Forty Years Ago

Death came to a pair of prominent local political figures at different times, yet under nearly identical circumstances. Twelve years before Forest Park Mayor and State Senator Howard Mohr died (1977) at a farewell breakfast for him at Springfield’s State House Inn, Joseph L. Lelivelt had passed away at the same location under similar conditions.

Lelivelt, who had served as legislative representative of the Cook County Board for four years, just returned from a dinner in his honor held by a group of bankers. Upon exiting the lobby of the hotel, he collapsed with a heart attack and never regained consciousness.

Lelivelt had also practiced law, served as Assistant States Attorney and chief sheriff. Later, following a stint as bailiff of the Criminal Court, he served five terms as State Representative from the Fifth District.

Twelve years after Lelivelt’s demise (in 1965) Mohr was elected to the first of his three terms as mayor here. During this period Mohr also served as State Senator commuting regularly between here and the state capitol. On Jan. 12, 1977 he was being feted at the same State House Inn. Leaving amid congratulatory farewell handshakes, Mohr was suddenly stricken with a fatal heart attack, dying without resuscitation.

From a March 1965 issue of the Forest Park Review.

Thirty Years Ago

As mentioned here, Steve Olderr had announced his candidacy for a term as commissioner. As not mentioned, REVIEW publisher Bob Haeger had his opinions and, more important, a platform in this newspaper. Haeger, to put it mildly, was not pro-Olderr. He used a whole page to say so. For one thing, he criticized the young columnist for not having presented his own political platform. So here was a case of two political influences sharing the same publication.

Enter a pertinent Letter to the Editor. Condensed but not distorted, here’s what it said:

“Dear Bob…This is a very difficult letter to write as I’m usually in accord with your views. I’m not the number one fan of Steve Olderr, but I feel he’s the victim in a recent brouhaha. There’s a lot of gray in this affair. Ten years ago [1964] Barry Goldwater had a syndicated column. On becoming a candidate for president, the Chicago American newspaper chose to drop his columns. Olderr submitted his “offending” column”in which he deliberately failed to present his agenda for your [Haeger’s] approval, and you (presumably) gave it. Couldn’t you and the REVIEW have lived with it?”

The writer, Paul W. Bailey, concluded by saying he found the episode unfortunate and avoidable.

From a March 1975 issue of the Forest Park Review.

Twenty Years Ago

Here’s a different letter, one that’s positive, praising and concerns a handwriting specialist:

“To Dr. James Murray…You were there when we felt we couldn’t walk alone./ Many times in person and many times by phone./ When we were so weak and the days seemed so long/ you reached out and helped us stand strong./ You touched all our lives, each in a different way,/ and along with your good friend, you softly reminded us to pray./ Then the Lord stepped in to help us make it through./ So today, we publicly praise the Lord/ and we gratefully and publicly thank you./ In such a troubled world we live in today/ isn’t it wonderful that we can find people like Dr. James Murray along the way.””Tom and Anita, Danny and Tommy” EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Murray, who conducts the handwriting column for this newspaper, is a counselor for the Forest Park Public Schools. He is known to have put in many extra hours at his work.

From a March 1985 issue of the Forest Park Review.

Ten Years Ago

Gloomy weather notwithstanding, an entire chuch filled St. Bernardine’s on a Monday night. Joseph Cardinal Bernardin brightened up the place with just his presence.

The man had an engaging smile that complemented his humble demeanor. He had a way of bestowing an honest regard for others, while gathering genuine respect himself”without trying to. To be sure, there are many who remember well evening the evening the good cardinal visited Forest Park.

He spoke about the increasing violence, here and abroad, though he talked more of forgiveness. He cautioned against sins more subtle than shootings or terrorism”an unwillingness of people to be involved, a lack of respect for the poor, the fact that people are victimized by rumor or innuendos; even an unwillingness for people to forgive.

In simplest terms he concluded his visit to the church by reminding that “We require a change in the way we live and the way we treat one another … we should not harbor anger. Evil talk must give way to constructive thought.”

From a March 1995 issue of the Forest Park Review.