Tribute to fighter behind a Chicagoland success story, RoseMarie Lipinski

Tribute to fighter behind a Chicagoland success story, RoseMarie Lipinski
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Tribute to fighter behind a Chicagoland success story, RoseMarie Lipinski

Court of Claims Judge RoseMarie Lipinski, nee Lapinski, attorney and wife of former alderman and Congressman Bill Lipinski, passed away late Sunday night July 11, 2021 at age 83 after a long illness. RoseMarie Lipinski, the mother of two children Laura and Dan, and two grandchildren Conor Broeking and Brian Broeking, is fondly remembered for her community activism and support for her husband’s long successful political career.

By Ray Hanania

I’ve known Bill Lipinski nearly all of my journalism career. I met him as a Chicago Aldermen when I started working at the Southtown Economist back in early 1977 covering local education and neighborhood stories.

With his help as a contact, I wrote many stories about the community on the Southwest Side of Chicago – back then, that’s all anyone cared about, not the suburbs.

As Lipinski rose to become not only a City Council leader, and champion of the Southwest Side of the city and later the Chicago suburbs, I quickly realized that one of the secrets to his success was his wife, RoseMarie. 

 

Rose Marie Lipinski, wife of former alderman and Congressman Bill Lipinski, died Monday July 12, 2021. Photo courtesy of the Lipinski family

Rose Marie Lipinski, wife of former alderman and Congressman Bill Lipinski, died Monday July 12, 2021. Photo courtesy of the Lipinski family

RoseMarie was actively involved in Lipinski’s political career. She served as a Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois in 1996 and 2004. She was a Presidential Elector for Illinois in 1996 and in 2000. She also served as a Judge in the Illinois Court of Claims.

Bill Lipinski told me that he met his future wife while working at the Chicago Park District in 1960. Two years later, they were married. Both were physical education instructors, and they bought their first home on 59th Street in the heart of the Southwest Side.

When Bill Lipinski joined the 23rd Ward Organization back then, he started out doing PR for the ward committeeman at the time and he had a lot of help from his wife who was active in campaigning for the ward and later for her husband.

In Bill Lipinski’s first election after he was appointed Democratic Committeeman in 1975 backed by Mayor Richard J. Daley, RoseMarie went house-to-house in true Democratic political style knocking on doors and distributing literature for her husband. She was always accompanied by their two young children, Laura and Daniel, who later succeeded his father as the U.S. Congressman from what is now the 3rd Congressional District.

With RoseMarie’s help, Lipinski was elected Democratic Committeeman and then later as ward alderman.

Although the Lipinski’s were strongly identified with the interests of the growing and strong Polish American community in Chicago, Bill Lipinski’s mother’s family was from a long line of Irish activists and hard workers originally from County Cork, Ireland, and they traced their lineage back to the famous Irish revolutionary, Michael Collins.

RoseMarie Lipinski passed away late Sunday night, July 11, 2021 with her husband Bill Lipinski, and children and grandchildren at her side. She was 83 years old.

RoseMarie Lipinski, nee Lapinski, graduated from Georgetown University Law School and was considered by many to be a effective government and public service attorney. The Lipinski’s have two grandsons, Conor Broeking, who is a Senior at the University of Illinois Champaign, majoring in BioEngineering, and Brian Broeking who is a computer science graduate from Wisconsin with a minor in political science.

Funeral arrangements and services will be announced later.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and political columnist. This column was originally published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group in the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers. For more information on Ray Hanania visit www.Hanania.com or email him at rghanania@gmail.com.)

(EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version had Mrs. Lipinski’s name as “Rose Marie” rather than “RoseMarie” and implied Bill’s grandmother and mother were from County Cork, Ireland. His mother and grandmother were born in the US and their parents were from County Cork, Ireland. We regret the errors.)

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