Susan Ann Loving Gravenhorst
A Republican organization celebrated Lake County Commissioner Susan Ann Loving Gravenhorst as a political trailblazer in the world of Illinois politics in an online post.
“She prevailed in both the primary and the general election and was the first Republican woman to win statewide office in Illinois- paving the way for Corrine Wood, Judy Baar Topika and many others,” the Lake County Republicans organization posted on Facebook.
Loving Gravenhorst died on Sept. 15, and a memorial service was held for her five days later at Faith Lutheran Church in Lake Forest. She was 87.
Born in Effingham, Loving Gravenhorst got her start in politics during the 1960s serving as the president of the Women’s Republican Club of Lake Forest. She later served as the State Central Republican Committeewoman for Illinois’ 10th Congressional District and was a member of the Lake County Republican Federation Board of Governors.
She was elected as a Lake County Commissioner in 2002, serving Lake County/Lake Bluff for eight years until retiring at 80 in 2012, having never lost an election.
A graduate of the University of Illinois, she later served on the school’s Board of Trustees, ultimately rising to be elected Chairman of the University Board.
Before entering the world of politics, Loving Gravenhorst and her husband, Albert, founded Gravenhorst & Associates, Inc., a Chicago-based publishing firm where they served as CFO and treasurer for more than 35 years.
Loving Gravenhorst was also known for her lifetime of service to the community. At the time of her death, she was a member of Knollwood Club, Delta Gamma Sorority and PEO.
Loving Gravenhorst was preceded in death by her husband. She was survived by her son, Hugo (Terese) Gravenhorst of Chicago; two daughters, Suzanne Gravenhorst of Waukegan and Jane (Lars) Soderberg of Cherry Hills Village, Colo.; and five grandchildren. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the University of Illinois Foundation in honor of Susan Gravenhorst, 1305 W. Green St, Urbana, Ill. 61801