Waukegan business icon, community leader dies
News-Sun staff report October 14, 2012 6:54PM
Updated: November 16, 2012 6:17AM
Waukegan business icon and lifetime resident Fred Abdula was surrounded by family and loved ones when he passed away from an illness last Friday.
He was 87 years old. Funeral arrangements are pending through Marsh Funeral Home in Gurnee. Among his many survivors are his wife Anna Marie, plus twin sons Michael and Patrick, and daughters Lisa and Linda.
Abdula was one of the Waukegan community’s shining lights in business and was held in such high regard that a portion of Roger Edwards Avenue that leads into the NorStates Bank facility has been dedicated as “Fred Abdula Honorary Avenue.”
He was the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Northern Financial Corp., which is the parent company of NorStates Bank. The bank board has named its main facility on Lewis Avenue in Waukegan, which doubles as corporate headquarters, in his honor with a plaque bearing his picture.
Mr. Abdula also was known for being a lynchpin in the bringing the Genesee Theatre back to life in Waukegan.
Under Abdula, the bank in 1982 became the first in Lake County to install an ATM. In 2005, it acquired the First State Bank of Round Lake. It changed its name in that year to NorStates to show it has grown beyond the borders of Waukegan. In addition to Waukegan, NorStates has locations in Gurnee, Round Lake, Antioch and Winthrop Harbor.