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THOMAS A. ROSENQUIST

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Thomas A. Rosenquist, started as a truck driver with a small Lake County grading company, bought the outfit when the previous owner died and transformed it into a major site-preparation and development concern. Mr. Rosenquist, 58, died apparently of heart failure, on Thursday, Sept. 17, at his home in Maui, said his sister, Diane Rosenquist Long. With a loan made even riskier by the high interest rates of the time, Mr. Rosenquist bought Lake County Grading Co. in 1980. The company had about 10 employees and concentrated on grading work, according to Mike Wolff, its current owner. Mr. Rosenquist correctly foresaw an imminent building boom in northern Lake County and added a host of services including sewer and water and demolition work, said Wolff, who worked with Mr. Rosenquist for many years. At one point, Lake County Grading employed 800 people. Mr. Rosenquist got into land development with projects including the Grand Tri-State Business Park in Gurnee and Midlane Golf Resort and Suites in Wadsworth. Midlane had been a sleepy golf course plagued by flooding from the nearby Des Plaines River, Long said. Revving up his company's grading equipment, Mr. Rosenquist, an avid golfer who had his own ideas on course design, oversaw the construction of a top-flight golf course with adjacent homes, a hotel and resort facilities. Mr. Rosenquist grew up in Libertyville and attended Libertyville High School. He attended the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater before going into construction. As he became successful he went into the banking business with the banker who made him the loan to buy Lake County Grading. He served on the boards of Royal American Bank, Gurnee National Bank and Midwest Bank. After moving to Maui in 2002, he continued to work in land development and was a leader in the founding of Maui Preparatory Academy. He was married and divorced three times. Mr. Rosenquist is also survived by his companion, Leigh Anne Leggatt; two sons, Trent and Hunter; and his parents, Robert and Helen. A Commemorative Memorial Service for Thomas Rosenquist will be held at Midland Country Club on Oct. 24, 2009 from 5 to 7 p.m. Midland is located on Yorkhouse Rd. in Wadsworth, IL. Please join us to celebrate his life.
Published in Chicago Tribune on Oct. 19, 2009
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