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A 50th Anniversary Salute to our Park Commissioners

Over the past 50 years, 44 Naperville citizens have stepped forward to lead the Naperville Park District as elected commissioners.  Beginning with 5 members, the Board later expanded to 7 members as the community grew. 

First Board of Park Commissioners, photo from 1970.

Park commissioners serve as volunteers, with no compensation or insurance benefits, and are elected for 4-year terms.  They are motivated by a desire to ensure great parks and recreation for the community at a great value for taxpayers. 


2016 Park Board and Executive Director:(L to R) Vice President Mike Reilly, President Rich Janor, Jim Ensign, Marie Todd, Gerry Heide, Kirsten Young, Bill Eagan and Executive Director Ray McGury

The newest Park Board member, Jim Ensign, was elected in 2015. The longest serving commissioner, Ron Ory, was honored in 2015 for his 20 years of service on the Board, and continues to volunteer as a Master Gardener at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots on West Street.

On Monday, September 5, 2016, past commissioners were invited to join the current Board and staff to help lead the 2016 Last Fling Parade. (The Naperville Jaycees selected the Naperville Park District as Grand Marshal of the parade in honor of the District’s 50th anniversary.)  A special thanks to past commissioners Mary Lou Wehrli, Mary Wright, Ron Ory and Suzanne Hart and to past executive directors Walter Johnson and Glen Ekey for participating in the parade.


Naperville Park District commissioners and staff pose with Governor Rauner prior to the start of the parade



Commissioners and staff ready for the start of the parade


The parade begins


Cheering for the Park District

A friendly wave from Marge Wehrli Walsh (third from left), first female lifeguard at Centennial Beach

The Wells Fargo horses and carriage follow the Park District 

Thank you, Jaycees, for the honor of leading the 2016 Last Fling Parade!

And on this occasion of the District’s 50th anniversary, we want to say thank you to our commissioners, past and present. Thank you for your leadership, time and effort in listening to residents and collaborating with staff to provide excellent parks and recreation for our community.

Commissioners Park, located at 3704 111th Street in southwest Naperville, was dedicated to all Naperville Park District commissioners in 2005 with a plaque on the wall of the large pavilion on the north side of the park.

Commissioners Park hosts the Junior Tour de Naperville each July as well as many games and events. Its trails, fitness stations, playground,and other amenities attract visitors throughout the year.

Here is a list of each Naperville Park District commissioner who has served our community between 1966 and 2016. 

Dr. Lester J. Schloerb



James P. Weeks

1989-1995, 1995-1996

Harold Cromer

1966-1969, 1969-1975


Court Kenaston


Dorothea Weigand

1966-1971, 1971-1977


Darlene Schluter


William C. Martin

1966-1973, 1973-1976


Tom Kruse


George Yenerich



Ronald R. Ory

1995-2007, 2007-2011, 2011-2015

Milton Stauffer



Sally Kirk


George Pilkenton



Mary Wright

1997-2003, 2003-2009

Dr. Robert Steunenberg

1972-1973, 1973-1979


Scott McKibbin


John Sauntry



Mary Lou Wehrli


Joseph Nocco



Steven A. Born

1999-2001, 2001-2007

William E. Young



Pamela B. Swafford


M. June Loomis



Kristen Jungles


Robert G. Funston

1977-1983, 1988-1995


Charles E. Brown


John S. Gensler



Marie L. Todd

2005-2011, 2011-2015, 2015-

James P. Nelson



Andrew Schaffner


Dean Davis

1979-1981, 1981-1987


Suzanne Hart


Robert J. Schillerstrom



Gerry Heide

2008, 2009-2013, 2013-

Thelma Fastner



Mike Reilly

2009-2013, 2013-

Donna M. Chavez

1985-1991, 1991-1997


Kirsten Young

2009-2013, 2013-

Michael R. McLean



Rich Janor

2011-2015, 2015-

Alfred Rubin

1987-1991, 1991-1997


Bill Eagan

2011-2013, 2013-

Charles L. Koch

1987-1993, 1991-1997


Jim Ensign


“I can assure you, public service is a stimulating, proud and lively enterprise. It is not just a way of life, it is a way to live fully.” Lee H. Hamilton

For more information about running for office in the 2017 Park Board elections, contact Jacki Stern at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Petition packets will be available for pickup at the Administration Building at 320 W. Jackson Ave. beginning September 16. Building hours are 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

To learn more about the Park District’s history, view the 50th anniversary video by Naperville Community Television that was shown at the grand opening of the Fort Hill Activity Center.

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