Tribute To Commissioner Richard J. Drazner
The Buffalo Grove Park District Board of Commissioners and staff are mourning the sudden loss of Commissioner Richard (Rick) Drazner.
Rick had served on the Buffalo Grove Park District Board of Commissioners for 20 years, and was just reelected to another term on April 2.
During his many years on the Park Board, Rick was a strong advocate for people with disabilities, as well as for the arts. He was most proud of Kendrigan Field at Twin Creeks Park that Buddy Baseball uses, and bringing the Community Arts Center to Buffalo Grove.
Rick was a kind person, who loved to make people laugh. His leadership within the community wasn’t limited to the Park District; he was a member of the Buffalo Grove Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Buffalo Grove for many years, having served at one point as president of both organizations.
The Buffalo Grove Park District will forever be affected and impacted by the contributions of Rick Drazner.
It’s hard to believe he is gone. In a flash of time everything has changed. Reminds us of how precious our lives, our families and our friends are to us. I will miss my friend Rick. His humor, his kindness and his spirit are never to be forgotten. Our community has lost a friend. May he be at peace. -Scott Jacobson, Park Board Commissioner
I miss you my friend. Rick was so kind, thoughtful, supportive, friendly, caring, brilliant and funny. I had the privilege of serving on the Buffalo Grove Park District Board of Commissioners with Rick, and will cherish our collective success in ensuring the growth and development of our great parks, facilities and programs. I miss his signature warm smile, his weekly calls, and attending events with my dear friend. I especially enjoyed spending time with Rick at various Park District events and the Buddy Baseball Game during BG Days. Rick was one of those unsung heroes who made our community better. I thank God for the gift of Rick. Rest In Peace my friend. -Adriane Johnson, Park Board Commissioner
I am deeply saddened of the loss of my fellow commissioner Rick Drazner. I’ve known Rick through the community prior to joining the Board, and admired his dedication to the Park District, Rotary and community. I will miss his jokes and laughter. I will miss his guidance in learning the ropes. Thank you Rick for your passion and dedication. Your memory will live on through all of us. -Tracy Bragg, Park Board Commissioner
Rick was a very special person who cared deeply about making sure everyone had an opportunity. He was much more sensitive than people knew, and would always be interested in making great things happen for people with challenges. He always tried to be balanced and fair, and earned the respect of his peers. He is missed and will be for many years to come. -Dr. Larry Reiner, Park Board Commissioner
I just want to say that Rick always made the staff feel comfortable at Board meetings, and he was always complimentary of the staff and programs we highlighted when meeting with the Board. When Rick attended special events he was always courteous and made sure to acknowledge the staff on how well the event was going, and/or just to say hi and shake your hand. I never saw him without a smile and he will be greatly missed. -Chris Eckert, Superintendent of Recreation
Rick you will be missed my most sincere thoughts are with you and your family. -Rosendo Soto, Parks Foreman
What a good time our conference in New Orleans was! Meeting our Board members brought a heartwarming welcome to our lives, and smiles to us all. Carol and I had the opportunity to meet our commissioners, and learn about the people behind the professionals. Rick lit up the room and kept us laughing the whole night. He had a warm soul who always had a smile on his face. His wit was like no other, and the jokes, well... We will never forget the dynamic duo of Adriane and Rick. The two of them together was always a hoot to watch. They had a special bond that was recognized from the first time we met them. Rick will be greatly missed and when we think of him we will always have a smile on our faces. -Dalete Morris, Fitness Center Sales Manager
This picture is from when I won the Illinois Theatre Association’s Excellence in Community Theatre award. One of the things that made me stand out amongst the other candidates was my creation of the Broadway Buddies program. Rick was supportive beyond belief when we talked about starting this program, and was the most consistent and the most supportive energy in that audience for the special recreation kids! His knowledge of what it truly meant to be inclusive and kind was inspiring, and something I hope the program will represent. This program teaches selflessness, community and love... all of which Rick embodied everyday. -Jessi Hersman, Recreation Supervisor
Our thoughts and prayers are with Rick's family through this very difficult time. Rick was a kind man, who always knew how to make people smile. He was a dedicated Rotarian, Park Board Commissioner, and community leader. His support of the staff and the Park District will be sorely missed. God bless. -Ryan Risinger, Executive Director
I was fortunate to be able to serve with Rick as a fellow Commissioner on the Board and as a fellow Rotarian. Rick was a very loyal friend and as others have said, loved to support Park District events and causes. He was always there for me during the Relay for Life to help raise money to fight cancer. Being with him just made everyone happier. He will be sorely missed. -Martha Weiss, Former Park Board Commissioner and Former Executive Assistant
When you think of Buffalo Grove, Rick is one of the first people who come to mind. He was everywhere, involved in everything. And, one of the characteristics that stood out about Rick was that he would lighten the mood with a pun or funny one-liner everywhere he went. He didn't just love to make people laugh; he loved being a part of their happiness. His kindness and desire to improve the lives of others is what I will remember about him most. Thank you to Melissa, Abigail and Jeremy for sharing Rick with the entire community for so many years. We are all better people for having been affected by him. -Mike Terson, Public Relations and Marketing Manager
Many fond memories of Commissioner Drazner come to mind from attending board meetings over the past year. My favorite memories are when he would say something to beg the response of “inappropriate!” from Commissioner Johnson. The twinkle in his eyes and smile on his face from accomplishing that response from Adriane is unforgettable. Board meetings will never be quite the same without Commissioner Drazner. God bless! -Beth Wanland, Executive Assistant