Don Ursin, 1981 Illinois REALTORS® president, dies at 84

Donald J. Ursin, an Illinois REALTORS® president who led the association’s efforts to eliminate the state’s usury laws and who was a fair housing champion, died Monday. He was 84.

Ursin was association president in 1981. His tenure came at a time when national interest rates soared above 15 percent and created a pronounced market slowdown.

Ursin is survived by his wife of 61 years, Joyce, and four children.

Visitation will be 5-8 p.m. Thursday at Leonard Memorial Home at 565 Duane St. in Glen Ellyn, with a memorial service 11 a.m. Friday at Faith Lutheran Church, 41 N. Park Drive, Glen Ellyn. (Details)

At the time of his presidency, statewide usury laws limited the amount of interest a lender could charge on a residential mortgage. As a result, many lenders either would not or could not make loans as interest rates climbed dramatically. The association was instrumental in removing the artificial ceiling on rates, allowing more money to flow into the market for home financing.

Additionally, legislation was passed which allowed pension systems in the state to have broader investment authority, providing additional capital in the real estate market.

“Don Ursin took the helm of Illinois REALTORS® at a particularly challenging time,” said current association president Doug Carpenter. “Under his leadership he made sure that the association did everything it could to help homebuyers and its members in the face of a crushing economic downturn.”

An advocate for fair housing, Ursin served on the boards of a number of housing-related non-profit organizations. He began his real estate career with Baird & Warner and later worked for Coldwell Banker.

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About Jon Broadbooks

Jon Broadbooks is Vice President/Communications for Illinois REALTORS®. He serves as editor of online and print content for the association's communications including the Illinois REALTOR® magazine and e-newsletters. He conducts spokesperson training seminars and oversees website development for the Association.

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