Thomas G. Ayers: 1915 – 2007: My neighbor led civic, racial initiatives

This post’s title is adapted from the Chicago Tribune’s obituary for my former neighbor, Tom Ayers. Mr. Ayers lived two doors down after his retirement as CEO of Commonweath Edison. I have a lot of personal remembrances of Mr. Ayers, and remember him very clearly as being tolerant, reserving judgement, and exercising modesty. They went to barbeques, drove GM cars, and bought candy from my brother and I when we sold it to raise money for our baseball teams.

I learned more about Mr. Ayers and his son Bill after we’d left Glen Ellyn and moved to Rochester, NY and throughout college.  As my father suggested, Mr. Ayer’s stature as an industrialist and a community leader influenced my decision to attend the University of Michigan.

I’m still learning. The Tribune’s remembrance traces Tom Ayer’s contributions to the Chicago community.

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