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Former CLC trustee and Round Lake mayor remembered for diplomacy

F. James Lumber 78 founding trustee College Lake County passed away Monday Dec. 2 2013. |  Submitted photo

F. James Lumber, 78, a founding trustee of the College of Lake County, passed away on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. | Submitted photo

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Updated: January 6, 2014 12:47PM



Visitation for former College of Lake County trustee and Round Lake Mayor F. James Lumber will be on Thursday, Dec. 5, in the foyer of the performing arts center named in his honor.

Lumber, 78, died Monday, Dec. 2, following what college officials described as a lengthy illness.

“This is a great loss to the CLC community,” said Amanda Howland, current chair of the college Board. “Jim Lumber was elected as a member to the very first board of trustees and helped hire the college’s first president and employees. He has left an indelible stamp on the college.”

Lumber served a total of 35 years on the Board, starting in 1967, two years before the college opened with 2,300 students and 234 courses. By the time he retired in 2003, enrollment topped 15,000.

In July 2001, Lumber was recognized by the Illinois Community College Trustees Association as one of three individuals in the state who served as a college trustee for more than 30 years.

“I enjoy the day-to-day problem solving,” Lumber told the News-Sun in an interview at the time. “You have to enjoy that to continue to serve this long. I like spontaneous dialogue among board members, and I find it exciting to be part of a board that sifts through different views to build a consensus.”

Lumber, an attorney with a practice in Antioch, left the CLC Board in 1976 to launch what turned out to be an unsuccessful run for Congress. He returned to the board in 1977 and simultaneously served as mayor of Round Lake from 1989 to 2001.

Following Lumber’s 2003 retirement, the Board voted to put his name on the Grayslake campus’ new performing arts center. College officials remembered him this week for his people skills.

“Jim was the first board chairman because of his great diplomacy and ability to work with people,” Trustee Richard Anderson said. “He was a mentor to me, and when I was a young trustee coming onto the board, took me under his wing, going out of his way to teach me what trustees should know. He was a real gentleman for whom I had great respect. I looked up to him.”

CLC President Jerry Weber described Lumber as “a great ambassador for the college. People were very drawn to his kindness. He and his wife Barbara Lumber were very gracious to my wife and me when we arrived in Lake County. They really helped us feel welcome.”

According to a statement issued Tuesday by the college, Lumber’s visitation will be held in the arts center from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday. Funeral Mass is scheduled at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Round Lake.

Lumber is survived by his wife Barbara; sons James and Robert; daughter-in-law Chris; grandchildren James, Jonathan, Alison, Lauren and Timothy; brother John; and sisters Charlene Van Kirk and Mary Olander.

In lieu of flowers, donations in James Lumber’s name can be made to the CLC Foundation.



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