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Past president Epstein dies at age 85

Edward C. Epstein, 85, of Park Forest, and former president of the Illinois Association of School Boards, died Friday, Nov. 2, 2007.

He served as a school board member in Crete-Monee CUSD 201-U from 1958 to 1976, including 10 years as board president. He was president of the IASB board of directors in 1972-73 and was one of its oldest surviving members.

Epstein noted a few years ago that "the most important board action during my tenure was hiring Hal Seamon as executive director (of IASB, 1973-1989)." He also worked to develop more unit districts in the state, which he said, "operating under one organizational structure provide a continuum of education throughout the district. But getting boundaries of villages and other taxing bodies to align with school district boundaries is a hard thing to do, whether it's in Park Forest or anywhere in Illinois."

As a past president, Epstein was a founding member of IASB's "Old Goat's Club," which gathers annually at the Joint Annual Conference to socialize "and to hear and talk about issues that we were (also) talking about years ago," he said.

During his school board tenure, Epstein also served as chairman of the central region of the National School Boards Association, a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Governor's Commission on Educational Governance.

An engineer, Epstein was employed by the FMC Corporation for 46 years, and served an additional 15 years as a consultant. He served his country as a Marine during World War II and the Korean War.

He is survived by a son, two daughters, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His wife Marcella preceded him in death last month. Cremation rites have been held through Lain-Sullivan Funeral Home and Crematory, and a memorial service is being planned for April 2008. Inurnment will be in Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Elwood, IL.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Mary Church, 227 Monee Road, Park Forest, IL., 60466.

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