SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Jack Roeser

Friday, Jun 13, 2014

* There’s been no official statement released, but I have confirmed that conservative activist Jack Roeser passed away early this morning.

The man sure hated him some teachers’ unions. And he gave the GOP establishment in this state fits for decades. He was who he was, he did what he did, and if you didn’t like it, he didn’t care a bit. I couldn’t help admiring him for that.

The man made his mark on this state more than any single non-politician in memory. You may not have agreed with it, maybe even hated what he did, but I gotta tell you I always found him to be a real gentleman in person.

Jack and I had more than our share of go-arounds, but none of our conversations ever ended with anger. There was never any personal animosity between us. And I know he felt the same about many others.

* Jack was very proud of the wildly successful Otto Engineering business he built from scratch and the good things he was able to get done for Carpentersville and the surrounding areas. He deserved to be proud of those accomplishments. He did plenty of good.

From his Widipedia entry

Roeser enlisted in the Army in 1942 and served during World War II as a Corporal in the 1689th Engineer Battalion Combat Engineers in the Pacific Theater. He served in combat with distinction fighting the Japanese in the Philippines, most notably in the Battle of Leyte. He was one of the first U.S. Soldiers to set foot on Japan after their surrender to the Allies in 1945.

* Look, I know some of you folks completely disagreed with Jack’s politics. But keep it civil in comments. The man has a family and many, many friends. I, for one, will miss him.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Soccermom - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    I am stunned.

  2. - When I'm in the Thompson Center I eat at Arby's - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 12:36 pm:


  3. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    A smart intelligent man who knew how to push the appropriate buttons within the Illinois GOP and this State. He was more successful in politics than perhaps he even realized. Rest in peace.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 12:40 pm:


    I don’t know what to say, but my thoughts and prayers are for his family and friends at this time.

  5. - Confused - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 12:40 pm:

    Hard to imagine. He was a constant.

  6. - Amalia - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 12:42 pm:

    A man of his age…over 90, right?…..who kept it going at a high level for more years than many of us will be able to do. gotta hand it to him for keeping at it in his own way. god speed.

  7. - A guy... - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    He didn’t settle. None of us should. Rest in Peace Jack.

  8. - OneMan - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 12:49 pm:

    Had a really fancy control for a game for the original XBOX that I understood they made, thing had a ton of switches, buttons and two joysticks that I understand Otto made, the controller was a lot better than the game.

  9. - frustrated GOP - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 12:50 pm:

    He lived long enough to see same sex marriage legal in Illinois.

    Karma, and that’s as positive as I can be on this topic.

  10. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 12:54 pm:

    RIP Jack and thank you for your service to our country.

  11. - Anon - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:04 pm:

    He was 90; Born August 31, 1923.

  12. - John A Logan - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    Jack was tough. Met him one time. May he rest in peace.

  13. - Jimbo - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:11 pm:

    Rest in peace. He did make things interesting I suppose.

  14. - MrJM (@MisterJayEm) - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:13 pm:

    I appreciate his service in WWII.

    – MrJM

  15. - Jimbo - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    I’ll remember him as a hard liner, although I’m sure he softened that line quite a bit for Rauner.

  16. - Yipperdo - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    I am totally of opposite political views of the man. However, WMAY ran his radio program and I have to say that sometimes I found myself agreeing with the principle of his arguement. I believe he would always say he was 91 years old. Two big figures in one day-wow.

  17. - Noy Noy - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:22 pm:

    I remember seeing William Kelly tour the OTTO Engineering factory on Upscale Chicago years ago.

    I believe they’ve had a falling out since.

  18. - wordslinger - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:24 pm:

    Lived a full life and didn’t hide his light under a bushel.

    My peeps were WWII generation. Not many of them left. They stomped the earth, man.

  19. - Amuzing Myself - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:25 pm:

    Agree or disagree with his politics - I did both - he forced soul-searching in the GOP for many years on many issues. As American a role as I can think of. RIP.

  20. - Noy Noy - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    A judge in California gave him a nice sending off present when teacher tenure was struck down.

  21. - john doe - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    Was he related to Tom Roeser, the late radio host at WLS?

  22. - Joe Calomino - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    I too disagreed with Jacks politics on many levels. However, I always respected his opinions and his desire to do what he felt was right. I was also very impressed by his life story and the positive influences he imparted upon his community and business ventures. A rich legacy built by a self-made man. RIP to a good man. Prayers to his family.

  23. - Noy Noy - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:30 pm:

    He was not related to Tom Roeser the WLS host, although his son, and current CEO of Otto Engineering is named Tom Roeser.

    Here’s a fun video of Jack’s son Tom:

  24. - veritas - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    Jack walked the walk and led by example - never expecting effort and sacrifice from others that he wasn’t willing to put forth and endure himself. He paid the rest of us the ultimate compliment that we could do what he could do, but very few could even hope to accomplish what he did in life. There is a place where his remarkable integrity, faith and charity will be rewarded, but it isn’t this existence - it is Heaven. Welcome to the big dance, Jack. You punched your ticket long, long ago!!

  25. - Noy Noy - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    This link gets right to the point of the Tom Roeser video

  26. - dupage dan - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    The father of my old high school buddy’s was a combat engineer in the Pacific. They didn’t sit around much. Roeser was a hero and served our country well. He deserves our gratitude.

    As a conservative, I thought his strategies and tactics were misplaced. It is clear he felt strongly about politics and did what he thought was right.

    Condolences to his family.

  27. - Responsa - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    Jack Roeser’s experiences and the various battles he believed were worth fighting over a long lifetime are a good reminder that the public`caricature that is painted of any individual person is very often not fully accurate. In remembering him, keeping in mind that he was of a different era helps with perspective. I admit I kinda cringed in advance in later years when I heard he’d appear on a show or TV panel discussion. But I never doubted he meant what he said. They were not “talking points” to him. RIP, Mr. Roeser.

  28. - Anon - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:54 pm:

    Part of Jack’s legacy is a Democrat owning the Sec. of State’s office since 1998. That’s when Roeser backed Jesse White over Al Salvi because Salvi supposedly wasn’t sufficiently conservative for Jack’s liking.

    If Rauner wins, his administration would be another part of the Roeser legacy.

  29. - Your original "Boy Scientist" - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    We’ll miss you, Jack. You were a true leader. RIP.

  30. - Void - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    He worked very hard to advance his corporate agenda! Good bye jack, good bye.

  31. - Noy Noy - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 3:23 pm:

    He was a character until the very end

    Here is a video of him dancing on stage at a Tea Party rally just 2 MONTHS AGO!

  32. - I B Strapped - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    That is good stuff!

    My fathers generation, WW2 combat engineer also. (Europe)

    What a great generation. RIP, Mr Roeser and Thank you for your service to our country, when it really counted….

  33. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 4:26 pm:

    I never understood how a man who had served his country well, did wonderful things for the community, proudly supported his alma mater, UIUC, and was generally successful at everything was so lousy at politics.

    I saw first-hand his ugly obsession and hatred for homosexuals, and the fact that he had a gay child made it even more perplexing and disappointing. And by this, I do not mean opposing civil unions or gay marriage. I state explicitly that the man hated homosexuals and would rail in explicit detail about it.

    I really wish I could be more positive. Condolences to his family and friends.

  34. - Rhino Slider - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 4:28 pm:

    He was very closed minded and obstinate. When combined with much money, he drove the GOP elites CRAZY. He was the refuge of last resort for political pariahs. He hired some real nutjobs who frequently made a huge mess of things. Most of his money was ineffective wasted and he will not leave a political legacy and Champion News will fold.

    All that being said, I admire a person who fights hard for their convictions. Illinois politics has strange characters. He was definitely a character.

  35. - Walker - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 4:51 pm:

    Combat Engineer. He liked blowing up things, and engaging the enemy, always fighting for his desires for America. RIP.

  36. - Frank Zappa is a genius - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 5:02 pm:

    Having worked at statewide levels of Dem. politics in Illinois I blindly thought before meeting Jack based on the media that he was a caricature of all that I disliked about Republicans. Based on getting to know him in person I found him to be an incredibly generous and kind servant of a man. He personally underwrote the operating budget of a majority African American catholic grammar school in Chicago for over a decade costing him many many millions over the years without putting out press releases about it. I have spent time at his Otto facility with him. 90 percent of his philanthropy he didnt put out press releases on. Much of it to rebuild carpentersville at no profit to him. Being a Dem in those circles I rarely met his philanthropic equal on the Dem side. Dont judge a book by its cover holds true . Political labels like sexual labels and race labels are stupid. What is the character of the individual heart is what matters in our brief lives. God bless Jack Roeser.

  37. - liandro - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 5:27 pm:

    My best memory of Jack is seeing his Army Engineer wall and those medals and memories he had posted there. As a fellow Army Engineer, I sure felt put in my place by what he had on that wall. He forged his own life, and I respected that very much. Rest in peace, Jack.

  38. - Anon - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 7:13 pm:


  39. - Kristin Ehlbeck - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 7:13 pm:

    Jack was my great uncle. Did not know all his politics since i moved from Illinois in the early 80’s but he was a great man. Always generous and kind. He was funny. Believed that you needed to work for what you got. Period. I remember when we were visiting his sister (my grandma) in AZ and we were driving to the pool to go swimming (he had rented a towncar). All of us “kids” were in the back and we were calling him Jeeves as if he was our chauffer. He enjoyed every minute of it. Rest in Peace Uncle Jack. You will be missed!

  40. - Silent Majority - Friday, Jun 13, 14 @ 7:54 pm:

    While many commenters disagree with most of what Jack said, I agree with about 90% of it. It’s too bad that the respect shown to the man in these posts after he is gone wasn’t shown to him while he was alive. Anyway, Rest in Peace, Jack.

  41. - MSchneider - Sunday, Jun 15, 14 @ 9:44 pm:

    I too am a great niece of Jack’s and I worked for him at his foundation. Truly one of the most generous, intellingent and special men to walk this planet. I named my only son after him. He was true to his beliefs - always, no matter what. You have to admire a man like that. Steadfast and strong. I love you Uncle Jack and I will forever miss you.

  42. - MW Brown - Monday, Jun 16, 14 @ 10:12 pm:

    I sailed with Jack. I disagreed with about %80 of his politics. He was also one of the most decent, fun-loving and generous men I’ll probably ever meet. Its sad that he’s passed, but we can use the life he lived as a guide and inspiration. I wish you nothing but following seas, good air, and a cold beverage of your choice. RIP.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Here we go...
* Question of the day
* Kirk's confidence
* Unclear on the concept; And pot, meet kettle
* *** UPDATED x2 *** The supreme power of video
* More lip service
* A union overreach?
* Duckworth fires back against Zopp for "cheap political" shot
* Republicans side with unions in court case
* Rauner pushes Gaming Board to back off fantasy sports site issue
* No known impact of Rauner opposition to refugees
* Benton circulating against McCann
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* Fossil Q smart wearable lineup fully detailed and available for sale
* Samsung UK says the Galaxy TabPRO 8.4 won’t be updated to Lollipop
* Now Another U.K. Carrier Is Eyeing Mobile Ad Controls
* OnePlus X Ceramic Auction to give all proceeds to charity
* Sony Xperia M4 Aqua now available with US warranty for $200 on Amazon
* Five more languages added to Google Handwriting Input app
* LG Ray targets ‘3G markets’ with 5.5-inch screen, octa-core chip, unknown price

* Tommy Kahnle enters, Geovany Soto departs
* White Sox acquire Kahnle in deal with Rockies
* White Sox acquire RHP Tommy Kahnle from Rockies for RHP Yency Almonte
* White Sox acquire Kahnle in deal with Rockies
* KBO's Jae-gyun Hwang can be posted after all
* White Sox Charities all about opportunities
* White Sox add Aaron Rowand to minor-league development staff


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Illinois makes tax-break deals with 3 companies.....
* Budget posturing continues - Journal930..
* Illinois makes tax-break deals with 3 companies.....
* Rauner Pursues Legal Options To Prevent Syrian .....
* Rauner Pursues Legal Options To Prevent Syrian .....
* Illinois Governor Pushing for Workers' Compensa.....
* Illinois makes tax-break deals with 3 companies.....
* Illinois makes tax-break deals with 3 companies.....

* Amtrak ramps up service, offers tips for holiday travel
* EXCHANGE: Fire training buildings adapt to versatile needs
* Bishop Hill Museum acquires early painting by folk artist
* State treasurer to hold online auction of unclaimed property
* Man gets 16 years for sexually assaulting a woman he knew
* U of Illinois group looking for chancellor led by professor
* Illinois makes tax-break deals with 3 companies
* Suburban Chicago teacher sentenced for child pornography
* N. Illinois University removes Bibles from campus hotel
* Bridge connecting St. Louis, East St. Louis set to reopen

* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Number of Illinois inmates released on parole climbing
* Bryce Benton circulating petitions to challenge Sen. Sam McCann in GOP primary
* Executive Mansion roof repairs nearing completion
* Candidates begin filing petitions for March primary election
* Benton circulating petitions to challenge McCann in GOP primary
* Rauner administration says House Democrats holding local aid hostage
* Rauner says White House promises to answer refugee queries
* More honors for Auburn woman who saved man from train

* Shire prepares to make new bid for Baxalta
* Illinois makes tax-break deals with 3 companies
* America is thankful for ... stores open on Thanksgiving
* Four companies doing the right thing for shareholders
* American Chartered deal may be an outlier

* Mitchell: “Hideous” video tells an even more hideous story
* Marchers protest CPD handling of Laquan McDonald’s murder
* Mihalopoulos: Laquan McDonald video could define state’s attorney’s race
* Patrick Kane’s point streak nearing historic levels
* Uber cleared to serve O’Hare, Midway airports
* McCarthy: “Nonsense” to claim his firing of Dante Servin was politically timed
* Quickie quiz: Only player to score goal at United Center, Soldier Field and Wrigley Field?
* Black Caucus chairman: What took Alvarez so long to file charges?
* Veljko Paunovic announced as new Fire coach
* Blackhawks unveil Stadium Series uniforms

* 7 shot, 1 fatally, in shootings on the South Side
* Traffic halted, but few arrests, as hundreds march in Loop after video release
* Shooting video latest stain on Chicago's policing record
* A moment by moment account of what the Laquan McDonald video shows

* Michael Gerson: The Trump effect, still 'understated'
* Catherine Rampell: For millennials, first comes love — then what?
* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Number of Illinois inmates released on parole climbing
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Kathleen Parker: Crazy is as crazy does
* Bryce Benton circulating petitions to challenge Sen. Sam McCann in GOP primary
* Executive Mansion roof repairs nearing completion
* Candidates begin filing petitions for March primary election

* Teacher of the week: LaDonna Hackler
* On the money, Nov. 25, 2015
* Younger Generation: Celebrating the achievements of young adults in East Central Illinois
* Joan Griffis/Illinois Ancestors: Latest Illinois newsletter available online
* 'I'll just work until close to Christmas, then I'll quit'
* Neighbors: Recognizing accomplishments throughout our communities
* That's entertainment: Spotlighting events around the area
* Tom Kacich: Locked-out workers will take first day off picket
* Talking turkey
* Leonard Pitts Jr.: Red cups, Syria and fears

* Referees struggle with respect amid growing hostility
* Vanishing China execs a vexatious mystery for HK market
* Brussels schools reopen, manhunt ongoing for Paris suspects
* Stocks rise with eye on Mideast, Thanksgiving holiday
* Dynamo Kiev gets empty stadium order for racist fan attacks

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Rauner Says Homeland Security to Address S......

* Kirk co-authors Government Transformation ......

* Sunday posts, pics and tweets.
* “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
* Laquan McDonald Protesters Produce Traffic Chaos Tuesday Night
* 4635 Broadway Begins Its Renovation
* A violent overtone to this week of thanks; will it be ugly Black Friday?
* Random thoughts.
* The cover-up of the killing of Laquan McDonald.
* Tuesday filing, unfiling update
* Mid-century modern homes in Chatham
* Watch the Organization

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

    Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller