The former Winfield administrator recalled his love of local politics
Former Winfield village administrator and publisher of community newspapers, Stan Zegel, is remembered for his love of local politics.
Zegel, 77, died on Wednesday, December 15.
Lois Kataoka, Zegel’s widow, said they moved to a senior center in Wheaton last March. But she did highlight the 35 years she and Zegel spent at Winfield.
“He’s always been interested in local politics,” Kataoka said, adding that Zegel was also a voracious reader and history buff.
Zegel served a term as a village administrator from 1995. He then founded The Winfield Register in 2007.
Kataoka said the community newspaper was mostly self-funded by Zegel, but he did so to keep residents informed.
“Stan Zegel was a man who had a very strong love for Winfield, and he always wanted to pursue his vision of what Winfield should be like,” said former Winfield Village president Erik Spande.
Spande also remembers Zegel as a staunch supporter of the Winfield Police Department. He said Zegel was not happy with an effort to outsource local police to the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office.
“(Zegel) used his newspaper to spread the facts and mobilize support from the community,” Spande said.
Although Spande remembers confronting Zegel over Winfield’s development plans, he admired Zegel’s push for transparency in government.
“(Zegel) was ready to stand up and make his voice heard, although some might strongly disagree with him,” Spande said. “And even with those he disagreed with, he was still ready to hear the other side and heed it.”
Zegel was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, and made his way through the University of Iowa as a self-taught computer programmer. He then founded Iowa Data Corp., which provided Iowa counties with computerized voter registers. The company closed after the state started the same service.
Zegel then worked for Rockwell International as a Systems Analyst in Miami, Florida.
In his later years, Zegel started the Citizen Participation Institute to encourage applicants to come to local offices. Zegel was also an associate member of the Election Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association.
A visit to Zegel is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Tuesday, December 21 at Williams-Kampp Funeral Home, 430 E. Roosevelt Road, Wheaton. Zegel is to be buried in the Columbarium of Saint Paul’s Cathedral Church in Des Moines.