Former Des Plaines Alderman Loved City
Boykin, Ames, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Ames Boykin Daily Herald Staff Writer
Joseph F. Szabo came to Des Plaines via Ellis Island as an 11- year-old Yugoslavian immigrant.
It was in this suburb that he grew up, started his own construction company and served the people of Des Plaines as an alderman from 1963 to 1979.
"He had a great deal of affection for the city of Des Plaines," said his son, Jim Szabo, who lives in Des Plaines. "He could have written a history about the town. He knew where everything was and knew half the town."
The warm weather of Florida lured him away for the last 20 years of his life. Szabo returned to the Chicago area in recent months as his health faltered. He died Wednesday in Glenview of natural causes. He was 85.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 16 at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 200 S. Wille St., Mount Prospect.
Szabo graduated from Maine Township High School in 1940, and attended Maine Junior College until 1942, when he entered the U.S. Army. He served with the 13th Armored Division in Europe.
After the war, he returned to Des Plaines, where he founded Szabo Construction Co. in 1948. His family continues to run the business.
"He was one of the first mason contractors to be mechanized," Jim Szabo said.
He bought forklifts for his burgeoning business, which helped build Sim's Bowl & Lounge in downtown Des Plaines. …