CROWN POINT | Lake County Surveyor George Van Til said Thanksgiving will be a melancholy anniversary for him.
His son Scott, who suffered from autism, died 20 years ago, of a seizure.
"He died a couple of weeks after I was elected county surveyor for the first time. I went from the mountain top to the valley in a few days," Van Til said Wednesday.
He said he went to a Mass celebrated in Scott's name Wednesday evening at Our Lady of Grace Church in Highland.
"He was in his early 20s when I ran for election. I remember it like it was yesterday. I walked into the voting booth with him and he was delighted to see my name on the ballot.
"It was a difficult time so I focused working day and night to get myself up to speed as surveyor. I was putting in 60 hours a week and stopping at the cemetery every day for months.
"I have a picture of my inauguration, with my son Ethan, who was two and a half, up on the stage with me. I had tears in my eyes," Van Til said.
He recently won election to a new term in office Nov. 6.