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Letter: Getting the job done

Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:50 p.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Years ago, I wasn’t much aware of my dad’s interest in civic affairs, one way or the other, as it pertained to being on the village board or similar positions. My mother accepted it. I let it go at that.

He also worked closely with a man who headed the Glen Ellyn and Wheaton YMCA programs. The man’s name was B.R. Ryall, and I took advantage of the fact that we youngsters could have weekly Y meetings and play at good athletic games together, all of which were supervised by Ryall.

Right then, it turned out that the YMCA had bought some land on the southwest side of Glen Ellyn between Wheaton and Glen Ellyn, and money was being raised to build a swimming pool and headquarters there. My dad aggressively stepped in and saw to it that enough money was raised to get the job done. The pool, etc., was named the B.R. Ryall YMCA, and two villages enjoyed the benefit of the whole program ever since.

Not long after that it was decided that the Chicago-Winfield Tuberculosis Sanitarium was no longer needed. The sanitarium could be better used as a full hospital to treat the many diseases that still prevailed. The need for more hospital facilities was clearly there, so my dad stepped in and headed up a program to redo the Winfield facility and begin building a large general hospital. I remember attending fundraising meetings run by my dad.

He was a remarkable visionary and his efforts – along with others – created Central DuPage Hospital. He is gone now, but the quality of the hospital he was active in creating is very much a reality.

Chuck Barr

St. Charles

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