Lake County Council honors former councilman Ferree
By rich Bird Post-Tribune correspondent July 15, 2012 8:48PM
Updated: July 16, 2012 11:21AM
CROWN POINT — The Lake County Council paused Tuesday to honor the life of Thurman Ferree, a former council member and state legislator.
Ferree, 80, of Highland died June 9 after a lifetime of public service.
According to the council’s resolution, Ferree was elected to the Highland Town Board in 1967, the Lake County Council’s 5th District in 1986, the State Senate’s 2nd District in 1988 and the Highland School Board in 1994. He also served on the Highland Sanitary Board.
He was a recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash Award and was known outside of public life as a coach of Highland Boys Little League and Babe Ruth baseball, Our Lady of Grace 8th-grade basketball, and he was an umpire and referee.
He also hosted a talk show for 15 years on WJOB, and was a regular commentator for local newspapers.
Councilman Dan Dernulc, who represents the same 5th District that Ferree served, said Ferree exemplified “the reason why all of us are here in public service.” Dernulc presented Ferree’s son Timothy with a copy of the signed resolution.
“On behalf of the family, I want to thank the council,” Timothy Ferree said. “There was one thing he loved. He loved Lake County politics. He always wanted to talk it. He always wanted to be around it.”
Lake County Surveyor George Van Til, who succeeded Ferree on the County Council, also spoke of Ferree’s contributions to local government.
“You can’t really in a few minutes say anything that does justice to him,” Van Til said. “He was so many things … he was intensely, intensely dedicated to what he thought was right, and we often talked about leaving a positive impact. We had many conversations about that …
“In the whole political firmament, there is a real hole since Thurm has been gone.”