Phyllis Walters, R.I.P. – UPDATE

Added today is former State Senator Jack Schaffer’s comments about Phyllis Walters.

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Former McHenry County Recorder Phyllis Walters died at age 81 on November 21, 2020.

Phyllis Walters, 2011

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.

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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:

Former State Rep. Rosemary Kurtz was sitting next to Recorder of Deeds Phyllis Walters.

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 Walters. 2012

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.

Speakers at the ground breaking of the widening of Rakow Road are, from left to right, Phyllis Walter, Ken Koehler, Anna May Miller and Don Manzullo.

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.


Phyllis Walters, R.I.P. – UPDATE — 22 Comments

  1. One of Al Jourdan’s puppets.

    So long.

    Hopefully her fat pensions will now be cancelled.

  2. MCCD, yeah Phyllis, let’s get more land off the tax rolls so that McHenry taxpayers get rolled even more!

  3. Collected a salary and was NEVER in the office unless it was election time.

  4. Lots of those white womens love arabian men for their tan bodies then those white womens and kids are kidnapped to arabic countries.

  5. I read her obituary and assumed that you knew her for a long time since you were both involved in McHenry County GOP stuff going back to the 1960’s.

  6. She was AWOL for 98% of her elected career.

    I believe the Sheriff before Nygren even put up missing person posters featuring her.

  7. The anonymous cowards are burrowing down into the fecal rot of their rudeness and lies for a new low here today.

    Bravo, brave soldiers, bravo.

  8. Martin, what’s false? W

    alters’ attendance record?

    Schaffer’s sincerity?

    How she was part of greedy regime?

    Get with it pencilman.

  9. Very disappointed in these previous comments. I thought this site was better than that Cal.

  10. Phyllis was a very nice person.

    She was very kind to me and I really appreciate it.

  11. Joe Blow, are the posts materially accurate? That’s the question.

    If true, then what’s your problem?

    If false, counter the falsehood.

    I have no facts about her one way or the other.

    We all must die and stand before God on Final Judgement Day.

    Even if we don’t believe in Heaven or Hell, we should live our lives to pass the test anyway

  12. Old saying from USSR: “Bureaucracy is a septic tank. The biggest chunks rise to the top.”

  13. Adding to what Jack wrote, Phyllis had only one speed that was fast.

    She carried her passions for things that concerned her out in the open.

    Phyllis not only had a passion, but she worked at being a peace maker.

    Under “hard worker” in the dictionary you will find a picture of her.

    She advanced the importance of women in politics.

    She made sure women’s voices were heard.

    The active women in the gop today owe her a vote of thanks.

    She also took a “Stone Age” county department, the Recorders Office, into the 20th century..

  14. That reminds me of Phyllis passion against gangs.

    She was the force behind the anti-gang billboards by Liberty Outdoor.

  15. Mike brown? All the things you tout as benefits flowing from Phylllis are things that I abhor. I don’t believe women should be in “politcs” at all. I don’t even think they belong in the workplace! It’s kind of like the green agenda that was just the precursor to agenda 21. It all sounds good as a premise but leads to ever increasing problems.

  16. Eye agree with Cindy, no workplace and no politics for wimens wimens belong at home cooking, sewing, having babies, raising kids, wearing dresses, no pants, no suits

  17. Mrs. Walters pitched a fit when Joe Tirio announced he was phasing out Recorder.

    Walters was all for govt bloat.

    She hired her friend’s kids.

  18. Joe Blow, if the comments offend you, stay away and watch cartoons instead.

    Phyllis Walters is not my idea of a hard working or effective public servant.

    On two occasions, separated by 8 years, her office put liens on two different properties I owned jointly with my brother.

    One judgment lien was for somebody else’s property, the PIN number was off by a digit.

    My family had zero to do with the court case as anyone could see by the case caption.

    That one cost me over a thousand dollars to fix.

    The second one was a for a federal tax lien attached to another piece of land we owned.

    The tax lien had nothing to do with me or my brother. It should have been attached to land IN HENRY COUNTY, not McHenry County.

    That one cost me $2300 to straighten out, because the Great Phyllis Walters would not fix the mistake.

    I realize mistakes are made and the initial errors were probably not made by Walters, but she would not respond to 2 different lawyers’ phone calls and letters.

    From my POV she had incompetents in her office and she herself caused me to waste money on absolutely nothing!

    Yet I got an invite to pay for the privilege of attending a political fundraiser for her.

    Needless to say I was burned up.

    Apparently these were sent out to anybody in the county who wrote her.

    She had a mechanism for that, but not for fixing her department’s mistakes!

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