D97 school board member Peter Traczyk's death ruled as suicide

Friends, colleagues remember 'remarkable citizen of Oak Park'

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By Jean Lotus, Michael Romain, Tim Inklebarger and Dan Haley

The Cook County Medical Examiner's office determined Sunday afternoon that the death of Oak Park school leader Peter Traczyk on Saturday was from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Traczyk's body was discovered by a passerby at 11:50 a.m. Saturday in a field of the Forest Preserve on North Avenue near First Avenue, the  medical examiner's office said. Traczyk, 48, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Traczyk's family issued a statement on his passing Sunday morning.

"We are deeply saddened by the profound loss of our loving husband and father, Peter Traczyk," the statement reads. "Peter was also a wonderful neighbor and a remarkable citizen of the Village of Oak Park, and we know that Peter's many friends will remember him fondly for his warmth, his generosity and his contagious laugh. We will miss him more than words can convey, and we ask that you respect the family's request for privacy at this time."

Traczyk is survived by his wife Cindy and three children who attend either OPRF or Percy Julian Middle School.

Traczyk served as a District 97 school board member since 2007. He served two years as board president. He was a candidate for the Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 school board in the April 7 elections.

Traczyk lived in the 300 block of North Scoville Avenue. According to the D97 website, he worked as a certified financial planner with ING Financial Advisers, LLC. Traczyk served as board president when the district successfully passed a referendum in 2011. He was also influential in the most recent D97 teacher contract negotiations.

Village President Anan Abu-Taleb released a statement mourning the loss of Traczyk.

"Peter loved Oak Park," Abu-Taleb said. "His contributions to our schools and village made our community a better place."

Abu-Taleb noted that he had met with Traczyk last Tuesday to work on "parking solutions for a local business." 

"We stood outside the school discussing ideas with the business owner and the village manager. I am so grateful for that meeting, as I hadn't seen him for about a month before that. Every time I met with Peter, I was inspired by his sense of commitment and desire to help others," he said. 

Abu-Taleb noted that Traczyk was instrumental in negotiations between the village and D97 last year over construction of a new administration building for the school district.

"He was a creative negotiator -- informed, fair-minded and solution-oriented. He was a true leader," Abu-Taleb said.

An official statement issued by the D97 Board of Education registered the shock of his elected colleagues.

"We are incredibly shocked and saddened by the tragic passing of our friend and colleague Peter Traczyk. There are no words that can truly express the enormity of this loss for our district and community," it reads.

"Peter was a dedicated public servant whose passion, altruism and leadership had a profound and lasting impact not only on our schools, but on the entire Village of Oak Park. We will miss his brilliance and infectious sense of humor, which left an indelible mark on all who had the great honor and privilege of serving alongside him on the board during the past eight years. We will also always remember and be inspired by the strong work ethic, integrity and tireless commitment he displayed on a daily basis."

The Oak Park Teachers Association issued the following statement: 

The leaders and members of the Oak Park Teachers' Association wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the Traczyk family at this very difficult time.  Peter was a wonderful board member, a true leader, a problem solver and a good friend to all who knew him.  The school district is a better place for children because of his dedication, commitment and legacy of service.  It is a very sad day for all of us.  We extend our sympathy and prayers to his family.

Reader Comments

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OP Transplant  

Posted: February 19th, 2015 10:06 AM

Rusty-I'd also suggest that a woman was recently murdered in Bali, and speculation about the events leading up to her no-less-tragic death filled both this paper and the comment section. Whether this type of conjecture is ever appropriate is a separate question, but the WJ's editorial policy tends to vary from individual to individual. They're certainly more protective of some people than others.

Rusty from Oak Park   

Posted: February 19th, 2015 8:00 AM

I understand why asking about motives might be seen as inappropriate but it's also natural. If a well-regarded Oak Parker was suddenly murdered in a seemingly non-random act, we would all be speculating on why. Yet in suicide, we aren't allowed to do so. You can't prevent murder the way you can prevent suicide. The causes of one person's suicide are often very similar to those of another person. We can't understand suicide if we have a stigma about talking about those who have gone. Just my 2c.

Crybabies from Wed Journal  

Posted: February 16th, 2015 1:34 PM

Yes, it looks like the WJ could not take the heat from its own customers in that article so it took its ball and went home. Becoming readily apparent that the WJ can and will do what it can to protect some people versus others in this town. It is disgusting that they get 1st Amendment protection to do so. Really sad.

Brian Slowiak from Westchester  

Posted: February 16th, 2015 7:37 AM

2 Answers: You caught the paper and community in the worst position, the double standard. Agenda and being on the inside, control take precedent over the truth, the right to know, or the papers 1st Amendment responsibility .The paper and the community will not admit this.Ever. Keep up the good work.

Answers  

Posted: February 15th, 2015 6:01 PM

When this same paper covered the suicide of former OP Cop Downs, it reported info which gave a logical answer as to why. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/8-18-2009/Retired-Oak-Park-cop%27s-death-ruled-a-suicide/

oak parker from oak park  

Posted: February 13th, 2015 8:54 AM

As silly as I think the speculation is, I think it's typical of oakpark.com and because of that, oddly reassuring. Maybe life will get back to normal, after all. May Peter's memory be a blessing to all of us. I hope he's up there somewhere laughing that infectious laugh, saying, "There they go again..."

OP Res 253  

Posted: February 13th, 2015 7:17 AM

We are all shocked, but no own doubts that Peter was devoted to his family. Clearly, he thought his dying would hurt less than if he lived. Cannot possibly be true, but do not try to undue whatever shield he tried to provide by his sacrifice, and add further to their pain. If only this were fiction, and Clarence's were real. I suspect that this town would rally mightily, as Peter Traczyk was rather our own George Bailey. Of course, Potters live here too...let it go.

Neighbor from Oak Park  

Posted: February 12th, 2015 8:57 PM

Suicide affects many people in a community profoundly (even in this instance those of us who were not fortunate enough to have known Mr.. Traczyk personally). The trauma reverberates on many levels. Looking for meaning isn't always gossip and speculation. However our need for meaning is only secondary or less than the family's right to privacy now. God bless.

Anna  

Posted: February 12th, 2015 7:29 PM

Of course this is a tragedy, especially for his family and those who knew him best. I never met him but have felt sorrow for him and them, since hearing about this. For those of you that say this is something the public here in our little village have no business wondering about, you are wrong! We followed him in the public forums he choose to participate in. Wether we voted for or against him doesn't matter. We are all troubled by his sad end, whatever the cause. It is natural to want answers.

Journal reader  

Posted: February 12th, 2015 5:30 PM

Of course this is a tragedy for his wife and, especially, his children. And of course nobody would wish them any more pain. At the same time, the Journal's reporting has been unusually superficial. Peter lived a very public life so it should not come as a surprise that members of the public are trying to understand what could have happened.

Mark Twain  

Posted: February 12th, 2015 3:42 PM

Uh, Mr. Peppard, that was my line.

Kevin Peppard from Oak Park  

Posted: February 12th, 2015 3:18 PM

@Answers: Take a lesson from my friend the late George Parry of River Forest, in one of his masterful one-liners: "Never get in a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel."

Answers  

Posted: February 12th, 2015 2:46 PM

Thank You Dan. Speculation is what I was trying to AVOID

Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal Wednesday Journal Employee

Posted: February 12th, 2015 2:20 PM

Dear Answers. This is your fourth or fifth time around at asking similar questions. Most of your previous comments have been removed because this forum is not going to be used for speculation. It just isn't. For us this is a unique situation. Yes, Peter Traczyk was a public figure. And that is why we have reported on his death. Our policy is that we will report on a death by suicide if it is a public figure or takes place in a public place, hence the coverage a few years back of the death in the front window at the Cartridge World store. But beyond being an elected official, Mr. Traczyk was also a father and husband and soccer coach in a small community and that reality deserves respect and some level of privacy. If you have read our news coverage you would see that we have inquired about a suicide note. We will continue to do basic reporting on this story. But if, as you say, this situation lacks "logical answers" and "It just doesn't add up from the outside," consider the possibility that there aren't logical answers and that it most certainly doesn't add up from the inside either. Engaging in speculation on a public web forum has no purpose except to add to the pain. We won't be a party to that.

Answers  

Posted: February 12th, 2015 1:42 PM

Does the public via the media have any right to know any logical answers in this situation or any other public persons suicide? It just doesnt add up from the outside.

Merriweather  

Posted: February 11th, 2015 3:18 PM

The Journal is certainly showing more restraint than they did a few years back when the local Cartridge World franchise owner committed suicide. Makes me wonder if they've actually learned something about respecting boundaries.

Mike from Oak Park  

Posted: February 11th, 2015 1:35 PM

5 articles which all noted how great a person Peter was, also noted that this was suicide. Understanding who he left notes for, if any, is personal and none of your business.

Answers  

Posted: February 11th, 2015 8:21 AM

5 plus articles on the person is not voyeurism. Its understanding that people desire. We as a society tend to look the other way when it involves suicide. Sad

clancy  

Posted: February 10th, 2015 8:20 PM

Sometimes, there is a thing called human decency. Regretfully, your voyeuristic wishes may not be answered. I did not always sit on the same side of the fence as this man but he was a decent person and this is a tragic loss. Why not donate $ to your favorite mental health cause rather than gossip.

Note  

Posted: February 10th, 2015 8:01 PM

Sometimes there are things called suicide notes. If the story is all over the news, then the question remains. This isnt the first time a newspaper has covered a suicide of a public figure. Does the media answer those questions? Yes. To everyones liking? Maybe not. Dont act like its so strange that people are wondering and having questions that maybe someone knows answers to. The family is absolutely entitled to mourn in privacy. Getting more info, if it exists, doesnt interrupt that.

OP Res 253  

Posted: February 10th, 2015 6:49 PM

Stop. Because he was willing to serve on a board, and the community wished him to do so, does not in anyway entitle any one to scrape their grubby fingers through his life, and speculate about what was in his heart, mind and soul. It is beyond inappropriate, it is inhumane.

theresa broderick from oak park  

Posted: February 10th, 2015 5:37 PM

his family member is absolutely right....why this happened is really no ones business. public servant or not., His family and friends deserve to be able to grieve in peace...

A family member from connecticut  

Posted: February 10th, 2015 4:55 PM

He was a great guy, and had everything going for him,but we don't ask why in a public forum. Why don't we ask? Because no one knows and his family is struggling enough trying to understand without out the question being discussed where his siblings, children and friends have to read about it. Please have the compassion to let us grieve without your speculation. The entire Traczyk family

OP Res 253  

Posted: February 10th, 2015 4:45 PM

Pater was such a committed, brilliant and genuinely kind man. Even when we found ourselves on different sides of issues, he always treated everyone with the respect and interest that has earned him such universal admiration and respect. His wonderful family are due privacy, support and nothing but good things from a community to whom the have given so very much.

A Friend  

Posted: February 10th, 2015 4:20 PM

Why this happened is none of our business. Of course we are all asking ourselves how something like this could happen and whether anyone could have done something to stop it. Peter's friends and family are heartbroken but speculating in the comments section of the local paper is not going to help anyone understand this terrible tragedy. Put yourself in the place of his family and mind your own business!

theresa broderick  

Posted: February 10th, 2015 11:23 AM

"Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you all. If you can only remember me with tears, then don't remember me at all." this is a quote by laura ingalls wilder...I think that this is how peter would want us to remember him...with smiles and laughter...as..he always had a smile for everyone even if you had not seen him in months...He never forgot a face

Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal  

Posted: February 10th, 2015 8:48 AM

Your comment was removed because this is not a place to indulge in speculation.

Answers  

Posted: February 10th, 2015 8:43 AM

What happened to my comment? Is this China?

Melissa Marshall from Forest Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2015 7:29 AM

Very saddened by this news and praying for Cindy and family.

Ellen  

Posted: February 9th, 2015 8:09 PM

May his life, love, and legacy live on in the hearts of all who love and knew him. Rest in peace Mr. Traczyk.

ellen  

Posted: February 9th, 2015 8:06 PM

My his life, love, and legacy live on in the hearts of all who love and knew him. Rest in peace Mr. Traczyk.

Wolf from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2015 7:45 PM

I am deeply saddened by this news, and being told this in class, was quite a surprise. But I am very sorry for this loss, and he was an amazing man.

Camille Baxter from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2015 3:37 PM

My son played baseball and soccer with the Traczyks oldest son. Peter and Cindy opened their homes to host our soccer end of year party several times. My heart goes out to the family as they move through this difficult time. So incredibly sorry for your loss.

George Irving Thompson from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 9th, 2015 2:48 PM

I knew Peter as a fellow member of the board of trustees at Grace Lutheran Church. This event is very hard to accept as Peter was a very nice and caring person who seemed so capable and dynamic. He volunteered actively and selflessly. I am proud to be a friend (of apparently many, many friends) and can only pray for an understanding of how this could happen. Mental health is so important to all of us and can be so difficult to understand. I hope this tragic event can in some way help all of us to seek help when we need help, and be able give help when it is needed. My sincere prayers and thoughts are for his family.

Paul from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2015 10:17 AM

Peter's Path On a cold February night On the path that he had cleared for us Dark under a waning moon Shivering we wept Bending to light a flame the chill wind could not extinguish To honor our friend's memory To comfort his family To burn away our pain It took a village Remember his laugh Bold, contagious, impossible to ignore the voice of a caring spirit the expression of a generous heart On the path that he had cleared for us

Tammy Schulz from Oak Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2015 8:33 AM

I always considered Peter an ally on the school board, a friend who was looking out for my children's best as well as the best for his and others. With continued prayers for peace and comfort for Cindy and kids - we share in your loss.

Deb Quantock McCarey from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 9th, 2015 8:00 AM

While I did not personally know Peter, I am among the many who were touched by his warm, vibrant spirit and tireless dedication to public service.

Ellen Mrazek from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 10:50 PM

Always a kind word from Peter. May his smile and sparkle live on in those who had the privilege of knowing him.

Nick from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 9:29 PM

Our family very recently moved to the 300 north block of Scoville. Within minutes, Peter had marched across the street to say hello and introduce us to our new neighbors. He was an absolutely delightful person, with an easy laugh and a fantastic sense of humor. We also came to learn that he had deep friendships with many and had earned the fierce loyalty and respect of the community he served. Our hearts ache for his family, friends, and all those who knew and loved him.

Arti W. from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 8:23 PM

Our thoughts and our prayers are with Cindy and the family. Peter's children are the most thoughtful, and respectful kids I know. The community will miss this wonderful man.

Kate Todd from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 8:06 PM

Glad to have known Peter a great guy. Our thoughts are with Cindy and the kids on this sad news.

laura V from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 7:41 PM

So sad. Clearly a monumental loss for his family and our community.

Cindy Richards from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 7:10 PM

This makes my heart hurt. Deepest, deepest sympathy to Cindy and the kids. Rest in peace, Peter.

Kevin Anderson  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 5:57 PM

Rest in peace, Peter. You will be missed!

Ronald Lawless from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 4:59 PM

The life of Peter Traczyk is now placed in the memory of those who knew him and loved him. He now belongs to the angels and God. May his family find the peace to deal with their lost.

Michelle Vanderlaan from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 4:30 PM

We are so sadden to hear this news. Our heart and prayers go out to Peter's family. Peter made such an impact on the school board and the many initiatives he championed. This is a tremendous loss for our entire community.

Gloria Engstrom from Oakton, VA  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 4:22 PM

As a retired Beye School teacher, I had the privilege of knowing Peter Traczyk as a parent and also as a board member. He and Cindy were wonderful, caring, involved parents! As a board member, his was always a voice of reason. He was able to see issues from all sides--how they affected teachers, students, parents, and community members. I am sending prayers and sympathy to his family.

Vicki Rohner  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 4:15 PM

We recently moved to the 300 block of Scoville. On the first "snow day" we were surprised to see that someone had snow blown the entire block. And the same thing happened on the next snow day, and the next. A neighbor just smiled and said, "it's Peter." Although I was never lucky enough to meet Peter, clearly he was a generous and special man. We are so sorry for his family.

Janet Haisman from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 3:52 PM

This is the first set of comments I have ever read that are in complete support of this family and in shock that something like this could happen to such an apparently wonderful person. My husband and I are incredibly touched by the comments here and only wish we had known the man. Our prayers are with the family. May his legacy of love for them and his standing in the community sustain them in their grief.

theresa broderic  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 3:15 PM

I echo the sentiment of the previous commentors. Peter was an amazing man with an infectious smile and a kind word. His loss is a loss for all of Oak park. my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Pete and Jane Karnowski from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 3:13 PM

A short visit with Peter during mundane errands around town could make your day. He'll be remembered always for that warm smile, service to this community--including coaching youth sports--and as a family man. Peace to you, Peter.

Becky from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 2:45 PM

There are no words to describe the shock and sadness our family feels about the passing of Peter Traczyk. Our sons were at Beye together and Peter was a very present dad at the school. Always a ready smile and a willingness to help out. Our deepest sympathy to the family. .

Gary Cuneen from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 2:42 PM

I am so deeply saddened by the loss of Peter. One of the most genuine, straight forward, funny, and effective leaders and human beings I have experienced. Having trouble grappling with this. Love and prayers to Peter's family.

Barbara Di Eugenio and Milos Zefran from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 2:26 PM

We remember the Traczyk family from Beye School and from the gymnastics team. One vivid memory is from a forum on the referendum a few years back, when Peter cogently explained the ramifications of voting against it, using his knowledge of finance in service of our kids' best interest. Deepest condolences to his family.

D97 Teacher  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 2:26 PM

I opened my District 97 email and am in total shock of the passing of Mr. Traczyk. He was a wonderful board member and worked tirelessly for the students of District 97. My heartfelt sympathy to his family.

Ana Chavarria from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 1:51 PM

Our condolences to Peter's family. Oak Park was a better place because of Peter Traczyk.

Galen Gockel from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 1:36 PM

Good night good friend. May flights of angels sing you to eternal rest.

Julie Sigunick from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 1:32 PM

Peter was a wonderful man and a great dad. Always so involved not only with his own children but on behalf of all of the children in D97 schools. I am blessed to have known him. I am heartbroken to hear about this tragic loss and am sending love and prayers to Cindy and his three beautiful children. May his memory always be a blessing.

Teresa Powell from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 1:00 PM

What a terribly sad day for Peter's family, for all who knew and loved him and for the residents of Oak Park, especially the children and teachers at D97 whom he served so well. We are all grieving.

Lillie Sheridan   

Posted: February 8th, 2015 12:44 PM

Peter Traczyk was one of nicest people I've met. I remember in fifth grade, his daughter and I wanted to be salt and pepper for Halloween so he agreed to "help us" make the costumes, when in reality we did virtually nothing. He took cardboard boxes, folded and painted them and made us into beautiful salt and pepper shakers. I was so excited to wear those costumes to school and everyone loved them. I still have mine in my basement. I send my love to the whole family.

Dan Burke and Margot McMahon from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 12:08 PM

Peter's incredible public service to advance the education of all Oak Park children was rooted in a deep and abiding love of his family and children. We will always fondly remember the joy he brought to the Beye school playground, school board and the love he shared for his family and for our community. Our prayers are with Peter's loving family.

Leah KIndler from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 11:50 AM

I'm a friend of Peter's daughter, and I remember I was at the country club with their family once when I was feeling under-dressed and uncomfortable. Peter went out of his way to make me feel better by repeatedly offering to drive me home. One of the best, most supportive loving, and good-humored dads I've ever met. Rest in peace.

Peter Barber from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 11:46 AM

i am truly, deeply saddened. Sending lots of thoughts and prayers to Cindy and the kids.

Wendy Daniels from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 11:27 AM

I am deeply saddened by the news of Peter's passing. I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments already expressed. I can't help but think of the last 12 years knowing him, and the many interactions we had beginning with the Beye School PTO until last week when I said "of course you can post your D200 board candidate sign in my yard." I will miss him greatly as will so many others. Our family's heartfelt condolences are with Cindy and the kids. We are praying for you.

Kathleen Lee from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 10:43 AM

Thinking of the Traczyk family with a very heavy heart today. It's inconceivable. I also echo the sentiments below. There honestly couldn't have been a nicer family around, and a more dedicated community member. I am praying that his wife and children find the strength they need at this time. If anyone hears of a fund being set up, please post info.

citizen  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 10:39 AM

Prayers to Peters family and friends.God rest his soul

laura from oak park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 10:30 AM

We are deeply saddened and shocked from this news and hold our thoughts for the family at this time. Peter was a kind, giving and generous person-always seeing him at Beye School and around town contributing to our village in one way or another.

Emi Preys from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 10:11 AM

This is beyond comprehension. What a great loss for everyone in the community. Having known Peter since our children were at Beye School, it is difficult to imagine him not being at school advocating for our children and volunteering next to all of us. I echo everyone else's sentiments, and am already missing his ready smile and genuine, generous, and caring personality. Deepest sympathy to Cindy and family - my thoughts and prayers are with you.

P. Aeschleman from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 9:58 AM

Tragic news, Many prayers for the Traczyk family this morning. Peter's thoughtful, balanced, community focused comments will be missed by OP. I recenctly saw Peter as he was digging out a sidewalk crossing near the high school so the students could cross. His comment as he dug through mound of hard snow, "Just doing a little to help out" Peter your "Help" will be missed.

Janet Barnstable from Addison  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 9:41 AM

I only knew Peter briefly before retiring from D97. I can say that even in that brief time, I knew him as a man who would genuinely listen. A rare thing today. He was always thoughtful in his responses.

Jan Pate from Louisville, CO  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 9:40 AM

I simply can't believe this news. What a sad day for Oak Park. Peter was a dedicated community leader, and I was proud to call him my friend.

Marty Bracco from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 9:34 AM

This is beyond sad. Our prayers to his family. I knew Peter to be a caring, friendly,intelligent, engaged gentleman and public servant who always kept the needs of the community as a whole at the forefront. He gave selflessly of his time, talent, and treasure. He will be greatly missed.

Libbey Paul from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 9:34 AM

I echo the many comments below. I am stunned at this awful news. Peter was a man who lead with integrity and humor, bringing out good things in others. This community will miss the many contributions he was sure to make in the years to come. My thoughts are with his wonderful family.

Alanna Sullivan from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 9:19 AM

I am just...stunned! What horrible news! My thoughts and prayers are with Peter's family.

Marge Epstein from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 9:12 AM

Can't get past being stunned and shocked. Peter was a dedicated Public Servant and a good friend. What a loss for our community. My thoughts are with Cindy and the kids. Peter will be forever remembered for his generosity of spirit , his zest for life, perseverance and commitment . Also for his smile.

Carollina Song from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 8:59 AM

Devastating news. Peter was a steadfast public servant who has had an enormous impact on our community. What I will really remember, though, is the dedicated dad whose joyful, booming laughter still rings in my head when his name comes up. There is just no way we should be having to use the past tense when talking about Peter Traczyk.

Marcia Frank from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 8:50 AM

Truly a loss for Oak Park. He was an honorable and hard-working person who valued so much in life. He was a true leader in every sense. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Andrea Ott from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 8:30 AM

I am at a loss for words. Peter was a good, kind, man, with a selfless dedication to Oak Park. He will be greatly missed. My prayers are with his family.

Crystal from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 8:21 AM

I am in complete shock the Traczyk Family are such wonderful people. Peter has done so much for our District. The family is in my prayers.

Angie Dodd from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 8:17 AM

Peter was key in shaping our community and our schools. I will miss him as a leader and a friend.

lisa lombard from oak park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 8:09 AM

An extraordinarily sad loss for family, friends, and community.

Ray Johnson from Long Island City  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 7:49 AM

This loss hurts so much. My thoughts are with Peter's family. As I reflect on the many meetings Peter attended, he was always striving to do the right thing for the greatest good. He helped move Oak Park forward in so many ways and will be deeply missed.

Jacek Lazarczyk from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 7:48 AM

What a shock. What a kind, wonderful man he was with kind, wonderful family.

Joel D'Alba from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 7:36 AM

His contributions to the school district are very impressive, especially in the areas of finance and collective bargaining negotiations. I know him as a wonderful man and neighbor, especially during the winter storms. He was always clearing the sidewalks with his powerful snow blower - a great contribution up and down the block - three times last Sunday. What a shock and tragic loss! My sincere condolences to his family, friends and neighbors. Joel D'Alba

Jessica Mott Bullock from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 7:32 AM

Peter was a great public servant. He will be missed.

Mariannell Bassett-Dilley from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 5:58 AM

This is a horrible shock and a true loss to the community. He was a dedicated father and a generous citizen.

Oak Parker from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 3:13 AM

Such terrible news. Peter was a kind and generous person, honest with a ready smile and always ready and willing to help. Our schools, children, teachers, administrators, and parents owe him a debt of gratitude for his tireless service. Our town is a sadder place without him.

Gail Mran from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 1:01 AM

I feel sick - what a tragedy. My heart goes out to his family!

Kevin Peppard from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 12:52 AM

What a shock. I had only recently come to know Peter Traczyk. He was an extremely active contributor to the D200 Financial Advisory and Pool Site Committees. Recently, he e-mailed me that he could not attend a school finance workshop on February 15, because he would be out of town on a family commitment, but he wanted me to send him the materials anyway. He seemed to have a lot to look forward to. He was very knowledgeable on public affairs.

Karen Brown Daily from Oak Park , IL  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 12:47 AM

Heavy, heavy heart. Great leader...great man.

Bill Clark from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2015 12:15 AM

What a terrible tragedy. Peter was a wonderful man who served with his heart and soul on the board of District 97 and was planning to run for District 200's board. He was instrumental in successfully negotiating D97's teacher's contract. Prayers go out to his wife and children.

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