William F. Purcell Jr., a member of the Lyons Township High School District 204 Board of Education, died on Feb. 27 at the age of 48. According to a published report in the Chicago Tribune, Purcell died after a long battle with a rare form of cancer.

Purcell was elected to the LTHS Board of Education in 2005 and re-elected in 2009. He served as chairman of the board’s facilities committee since 2009 and played an instrumental role in the building of a new swimming pool, fieldhouse and performing arts center at the school’s South Campus.

“Bill will be remembered as a consummate professional with a keen eye for finances and facilities, an advocate for all students and a loving husband and father,” said Mark Pera, the president of the District 204 Board of Education. “He was fully invested in this school district and his passion for improving the performance of all students will be missed. It was an honor and privilege to serve with him. He’ll be really tough to replace.”

Purcell worked in commercial real estate and most recently was a founding partner in the Ascend Real Estate Group. He lived in LaGrange and died at home.

He is survived by his wife Karen; four children, Claire, Erin, Evelyn, and Liam; his mother, Nancy; his father, William; his sisters, Julie Bock, Kelly Dehler and Kerry Templeton; and his brothers, Emmett, Kevin and Sean.

The school board has 45 days to fill the vacancy on the school board. The board will accept applications and then choose someone to serve until the next election in April 2013.