Jassen Strokosch thanks public for search effort

Oak Park dad makes first public comments following last week's disappearance

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

An Oak Park dad who went missing for a few days last week made his first public comments Monday night, thanking friends, neighbors and “kind strangers” for the three-day search for him that ended Friday.

Jassen Strokosch, 39, disappeared the morning of Wednesday, July 20, setting off a public search effort that had volunteers passing out fliers all over the area, and people scouring the Thatcher Woods Forest Preserve for his whereabouts. That ended Friday, as friends and family announced that Strokosch was found alive, and was at a local hospital.

Strokosch — a father of two, who recently gained local attention for his leadership in a campaign to support the District 97 referendum — and his family have asked the public for privacy following his reappearance on Friday. But the following message from Strokosch was posted on Facebook Monday night, before the page that was setup for the search effort was taken down shortly after:

Dear friends, neighbors and kind strangers,

I am indescribably touched and humbled by the selfless help you provided in the search for me and most importantly in buoying my family in my absence, from giving them moral support through words and actions, to taking in our two wonderful kids and cooking meals. To those who searched tirelessly, a million thanks. I can never thank you properly, but my gratefulness will never fade. I also want to apologize for the disturbance the past days created. As thankful as I am for the awe-inspiring response, I am sorry so many of you had to set aside work and your loved ones for the sake of our family. But this is what makes Oak Park and communities like it so special, because we stick with each other. I feel honored and fortunate to call Oak Park home. And to those of you who inquired and helped from thousands of miles away, you proved that distance is only physical. It has been hard for a private person like me to have such a difficult chapter in our lives play out publicly. This was a personal issue that reached a crisis point. And now my family and I are receiving help to deal with it and move on. Please know we have what we need, which is first and foremost each other. There will never been enough time and words to express the love and deep gratitude I feel for all of you. Thanking you from the bottom of my heart is the best I can do.

P.S. I expect to take a break from the online world for some time to focus on this one, so please do not be offended if I do not respond to posts here. I look forward to seeing all of you soon.

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Reader Comments

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Middle-aged mom from oak park  

Posted: July 26th, 2011 6:39 PM

It was encouraging to read Jassen's note and I wish him the best. I'm glad the Wednesday Journal published it. Many here became concerned for his welfare after receiving the District 97 listserv appeal for help in their inboxes, and hearing from Jassen in his own words provides welcome closure.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: July 26th, 2011 3:56 PM

Please allow this man and his family to heal in peace.


Posted: July 26th, 2011 10:49 AM

I hope Jassen wanted this to appear on Oakpark.com.

Jennie from Oak Park  

Posted: July 26th, 2011 10:21 AM

that is the most amazing 'bravest face' I have seen in a while. wishing you continued strength on your healing road. I love Oak Park.

Kathleen Lee from Oak Park  

Posted: July 26th, 2011 10:11 AM

This community would have done nothing less for you, or anyone else in peril. Jassen, thank you for all you have done for this community, and all that we know you will continue to do. This is the first day of the rest of your life. Hug tht family of yours and enjoy the day. We are blessed to have you as a neighbor and resident of Oak Park. Best wishes to you and yours.

Everyday Person from Oak Park  

Posted: July 26th, 2011 2:14 AM

Jassen, I do not know you--but thanks for reminding me and others of what a great place we live in. We should never forget that there is always someone that could use a helping hand.

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