William F. Purcell Jr.

March 23, 1964 - February 27, 2012

We will forever mourn the loss of our Company President and good friend Bill Purcell who died on February 27, 2012 after a seven year battle with cancer.

Ascend Real Estate Group LLC was formed by Walt Rebenson and Bill Purcell in early 2009.  Rob Eshoo joined as Principal, and both Bill Wolk and Rick Lillie joined as Principals in 2010.

From the moment Bill received the diagnoses, he was determined and optimistic that he would beat the disease.  

He took on the challenges he faced over the years, determined to prove the statistics of his rare cancer, wrong.  He was a fighter in every sense of the word and showed us all the true meaning of love, faith, courage and strength.  

For those of you who were not fortunate to know him, Bill was a seasoned real estate veteran with extensive experience in development and finance.  Born in South Holland, Ill.,, he loved our City and strove every day to improve our environment and quality of life by demanding superior design and function in all of his projects.

Bill was also a powerful advocate for kids, and in 2005 was elected to the Lyons Township school board, bringing his acumen in finance to the facilities communitee.  

He was an avid runner who ran in the Chicago marathon in 2007 to raise money for the American Cancer Society and was a founding member of the Relay Race for Hungry Children Charity Run, an event dedicated to keeping children from going to bed hungry.

A devoted father of four, Bill was most proud of his four amazing children.  He coached La Grange Little League Baseball and was involved in the Indian Guides and Princesses.  

Bill is survived by his wife Karen, son Liam, daughters Claire, Erin and Evelyn.

When I first decided to start a company, as principal, I had a strong vision for the strategic plan, goals and objectives, and how to make Ascend a company that could grow and prosper despite historically difficult economic conditions. That begins with a company’s principals and all of its associates. There was only one person I called to ask to become my partner and that was Bill Purcell. I met Bill when he joined me at the Fordham Company and we became friends.

Bill was a “Man’s Man” in that he was honest, trustworthy, loyal, hardworking, smart, had a great sense of humor and was dedicated to all the pursuits he took on in his business career. We shared our vision, our hopes and dreams and he agreed that we should start this company. Because of his passing at his young age and with a company only three years old, I and others at Ascend never had the opportunity to fully enjoy his everyday participation in our lives, especially in the months before his death. We miss his input and direction on our projects as well as his witty comments and perspective on every day current events. His family stories were always funny as would be expected with anyone with four wonderful children in the house.

Bill was a good golfer. As the kids got older, he didn’t get to play as much as he did in the past so his skill level over the years came down to my level of golf. I enjoyed beating him straight up on 18 holes (which was not often). He would get mad that an “average Joe” like me could occasionally take a few dollars and a drink on the 19th hole from him. He would always come roaring back on the next round to avenge his previous loss. He also is the only one I know who could immediately hit me with comebacks to my efforts to distract his swing or putt.

I can say that I am a much better person for having been his partner and friend. I will always remember Bill until my day comes too. I pray that Karen, Liam, Claire, Erin and Evelyn will stay healthy, prosper and with time, have a smile on their face every day and every time they think of him or talk to him in their dreams, on a walk, or even running in a marathon. I can see Bill in all four of his children and he lives on through them and our memories.

Love and miss you Bill.

Walt R.