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An Extraordinary Life: Former Herald-News employee loved his community

John B. Lux followed his father into a publishing career

JOLIET – Tom Lux gave two reasons why his father, John B. Lux, liked golf.

“It’s an individual game – it’s you against the golf course,” Tom said. “But it also provides an opportunity for you to have some social time with your partners.”

That social side of John, combined with a “long journalistic legacy” in his family, led to John choosing a similar path. John is the former publisher of the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota, the South Dade News Leader in Florida and the Burlington County Times in New Jersey.

But John began his career here in Joliet – at The Herald-News, then owned by Copley. John’s father, John F. Lux, was publisher of The Herald-News from 1932 to 1966. John himself worked in advertising, circulation and production.

Marty Gleason of Burr Ridge, a lifelong friend of John’s, said John as a publisher often made courageous decisions, which earned him respect. As a friend, John was everything one could want, Marty said.

“He was also very smart, good-humored and gave very good advice,” Marty said. “You could call on him any time.”

Marty wasn’t John’s only lifelong friend. John attended the Cathedral of St. Raymond School, where he made other friends he kept for life, Tom said. John also attended the former Catholic High School in Joliet, where he played golf.

After his graduation from Notre Dame in 1953, John enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he attained the rank of lieutenant junior. John also was the supply and gunnery officer on the aircraft carrier USS Siboney (CVE-112), stationed in New London, Connecticut.

He married Carolyn – a girl who grew up on the next block – on July 3, 1954; they were married 63 years, Tom said. After John was discharged from the Navy in 1956, he returned to Joliet and followed in his father’s footsteps to The Herald-News.

Although John’s newspaper career took him around the country, the couple returned to Joliet when Tom retired from publishing in 1989, and they moved into Tom’s childhood home on Western Avenue.

“Joliet was always considered the ultimate home for him and my mother, no matter where we lived,” Tom said.

John showed that same loyalty to his loved ones. Tom said his father was “really strong on family values; family meant everything to him.” And Tom and Carolyn supported their children in all of their interests, Tom said.

“He was a great dad, no question about it,” Tom said. “He was a teacher. He was patient. He helped us learn on our own. He helped us learn how to find the answer instead of giving us the answer. He instilled a good set of values.”

In a written statement, Tom said his father was honest, never harbored a grudge, lived his Catholic faith, thought before he spoke and “found humor in life.”

John taught them how to build everything from basement shelves to friendships, how to care for everything from lawns to pets, and how to adapt and always find the silver lining, Tom wrote.

“[He] counted all his strokes on the golf course, encouraged us to compete and play hard, but play fair and within the rules,” Tom wrote.

Instead of John’s children following him into the publishing business, John instead followed his children into banking in his later years, embarking upon a 12-year career that included M&M Bank and First Midwest Bank in Joliet.

“I am a banker, and one of my two sisters is a banker,” Tom said. “Again, he was a people person, so obviously having a chance to interact with customers when they came into the branch was enjoyable for him.”

John died April 26 at age 86.

• To feature someone in “An Extraordinary Life,” contact Denise M. Baran-Unland at 815-280-4122 or dunland@shawmedia.com.

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