Kane County Health Department Interim Director Kathy Fosser fondly remembered longtime journalist and Health Department Public Information Officer Tom Schlueter during a Wednesday presentation to the Kane County Health Committee.
Schlueter of Aurora, formerly of Naperville, died Dec. 30 after a long and courageous fight with cancer.
According to his obituary on the Beidelman-Kunsch Funeral Home website, Schlueter was a journalist, author, and musician. Most of his journalism career was spent writing for the Kane County Chronicle, “where his columns usually informed, frequently charmed, occasionally perplexed — but always entertained his readers,” the obituary said.
Later in his career, Schlueter served as public Information officer for Kane County for the Kane County Health Department until he retired in 2019.
During his time with the Health Department, Schlueter worked on many community health projects and health emergencies, including Community Health Assessments/Improvement plans, Hepatitis B, H1N1, Tuberculosis, the Health Department’s national accreditation, Ebola, Zika, Norovirus, lead poisoning, measles and many more.
Fosser said Schlueter loved establishing important communication partnerships within the community which proved to be beneficial for the Kane County Health Department during a local Norovirus Outbreak in 2017.
Schlueter was recognized with the 2015 Gold Award for Excellence in Public Health Communication from the National Public Health Information Coalition. In 2018, Schlueter won a NACCHO prestigious model practice award for “Nontraditional Partnerships Strengthen Community Health.”
Schlueter was a featured speaker at the Illinois Department of Public Health Preparedness Summit in 2018.
Besides being a creative writer with a witty sense of humor, Fosser said Schlueter was a wonderful, warm person.
“He will certainly be missed by all who interacted with him through Kane and those who partnered with Kane County,” Fosser said.
Services for Schlueter were private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
SOURCE: Kane County Health Department, Beidelman-Kunsch Funeral Home website