lost one of our most loyal listeners," Mike Murphy, host of "Sports
Voice," said. "We always knew Bob was listening. He would send
us e-mails, and call from time to time. That was a true love of his
Ferrari, a prominent Herrin businessman who twice owned Herrin's WJPF
radio station and served as a primary force behind creating HerrinFesta
Italiana, died on January 30, 2007..
active member of the Herrin Chamber of Commerce, Ferrari was discovered
early Wednesday morning at the scene of a car accident near Lake of Egypt.
County Coroner Mike Burke said he believes Ferrari, 77, died as the result
of a medical event prior to the crash.
co-owner of Herrin landmark The Lombard Café, Ferrari became a pillar of
community involvement in Herrin. Ferrari was a driving force behind the
HerrinFesta Italiana and the Coal Miner Memorial, but area leaders say it
is impossible to list everything he did for the community.
Douglas, executive director of the Herrin Chamber of Commerce, said
Ferrari's loss has cast a black cloud over the close-knit community.
has lost the best friend it ever had," Douglas said. "Everything
Bob did was for Herrin - everything. His last e-mail to me spoke of the
betterment of Herrin. His last meeting with HerrinFesta Italiana was just
at 5:30 last night January 29, 2007".
Bondioli, who shares ownership of The Lombard Café with Ferrari and
Arthur Lenzini, said the community impact is immeasurable.
community has no idea, from an economic and civic standpoint, what it has
just lost," Bondioli said. "It is unbelievable, when you really
learn all the things that Bob was involved in, not only with the chamber
but with his own properties and businesses."
Ferrari is perhaps best known in Southern Illinois for his stalwart
support of Herrin's flagship festival and as co-owner of Lombard, he also
owned a number of properties and businesses throughout Herrin.
longtime president of HerrinFesta Italiana, Ferrari was nominated as an
employee of the year by the Illinois Department of Aging director in 2003
for his many accomplishments.
owned WJPF radio station for a number of years, but sold the station early
in his career. However, he bought the radio station back in the 1980s and
rebuilt the site on its original Herrin ground, Murphy said.
had a special love for the station, and he purchased it a second time so
he could keep it as a news/talk/sports station," said Murphy, who
served as news and sports director for Ferrari.
Ferrari spoke in a strong, clear voice while describing her father, a man
she described as having a softer side that he displayed to his family and
was both personally and professionally a wonderful person," Carol
Ferrari said. "He contributed a lot to the community. He gave his all
for the community, and I think of all the people in the community, he
loved Herrin the most. If they needed to get something done, he was the
man to call."
father was seen as a tremendously successful businessman, Carol Ferrari
said, and many didn't realize the compassion and caring that stood as the
driving force behind everything he created for Herrin.
had a heart of gold that possibly a lot of people didn't see," Carol
Ferrari said. "He was a leader, and leaders have to be strong. He was
a worker bee, and he knew how to accomplish things and get them done."
Ranchino Trench, Ferrari's longtime friend and fellow community activist,
said Ferrari would want to be remembered as a fighter for Herrin, and
wouldn't want to cause sadness for his community members.
wouldn't want us to be maudlin," Trench said. "He would say, 'Cheryl,
what are you doing?'"
997-3356 ext. 5807
by Ernesto.milani at gmail.com
February 2, 2007