All too often, local history is lost to the ages as the passage of time diminishes the memories of the past and those who are able to pass them on.
But in Kankakee County, we are blessed to have someone who preserves our rich history through his tireless and thorough efforts. That man is Jack Klasey, and many of you are familiar with him and his work through the column he writes for each weekend edition of the Daily Journal.
During the past weekend, Klasey received further mention in the newspaper he once worked for as a cub reporter 50-plus years ago. A story appeared about Klasey earning the Volunteer of the Year award from the Kankakee County Historical Society for his invaluable contributions at the Kankakee County Museum and in other endeavors.
It’s quite an honor, and what makes it more special is Klasey never has been one to pursue personal accolades. He is as intelligent as anyone you ever will encounter, yet there is not a pretentious bone in his body.
His unassuming nature is manifested through his interactions with others. Whether it be the prince or the pauper, Klasey treats people with unfailing kindness and respect. His manner has not gone unnoticed.
Robert De Oliveira, president of the historical society, said he always has been struck by Klasey’s ability to relate to others.
“He’s an amazing individual,” De Oliveira said. “He’s a go-to guy and just a genuine person.”
During the past several years, Klasey has tackled a variety of fascinating subjects through his column. The good news is they won’t end anytime soon.
“When I first began writing the column, I made of list of topics, and it ran several pages,” he said. “I’ll never run out of topics to write about.”
We say thank you, and we also say keep those columns coming. They preserve our local history and prevent it from fading away as it has elsewhere.