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A Life Remembered: Lake Barrington Publisher Lou Bolchazy to Receive Posthumous Honor

Eccentric publisher Lou Bolchazy, whose passion was bringing ancient and classic literature to students, will receive a posthumous Distinguished Service Award from the American Philological Association on Jan. 4.

Publisher Lou Bolchazy. Credit: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Inc.
Publisher Lou Bolchazy. Credit: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Inc.
Ladislaus "Lou" Bolchazy, a Lake Barrington resident who passed away in 2012 at age 75, lived to share his love for the classics, so much so that in 1978, he founded his own publishing company, Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, which has published more than 450 titles of ancient and classic literary works.

Bolchazy will be honored posthumously with the 2014 American Philological Association Distinguished Service Award on Jan. 4 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago for his extraordinary service to the profession of classics and the American Philological Association. Such awards are occasional rather than annual awards, which makes the honor even more distinct.

"We all feel it is an honor that is richly deserved," said Lou's wife, Marie (Carducci) Bolchazy, who still resides in Lake Barrington.

Marie managed Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, which originally operated out of Wauconda and is now located in Mundelein, with her husband for 35 years before taking over as president following his death. Their son, Allan Bolchazy, now serves as vice president.

"Lou would have been thrilled with this honor. It is a major goal of mine to ensure that Lou receives awards from the classics organizations he so strongly supported," said Marie, noting the family represented its company at three or four classics conferences each year, including the American Philological Association.

"Lou was a classicist and viewed himself as such. He chafed when folks referred to our conference representatives as 'vendors,'" said Marie, who was a teacher and editor before founding the family's publishing company.

Slovakian-born Bolchazy, who was a Latin professor at the Loyola University in Chicago, received national recognition for translating How the Grinch Stole Christmas in Latin. It became a sensation amongst language arts educators and was even covered in a front-page article on the Wall St. Journal. That success carried over into Bolchazy's translation of other Dr. Seuss books.

Prior to his death from stomach cancer on July 28, 2012, Bolchazy commissioned a translation of Cicero's On Old Age, called The Red Flare, as a birthday gift to himself, but his passion for classic literature always came second to his family, said Marie. 

"Only Lou’s family counted more with him than his work with the classics. He never divided his time between work and leisure—was always thinking about his books and our publishing company. Indeed, he would take one or even two oversized briefcases home each day."

In addition to being a successful publisher, Bolchazy served as president of the Slovak-American International Cultural Foundation, Inc., and was an active member of the Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club.

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