    ready-mix products; and

30        WHEREAS,  Mayor  Oremus  was first elected mayor in 1955,
31    but lost the 1959 election; he then won  the  1963  race  and
                            -2-               LRB9216576RHrhB
 1    stayed in office until 1999; and

 2        WHEREAS, Mayor Oremus had a dream to make Bridgeview into
 3    a  well-balanced community - a motto that defines the village
 4    to this day; he sought out industry and businesses to balance
 5    the village's tax base and wanted to  ensure  that  residents
 6    had a nice place to live; he paved streets that were mudholes
 7    and  installed  sewers  where  there  were  none;  during his
 8    tenure, he recognized that Harlem Avenue, which  once  was  a
 9    two-lane  road,  would  become a busy commercial thoroughfare
10    and began annexing land along the road into the  village;  in
11    addition,  he started free Christmas parties for children and
12    senior citizens, and he began the Needy  Families  Fund  that
13    bought  groceries  and  Christmas  presents  for  families in
14    financial trouble; and

15        WHEREAS, Mayor Oremus was also a director of the Illinois
16    Municipal  League,  a  trustee   of   Lewis   University   in
17    Romeoville, and founder of Prairie Bank and Trust; and

18        WHEREAS,  In  1999, more than 20 south suburbs recognized
19    Mayor Oremus' dedication to community service and declared  a
20    week "John A. Oremus Week."; and

21        WHEREAS,  Of  all  Mayor Oremus' accomplishments, honors,
22    awards, professional or political, the thing he was proud  of
23    most was his family; and

24        WHEREAS,   Mayor  Oremus  was  the beloved husband of the
25    late Angeline (nee Mularski), loving father of Dorothy Oremus
26    (John) Lindauer, Robert J.  Oremus  and  the  late  Jack  and
27    Thomas  Oremus,  devoted grandfather of Kim (Bill) Hanson, J.
28    Alan (Susan) Oremus, Sheri  (David)  Braun,  Michael  Oremus,
29    James  Oremus,  Gary (Rose) and John Christopher Oremus, dear
30    great-grandfather of Justin,  Jordon,  Taylor,  Sara,  Chloe,
31    Alexandra,   Abbey,   Evan,   Austin,   Emma,  Cooper,  Jack,
32    Eisabella, J.R. and Joe, and dearest brother of the late Mary
                            -3-               LRB9216576RHrhB
 1    Butcher; and

 2        WHEREAS,  For more than four decades,  Mayor  Oremus  led
 3    Bridgeview  and  embraced  the village and its residents like
 4    they were his family; his memory will live on as  the  father
 5    of Bridgeview; therefore, be it

 7    ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we mourn, along  with
 8    all  who knew him, the death of John A. Oremus of Bridgeview,
 9    Illinois; and be it further

10        RESOLVED, That a suitable  copy  of  this  resolution  be
11    presented  to the family of the Honorable John A. Oremus with
12    our sincere condolences.

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