5-time president of Streamwood Park District was 'kid at heart'

  • Thomas Keating

    Thomas Keating

By Eileen O. Daday
Daily Herald correspondent
Updated 12/21/2016 4:29 PM

A sitting member of the Streamwood Park District Board, who guided its financial strength and helped shape its vision, has died.

Thomas Keating, the board's vice president and a five-time past president, died Saturday. He was 53.


Keating was a former Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader who was first elected to the Streamwood Park District board in 2001. He was re-elected in 2005, 2009 and 2013, and earlier this month, he had filed for re-election in 2017.

Just last year, the Illinois Association of Park Districts recognized Keating for his 15 years of elected service, colleagues say.

Fellow park Commissioner Adriana Armstrong said Keating brought his financial expertise as a certified public accountant to the board and he took a leadership role in developing its 15-year capital improvement plan, which was made possible by frugal spending and careful planning.

"But he was also a kid a heart," Armstrong said. "He knew the value of play and wanted the community to have a chance to play and have fun."

That sense of fun was apparent in the planning of Sunny Hill Park, which opened during Keating's tenure. The park district was able to acquire the 19.5 acres of land and add the community's first sled hill, skate park and splash pad.

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However, Keating's enduring legacy, colleagues say, was to identify the park district's core values, bundling them in the acronym SPD CARES, or safety, preservation, diversity, collaboration, accountability, responsibility, ethics and service.

Dennis Stein, executive director of the Streamwood Park District, said Keating helped bring state recognition to the district.

Under Keating's stewardship, the district twice earned the Illinois Distinguished Agency designation for professional and quality policies, practices, and administration, and twice earned AA- bond ratings from Standard & Poor's for financial planning, management and stability.

"Tom was a kind and well-liked board member," Stein said, "who will be long remembered for his compassion, humor and love of proofreading."

Keating was preceded in death by his son, Ryan. He is survived by his wife, Diane, and children Alex, Austin and Riley.

Visitation will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Countryside Funeral Home, 950 S. Bartlett Road in Bartlett, followed by a 10 a.m. funeral Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church, 502 S. Park Blvd. in Streamwood.

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