Richard Kenneth Means
Richard (Rich) Kenneth Means, age 78, of Oak Park; beloved husband of Anne L. Rooney; father of Chris (Michele), Annika (Andrew) Rothbaum, and Alex Means; grandfather of Logan Means, and Eve and Soren Rothbaum; dear brother of James (Linda) and Dexter (Lynne) Means and Margaret "Peggy" (James) Newman; beloved brother-in-law, fond uncle, and cherished friend and colleague to many. Rich was born in Champaign, IL and raised in Western Springs, IL. He graduated from Lyons Township High and attended college at Eastern New Mexico University and the University of Stockholm. He graduated from Northwestern University Law School in 1968. Rich practiced election and public service law for more than 50 years, up until the time of his death. Long involved in civic activities and progressive politics, he was most recently Illinois Chapter Chair of the liberal advocacy group Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) and a past state chairman of Independent Voters of Illinois (IVI). Rich was twice past chairman of the Chicago Bar Association's Election Law Committee and the past executive director of the Chicago Council of Lawyers. His proudest professional accomplishment was serving as election lawyer for Harold Washington's successful Chicago mayoral campaign in 1983. Rich and his wife Anne are long-time members of Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation (UTUUC) in Oak Park. A virtual Celebration of Life service will be scheduled for late January. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Americans for Democratic Action @ https://adaction.org/, Beyond Hunger @ https://www.gobeyondhunger.org/ or the UTUUC Abundance Fund @ www.unitytemple.org

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Published by Chicago Tribune from Dec. 19 to Dec. 20, 2020.
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43 Entries
I have known Rich for decades - first from independent politics and later as a music lover who I saw at house concerts and the Fox Valley Folk Festival - always a class act with a friendly word - especially when I lost my wife several years ago - I am sorry that in this world of instant knowledge I just learned of his passing today - my condolences to Anne and the family.
Joe Holtzman
Friend
January 7, 2021
My deepest sympathy goes out to you and your family.
Regina Mitchell
Coworker
January 5, 2021
Friendly, Familiar, Folkstage, Face
Good Man We Wish We Had Known Better
Andy and Becky Anderson








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Andy and Becky Anderson
Friend
December 29, 2020
Condolences to the entire Means family. Richard was my election attorney in 2009 when I first ran for Cook County Assessor. He prepared my petitions and gave me great legal guidance. He was very well respected in many political and legal circles. He was filled with campaign stories. We also worked for Mayor Harold Washington's campaign. He will be missed by many.
Andrea Raila
Friend
December 26, 2020
Please accept my condolences. I am so sorry to learn of your loss of your wonderful husband.
Sam Fager
December 25, 2020
Anne, I am so sorry to hear of your loss! He sounds like such a wonderful man! Thank you for letting us know. Please know that you are in our hearts and prayers.
Alana Keller
December 23, 2020
Anne, I´m so sorry for the loss of your dear husband. I hope that you and your family finds comfort in sweet memories. He sounds like he was a wonderful man
Dianne Webster
December 22, 2020
I´m so sorry to hear of your loss, Anne. My thoughts are with you. - Amy
Amy (Sobczak) Yee
December 22, 2020
We have some of our fondest memories in Stockholm together. Wonderful conversations, life changing memories and always ready for hug or two. Love to you Anne--we are here for you always.
Nanne & Jerry Finis
December 22, 2020
I meant Richard in 1974 - 1976 when I witness a voting fraud for 9 people. He was a delight to meet and work with. Blessing to his family and the community.
Thomas Behrens
December 21, 2020
The world is a bit dimmer with your loss. Thank you for being an awesome partner to Annebo, an amazing father to Annika, Alex, and Chris, an involved grandpa to Logan, Eve, and Soren and a friend to all. xoxo
Denise Bruen
Family
December 21, 2020
Dear Rich, you will be missed! You left us around the same time as your colleague Bill Wendt, and as untimely.
Peter Zelchenko
December 21, 2020
We fondly remember sharing meals at the Magic Wok and visiting at Rich & Anne's lovely home. He was an exceptional human being, and will be truly missed.
Sandy (Klock) Cody & Bill Cody
December 20, 2020
Dear Anne, I am so sorry for your loss. I am a friend of Mary's and have heard wonderful things about Rich over the years. May time be a gentle healer for your broken heart. He leaves a beautiful legacy. God Bless you.
Kathy Ferket
December 20, 2020
So sorry to hear about Rich. Many fond memories in jr. high and high school. I am certain he will be missed by those of you who maintained contact with him.
Bruce Warder
December 20, 2020
My deepest condolences to the family of a fellow classmate of LTHS.
Ginger Fuller Ellis
December 20, 2020
Rich, you were such an addition to our family. You made these last 18 years of life with my sister Anne so memorable. You two had a very rare chemistry and were so in synch in so many areas--traveling, music, art, politics, even deep dish pizza and sports. She was your lovely blonde girl, forever.
Terry Rooney
December 20, 2020
Rich and I go back to 1973, State's Attorney Bernie Carey, as we both came in under Sheldon Gardner to start what became a career: fighting vote fraud and counseling political candidates. As one of the elders now, I often give long-winded stories about "if you think today is nuts, you should know that back in the 70's..." (Of course, recent days DO seem even nuttier.) Rich's giant personality will be missed.
Michael Kreloff
December 20, 2020
I'm in shock. Not only was Rich the go-to guy for preogressive, independent candidates at all levels of government, but he was an all-around good person. He espoused a sense of sanity on the often insanely divided IVI-IPO board many, many moons ago. My wife and I last ran into him at the one-man Thurgood Marshall play a few summers ago and he was, as always, a pure delight to see. His passing certainly is a disturbance to the Force. My deepest sympathies and condolences to his family.
Dan Lauber
December 20, 2020
I met him in 2013 when he represented me for re-election, he was a passionate advocate for open and transparent government and a great caring man. My deepest condolences to the Means family.
Edwin Reyes
December 20, 2020
I worked for Rich at the State's Attorney's office in 1978. He was, as others said, an all around good guy in every way
Norman Ruber
December 20, 2020
It is hard to even imagine politics in this town without Rich. I don´t really remember when I first met him, he was always part of the political world I work in. He was everything everyone has said and more. As I related to his wife Anne; "we have lost a fighter for good versus evil, we have lost someone who never lost his patience with us, we have lost a friend". May his family find some comfort from knowing how missed he will be by so many.
Ray Pempek
December 20, 2020
We met in 1957 and I always saw his kindness and caring. He was a person to be trusted. I will miss him. Rest In Peace my friend.
John T Polacek
December 20, 2020
Rich was an absolute delight. Whip smart, a great host, and an adoring fan of Anne. We will miss him and his wise counsel tremendously.
Carol Rooney
December 20, 2020
Rich and I served together on the board of Project LEAP, Legal Elections in All Precincts. Learned lots from him. Deep condolences on your loss.
Catherine Dunlap
December 20, 2020
Rich always gave 110% to every effort. He liked movies so started a film society that now has more than a hundred participants. On a vacation together he researched every restaurans in advance. He was justice, democracy and generosity personified, and will be greatly missed.
Karen Allen
December 19, 2020
So sorry to lose him --he was an inspiration and an all-around good guy.
Diane Redleaf
December 19, 2020
Rich was my oldest brother. He helped pave the way. In Boy Scouts he attended the 1957 Jamboree at Valley Forge. Rich became an Eagle Scout following our Dad´s example. Jim and I followed Rich and also achieved the Eagle rank. A proud family tradition. I´ll miss him! Sure glad he brought Anne into our family.
Dexter Means
December 19, 2020
I am so so sorry. Rich was a gentleman and a scholar. Always helpful and kind.
Kitty Kurth
December 19, 2020
Anne and family, you have my deepest sympathy. I knew Rich a long time ago in IVI. He is someone I greatly admired; a brilliant man.
Helen Carlock
December 19, 2020
It is hard to even imagine politics in this town without Rich. I don´t really remember when I first met him, he was always part of the political world I work in. He was everything everyone has said and more. As I related to his wife Anne; "we have lost a fighter for good versus evil, we have lost someone who never lost his patience with us, we have lost a friend". May his family find some comfort from knowing how missed he will be by so many and how much light he brought to everyone.
Ray Pempek
December 19, 2020
My deepest condolences!
Michelle Zaborowski
December 19, 2020
Rich is the best! A warm heart, a funny and intelligent demeanor and a talented cook as well. He will be greatly missed.
Greg Bruen
December 19, 2020
Rich..'walked the walk" a we say....Leap, IVI, IPO, ADA.....I'm reliving my youth as I type this. The battle for fairness and morality continues...was jus easier wit your good humor and guidance Rich. You will be missed by all. My sincere condolences to your family..
Marcia DuMont
December 19, 2020
I´m so sorry for your loss, Anika. Your Dad will always be in your heart
Christie Sergo
December 19, 2020
Richy, we will miss you so much . You have been our political muse, best friend to our beloved Annie Rooney and the man who made the best salmon and eggs Benedict . We will be there for your Blondie girl
Mimi and Chuckie
December 19, 2020
I am very sad to learn of Rich's death. I met Rich in 1968--he was just beginning his law & political work. We had the same birthday and our then-spouses planned a 'surprise' birthday party for our 30th. My condolences to his family--a real loss.
Wendy Tucker
December 19, 2020
Sorry to hear about our IPO worker in Sheffield neighbors from long ago
karla chew
December 19, 2020
I hired Rich to contest the 33rd Ward election results in 2015. I was challenger Tim Meegan´s campaign manager and we narrowly lost the election. Rich was generous with his time and bright, not just as a legal strategist but as a political strategist. Ultimately we didn´t go through with the legal challenge based on Rich´s valuable insight that the money would be better spent building organization, knocking our opponent off balance, and running again in 4 years. The strategy worked. The 33rd ward independent political organization (that Rich suggested we start) and Ald. Rodríguez-Sanchez (elected by the 33rd ward org) are Rich´s ideas living on and inspiring a new generation of activists.
Chris Poulos
December 19, 2020
Rich was a warm, kind, generous soul-Bob and I enjoyed our times together...wish there were more dinners to share! Ann & Bob Blouin
Ann Blouin
Friend
December 19, 2020
Rich was my lawyer for my first run for office. He was committed to help new candidates find their way. Thank you, Rich. Condolences to your family.
Michele Smith
December 19, 2020
Our sympathy goes out to Anne, Chris and Michelle (our cousin), and to all of the Means family. He was a powerhouse election consultant and a dedicated leader of progressive causes. Rich will truly be missed.
Tim & Zenobia Black
December 19, 2020
Rich was one of the finest people I have known, a fighter for open, honest, government, who advocated for his causes with principle and passion. And a human being filled with kindness, generosity and good humor. Wishing Anne and all the family comfort and peace. May his memory always be for a blessing.
Aviva Miriam Patt
Friend
December 19, 2020