Added today is former State Senator Jack Schaffer’s comments about Phyllis Walters.
= = = = =
Former McHenry County Recorder Phyllis Walters died at age 81 on November 21, 2020.
Back in the late 1960’s I met Phyllis Walters in her role as President of the Algonquin Township Republican Women’s Club.
It was a vibrant group to which my mother and Lou Anne Majewski and many other woman belonged.
Walters took on Precinct Committeeman Ray Chandler and became part of McHenry County Republican Central Committee.
IN 1972, she ran for and won a seat on the McHenry County Board, which she held until 1984.
At that time she ran for Recorder of Deeds, where she served until her retirement in 2016.
The accomplishment that impressed me the most was the computerization of all the records in the office.
= = = = =
From Jack Schaffer:
Phyllis was one the nicest people I had the good fortune to work within government and politics.
She almost never had a bad word for anyone.
She worked her precinct harder than all but a few and her precinct was not that Republican.
When there was work to be you call Phyllis and she would be there to help and usually would bring a few friends
She was a very good county board member (one of the first women board members} and then for Recorder.
In her 31 years as Recorder she brought the office in the modern era and returned millions of dollars to the county general fund that helped hold property taxes down.
She was a fun person who made politics fun, something I wish we had more of today.
It makes me happy to think that she and hear husband Jim Rakow (another friend} are together again.
Her obituary follows:
Phyllis K. Walters
Born: April 14, 1939; in Elgin, IL
Died: November 21, 2020; in Huntley, IL
Phyllis K. Walters (nee Kobel), 81, of Algonquin, was born April 14, 1939, in Elgin, IL to Christian H. and Margueritte (Bradley) Kobel.
She passed peacefully after a long struggle with cardiac conditions, Saturday, November 21, 2020 at Northwestern Hospital in Huntley.
Phyllis enjoyed a wonderful childhood growing up in Elgin, where she recalled her father sitting on the front steps reading her the newspaper.
She graduated from Elgin High in 1957. From there she met and married her first husband, Duane Walters in 1960, divorced in 1982.
They moved to Algonquin to raise their three children: Ansley, Andrea, and Anthony and to build and remodel homes.
One home they remodeled was meant to be temporary, but Phyllis ended up living there for 54 years.
She remarried the love of her life, James R. Rakow, in January 1988.
Being at home – entertaining with friends and family, traveling and going on her beloved houseboat were some of her greatest joys.
Another great love was politics. From an early age, Phyllis had been interested in politics, a strong love of her country.
She was so proud to be an American. She was driven to look for ways to find common ground and sought to begin a career in politics.
She loved campaigning – getting out shaking hands, talking to the people in her community about their triumphs and concerns.
She was the Vice President of the Algonquin Township Republican Woman’s Club from 1965-66 then as President 1967-68.
She was elected as a McHenry County Republican Committeeman in 1968, a position she held for over 25 years with one of the largest Republican precincts in the county.
She served as Illinois State Central committee woman for the 12th, 14th, and 16th congressional districts over the years.
Phyllis then worked as an aide for Congressman McClory from 1972-74.
Then she was elected as one of the first women to serve on the McHenry County Board where she served from 1972-84.
She helped coordinate many campaigns for those in local and state government.
She served on campaigns for presidential campaigns for Richard Nixon 1972, whose inauguration she attended, and Ronald Regan 1980.
With the experience she gained, Phyllis was able to mentor many people through out her long career.
She was inducted into the McHenry Country Republicans Hall of Fame in 1999.
In 2000, she was elected as a delegate to the National Republican Convention.
In 1984, she was elected to office of the McHenry County Recorder, an office she was reelected to until her retirement in 2015.
During her time as recorder, she maintained an efficiently run office and completed a lengthy backfile conversion to modernize the office.
She served on the legislative committee for the Clerk-Recorder’s Association and as President for Zone IV.
She was the co-founder of the United States Association of Recorders, an organization that helped bring technology and best practices to those in her field.
Her fundraisers at Port Edward in Algonquin for Citizens to Elect Phyllis K. Walters were some of the best attended in the county and always brought an exciting, happy crowd.
Phyllis was a spitfire personality.
Energetic, funny, and generous.
She loved to laugh and was quick with a joke. She was adored by many and will be deeply missed.
She is predeceased by her husband, James R. Rakow, her parents, Christian and Margueritte Kobel, her sister, Marie Holtz, her grandson, Alex Grossman and her niece, Constance Kobel.
She is survived by her brother, Christian H. Kobel, Jr; her loved children: Ansley Wegner (Jason), Andrea Walters and Anthony (Sheri) Walters; her cherished grandchildren: Luke Grossman, Jessica (Stethen) Hayden, Rebecca (Christopher) Cothern, Jennifer Walters, April (Len) Molenda-Nichols, Laurin (Sadiq) Adeniran, Abigail Lindahl and Ashley, Benjamin and Cole Walters; and her treasured great-grandchildren: Len, Destiny and Krystal Molenda-Nicohls, Aubrey and Ethan Hayden and Raheem Adeniran.
Funeral Services will be private with burial at Algonquin Cemetery.
Funeral services will be streamed live on the Laird Family Funeral Service Face book page.
In lieu of flowers and due to Phyllis’s love of the natural beauty of McHenry County, please donate to the McHenry County Conservation District. www.mchenryconservation.org/get_involved/donate/give_a_gift.php