In memory of Edward ‘Rosie’ Rosenthal (Non-fiction)


My friend Edward “Rosie” Rosenthal died last Thursday at the age of 69.

Ed Rosenthal was Mayor of Bolingbrook from 1981 to 1985.  Part of his legacy as mayor included Bolingbrook’s tornado sirens.  Ed’s term featured many infrastructure improvements for Bolingbrook, although he did have to deal with his then rival, Roger Claar, who was a trustee at the time.  (Now Claar is the current Mayor of Bolingbrook, and he eventually became one of Ed’s friends.)

I suspect Ed will be better remembered as a long time science teacher at Naperville North, as well as the coach of the Girl’s Golf Team. I’ve been moved reading the many testimonials from his former students and athletes.  Many still met up with him years after he retired, and his Facebook page is filled with comments from former students.

Ed was also involved with the National Educational Association and was a negotiator for Naperville’s teacher’s union.  I remember reading his quotes in the paper as contract talks were close to the deadline.  He struck me as someone always willing to fight for the best deal, even if that sometimes meant taking cuts.  After he retired, he remained active with the NEA.

When I first met Ed, I believed that he wasn’t quite sure what to make of one of his daughter’s friends from the Internet.  I think I won him over soon afterward.  He helped me get settled in the Chicago area, and we eventually became neighbors in Bolingbrook.  I also enjoyed Thanksgiving dinners with his family. Whenever I had a question about Bolingbrook politics, he was always willing to answer it—though I now I suspect that there was more he wanted to share with me.

Ed also liked it whenever I mentioned him in a Bolingbrook Babbler article.  He even shared my “Mayors of Bolingbrook” article about him.

Ed was a very kind and helpful person to not only me but to his family and many others.  I feel honored to have been friends with him and he was an asset to Bolingbrook.  I and many others will miss him.