"He was part of it all. He loved Grayslake deeply," said Kathe Rich of her father, Arthur "Kent" Rich, who passed away Sept. 3 following a three-year battle with cancer.
A memorial visitation for Rich will be held 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Strang Funeral Chapel & Crematorium located at 410 E. Belvidere Road, in Grayslake.
Rich, 81, was born in Libertyville, but was a lifelong Grayslake resident who served 42 years on the .
"He was the point person for our construction project," said Grayslake Library Director Roberta Thomas. "He and his wife (Karen) were on-site every day, in the rain, mud, snow and heat. He knew the history of the library and always brought a sense of perspective."
Thomas and Kathe Rich both said that as a library trustee, Kent Rich was a "master of meetings."
"He didn't like long-winded meetings. He liked to get down to business," said Thomas.
"He really loved the library," said Kathe Rich.
On Facebook, Kathe Rich wrote that her father built several ice boats which their family used in the winter, along with several sailboats and a dingy they enjoyed in the summer. The family is considering placing a memorial at the Grays Lake Lake Street access site, or perhaps at the library.
Rich loved to swim, said his daughter. When he couldn't find someone to teach him to swim as a child, Rich taught himself using the Encyclopedia Britannica Junior.
"We always thought that was hilarious," said Kathe Rich.
Rich also loved to teach, and spent his career with School District 96, where he taught seventh and eighth-grade math and science and later became a principal. He ended his career as Director of Facilities and Transportation.
"He was just a nice man who never had a mean word to say about anyone," said Kathe Rich.
With deep roots in the Grayslake community, Rich was known as a local historian who everyone went to with questions and for information.
In the 1800's, the Rich family homestead was located on Alleghany Road, wrote his daughter on Facebook.
"His grandfather and great grandfather built many of the houses in Grayslake (at the time), and lots of the barns in Lake County."
Rich was in the third class that graduated from the newly built and still socialized with the "Golden Oldies" on a regular basis, said Kathe Rich.
"He had a terrific memory and could pull old historical stuff out in about two seconds flat. As a result he got asked a lot of questions about old Grayslake!"
Rich is survived by his wife of 54 years, Karen Rich, daughter Kathe Rich, son Kent Rich and granddaughter Annie Rich.
Memorial contributions may be made to the family for presentation to the Grayslake Library as well as to enhance access to Grayslake. For further information, please call (847) 223-8122 or visit www.strangfuneral.org.