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Former Press publisher dies, leaves legacy of community leadership

Published: Monday, July 15, 2013 4:08 p.m. CDT
(Photo provided)
H.W. "Bill" Treudt

WEST CHICAGO – For years, the tagline of the West Chicago Press read “cussed by few, discussed by many, read by all.”

According to his children, former Press publisher and editor H.W. “Bill” Treudt was “cussed by few, discussed by many, loved by all.”

Treudt died July 10 from muscle cancer. He was 89.

Born in Bucyrus, Ohio, Treudt lived his life as a journalist and community leader in West Chicago.

“He really did have his heart and soul in the community,” said Steve Treudt, Treudt's son and a West Chicago resident.

Bill Treudt's grandfather, William, purchased the city paper in 1911 and it remained in the family, passed down from generation to generation, until 1979.

Bill Treudt studied journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before joining the Navy in 1943 in the midst of World War II. He attended basic training and officer's school in Norman, Okla., but was honorably discharged later that year after contracting tuberculosis.

“He was very disappointed that he couldn't serve at a higher capacity,” Steve Treudt said.

For the duration of the conflict, Treudt worked manufacturing war planes for Howard Aircraft, where he met his future wife, Joan.

From 1945 onward, Treudt dedicated himself to the Press as a writer and photographer, before taking over as publisher and editor from 1969-79.

“He was an excellent storyteller,” said his son, Bruce Treudt, also a West Chicago resident.

Bill Treudt was a community leader in several capacities, including his involvement with the West Chicago Chamber of Commerce and Industry and with the city's economic development endeavors.

His legacy lives on through his sons, who own and operate the West Chicago Printing Company, a business that has been in the Treudt family for 102 years.

Steve and Bruce describe their father as a family man with a great sense of humor.

Treudt is preceded in death by his wife, Joan, and is survived by his children: Terry Treudt and wife Nancy; Bruce Treudt and wife Norene; Steve Treudt and wife Suzanne and Janis Sickenger and husband Dan. He is also survived by eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

The visitation and funeral were held Monday at Norris-Whalen-Segent Funeral Home in West Chicago.

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