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The Chicago Daily Observer Mourns the Passing of Tom Roeser

Chicago Daily Observer 29 May 2011 15 Comments

Thomas F. Roeser, our Founder and Editorial Board Chairman has died today.

More details to follow

Our deepest sympathies to the Roeser family.
Requiescat in Pace


  • Jim Leahy said:

    Me, my wife Julie and children loved Tom Roeser and thank God for every day we knew him. Our prayers are with you Lil, and with Tom. Go with God and Thank You for everything you have done for me , my family and Illinois. People will now realize what your friends have known all along how important you were to the pro life and conservative movement. Tom was a teacher who helped steer some of us into the right direction, his work and lessons will be passed on to others. That’s the way he wanted it. I was proud when you called me your spiritual son and couldn’t have asked for a better mentor! I will miss you but will speak to you every time I pray.

    Jim Leahy and Family

  • Kate Magee said:

    My prayers for the family of Tom will be many at this time. My prayers for Tom will be to please Lord give him a hug and a thank you for all the many things he taught me through the years.He was the greatest teacher of history and politics. I will miss him.

  • rich s said:

    In addition to his advocacy, Mr. Roeser’s radio work with his pals, Matk, Stan, Tom Fleming and Jim was, at times, riveting. (And I go back to Howard Miller and Marty Faye!)

  • Jim Ridings said:

    Mr. Roeser knew, as Bishop Sheen has said, that right is right no matter how many people say otherwise, and wrong is wrong no matter how many people say otherwise. His basic beliefs were bedrock and did not change with shifting opinion; indeed, such truths are not subject to change with changing opinions. Mr. Roeser stood for something, and he was not shy in letting the public know about it. We need more people like him — not only people who stand firm in their beliefs, but who have the sense, the upbringing, and the intelligence to have the proper beliefs to start with. Rest in peace.

  • Pat Hickey said:

    God welcome a great Catholic gentleman and patriot.

  • Tony Joyce said:

    Tom Roeser was a real great guy, I will miss him on Sunday nights. I first heard Tom when He would come on Bruce Dumont’s radio show on WBEZ back in the early 80’s as the “Republican” who would do a Point Counterpoint on current politics with a
    Democrat. Over the years Toms role switched from Republican Activist/Insider/Outsider to Radio Host/ Commentator. I think Tom also had a role in helping a young Democrat named Rahm Emanuel, Tom spoke about how Rahm would beg him to get him on Bruce Dumont’s radio show, for those of you that remember Rahm did real good job going against the Republican (sometimes Tom) and Rahm always made a good show with his somewhat abrasive style. Tom never lost his moral compass. I will miss Tom.

    May the road rise to meet you,
    May the wind be always at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face,
    The rains fall soft upon your fields.
    And until we meet again,
    May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

    May God be with you and bless you:
    May you see your children’s children.
    May you be poor in misfortune,
    Rich in blessings.
    May you know nothing but happiness
    From this day forward.

    May the road rise up to meet you
    May the wind be always at your back
    May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
    And may the hand of a friend always be near.

    May green be the grass you walk on,
    May blue be the skies above you,
    May pure be the joys that surround you,
    May true be the hearts that love you.

  • Frank Avila said:

    Thomas Roeser–Requiescat in Pace

    Tom was a very generous man who always promoted me as his Democratic voice and had me on his radio show many times. We had a number of deep conversations about faith, philosophy and history as well as more temporal conversations about Chicago politics. We go to the same parish–St. John Cantius. The most important items to say about Tom is that he was dedicated to his wife Lillian and his Faith and ultimately to God. May Tom Roeser’s Memory be Eternal.


    In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem. Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere æternam habeas requiem.

    May angels lead you into paradise; upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem. May the ranks of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, the poor man, may you have eternal rest.

    Lux Aeternum

  • Gene Anderson said:

    Tom Roeser was the link my family kept with politics in Illinois while we live here in Taiwan. I was recording his Political Shoot-out via the live stream of WLS and we would all listen to it together on Monday evenings after work. I loved the way he pulled the same people into his show week after week via telephone calls or studio guests. It made the listener gradually feel a part of something more intimate than just a show about politics; the regular callers, the regular guests, and Tom himself all became more like people one had befriended. I’ve listened to my fair share of political-talk radio, but no other host treats guests of a different political persuasion with more respect and fairness than Tom did. May Tom rest in peace, and may God comfort his wife, family, and friends.

  • Richard P. Caro said:

    Tom with his wife Lilian usually attended the 11 A.M. Mass at St. John Cantius. After the Gospel was read there today, it was announced that Tom had died earlier this morning. This news was greeted sadly by all of us you knew, admired and loved him. He will be sorely missed by not only his family and friends but the many who listened and heeded his words of wisdom. His great smile, quick, astute mind, perceptive political sense and his strong faith were a lighthouse guiding us from rocky shoals and hidden dangers. Tom was unique and special and I am eternally grateful for the support he lent me professionally and personally.

    Richard Caro and the Caro Family

  • Dan Kelley said:

    I deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of Thomas F. Roeser.

    WLS Radio 890 AM is airing a tribute program tonight during what used to be Tom’s customary Sunday night slot. I was fortunate enough to appear on one of Tom’s last programs.

    I never imagined that Tom would not rebound once again, as he did so many times before. He battled back after being hospitalized so often in recent years.

    I have lost a friend and a mentor. Tom was the one who sought me out and encouraged me to resume writing four years ago.

    I am sure that Tom is in God’s loving embrace now. My prayers go out to his wife and family.

    I am confident in the Resurrection and that when the roll was called up yonder that Tom’s accounting was met with an affirmative response of “Well done, Good and Faithful Servant.”

  • Alf Siewers said:

    Memory eternal!
    Alf Siewers

  • Alderman Joe Moore said:

    Gene Anderson wrote: “I’ve listened to my fair share of political-talk radio, but no other host treats guests of a different political persuasion with more respect and fairness than Tom did.”

    I couldn’t agree more. As a frequent guest on Tom’s Sunday night talk show and an unapologetic liberal, I was always grateful that Tom gave me a fair and equal opportunity to express my views on the topics of the day before he and his largely conservative listenership would pounce on me. I am extremely honored to have been the guest (together with Phil O’Connor) on what turned out to be Tom’s final show. It was readily apparent he was suffering some health problems, but as soon as we went on the air, Tom was as sharp and lucid as any man thirty years his junior.

    Though we rarely agreed on the issues, I respected Tom’s unquestioned integrity and his willingness to call it as he saw it, even when it meant challenging the leaders of his political party and, yes, even the hierarchy of his church. Tom, I will miss you. Sunday nights will never be the same.

  • Daniel Arquilla said:

    I am saddened to learn this morning to Tom Roeser’s passing.

    A few years back, Tom had a series of blog postings on the parallel careers of Hubert Humphrey and Eugene McCarthy. Those postings made fascinating reading about two men who had a profound influence on American politics during the middle decades of the 20th century. I hope Tom’s account of those events will be preserved.

    My condolences to Tom’s family, friends, and colleagues. +Requiescat in pace, et omnes dicent, amen.

  • Carol Felsenthal said:

    I’ll miss seeing Tom Roeser on Sunday nights, and his lovely wife, Lil, who always accompanied him to the radio show at  the ABC-WLS studio on North State St.
    Theirs seemed to me like a model marriage of care and love and intelligence.  I often joked to Lil, who regularly let loose nuggets of political wisdom during commericial breaks, that she would be a as good or better a guest than most of Tom’s regulars.  (On my last appearance several weeks ago she mentioned something about Cheri Daniel’s, wife of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniel’s, that got me thinking about Cheri and will result in an interview this week with the wife of the man who seemed genuinely to want to run for President but couldn’t.)
    Tom was conservative to the core–also fair minded and, sometimes in agreement with liberal/progressive points of view.  For that reason, among many, it will be difficult for WLS’s Drew Hayes to replace him.  (I vote for Lillian Roeser.)  But then again there’s the tribute to Tom or anyone in a role like his:  He is, at the core, irreplaceable.

  • Senator Kirk Dillard said:

    Tom Roeser was a great man! His deep Catholic faith was an inspiration or model for me. He took the “good news” of the gospel to the world like it is..not a watered down “mushy moderate” version. He was witty, well read and a gruff, but sweet person. I cherished him as a friend, couselor and supporter. I will miss him deeply. My prayers for him(although he doesn’t need ‘em because he is definetly in Heaven) Lillian and the Roeser family.

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