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Posted on: October 23, 2017

2017 William J Mueller Lombard Heritage Awards presented

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The Lombard Historic Preservation Commission selected two recipients for the William J. Mueller Lombard Heritage Award, which were presented at a Village Board meeting on October 19, 2017.

The awards were presented by Village President Keith Giagnorio and Lombard Historic Preservation Commission President Rita Schneider.

Patricia Poskocil was presented the award for Lifetime Achievement.  Michael Loos and his extended family received the award for their book “Growing Up Rudman.”

Pat Poskocil has been part of historic preservation work in Lombard since the celebration of the Village Centennial in 1969. She is a founding member of the Lombard Historical Society and helped restore the Victorian Cottage Museum at 23 W Maple.  She has spent hundreds of hours as a docent giving tours and hosting visitors at both Lombard museums. With her husband Frank, she spent several years collecting oral histories of long time Lombard residents and descendants of early settlers. Her talents in art, education and project management all came together in 1996 with the project to restore the Sheldon Peck Homestead. The oldest home in Lombard, the homestead is one of only 4 National Park Service Network to Freedom sites in the state of Illinois. The Network to Freedom is a national list of verified Underground Railroad Stops. Former Lombard Historical Society President Leslie Sulla nominated Pat and said, “For over 40 years Pat Poskocil has been so much more than simply a volunteer protecting Lombard’s history. She brings creativity to the table, connects like-minded people and leads projects. Pat has been vital in the preservation and promotion of Sheldon Peck history and Lombard wouldn’t be the same without her.”  Pat continues to support the Sheldon Peck homestead with ongoing work to recognize the Homestead on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Growing Up Rudman,” a self-published family history, was also selected to receive a 2017 Heritage award for Education and Advocacy. The 8x11 hardbound book is a project that captures the family history and stories of long time Lombard residents Percy and Mary Ellen Rudman. The Rudmans and their 7 children lived in a small bungalow on South Martha Street for over 60 years. Six of the seven surviving children contributed family stories dating back to the Civil War. Family members from all over the country contributed stories and memories of their family and the house in Lombard that served as the family touchstone. The project took nearly five years to complete and resulted in 386 pages with over 500 black and white photographs. The book also includes a 40 page genealogy dating back to the 1700’s. The project was submitted and selected in the hopes that it will inspire other families to preserve their own history.  A copy of the book is available at the Helen Plum Library.

The William J Mueller Heritage award was created by the Lombard Historic Preservation Commission in 2011 to recognize the varied and significant efforts that have contributed to historic preservation in the community.  This volunteer commission is charged with helping the Village recognize and preserve historic sites and structures within Lombard.  For more information visit

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