OBITUARIES

Edith “Edie” Kathleen Hoffman

Edith “Edie” Kathleen Hoffman, 84, of Woodridge, Illinois, passed away peacefully on October 21, 2019 after a brief hospitalization.  She was preceded in death by her loving husband Donald C. Hoffman of Amherst, Wisconsin, and in 1965, by Paul W. Burdett. Edie is survived by her three children, Kathleen E. Benson (Eric), Mary D. Kuliavas (Luidas John) and Paul H. Burdett (Kimberly), grandchildren Bradley M. Benson (Megan), Lina K. Mikulionis (Gytis), Tomas E. Kuliavas, Virginia R. Burdett and Paul N. “Nick” Burdett, and three great grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother Dr. Donald K. Shaw (Sandy) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Diane C. Lipp of Phoenix, Arizona and Ellen S. Keeline (William) of Oswego, Illinois.

Edie grew up in West Bend, Wisconsin and attended Stout State College, in Menomonie, Wisconsin, where she earned her teaching degree in home economics. She moved to Illinois after her marriage, and most of her teaching time was at Glenbard East High School in Lombard, Illinois.  She later worked as an aide for students with disabilities at the grade school level. Edie lost her husband Paul to cancer at a young age, and in 1985 married her husband Don, who she met again at her 25th college reunion.

Gardening and the beauty of nature were especially important to Edie, a passion she inherited from her father. She also loved birds, poetry and her dogs. Edie was especially lucky that in this day and age of great distances separating family members, that all of her children and grandchildren lived close by, allowing them to visit frequently. A private celebration of life is planned.

Catherine Ann Dillon

“Ann” Dillon of Winnetka, beloved widow of Joseph Dillon, passed away October 23, 2019. She was born October 3, 1943 in Chicago, IL.  Preceded in death by her parents, John and Patricia Doyle, brothers Michael Doyle, David Doyle, and Stephen Doyle (Carol Kinsey). She is survived by her children Kellan (Karin), Keith (Sheila), Johanna (Joseph Puetzer), Timothy (Beth) and Elizabeth Cornell (Bradley).  Also survived by her siblings Christopher Doyle (Demetra), Mark Doyle (Kip), Gilmary Doyle Andrews (Paul), Basil Doyle (Theresa), and her aunt Kathleen Peifer. Most lovingly survived by her grandchildren, Joseph, Kevin, Jane, Tess, Emma, Aidan, Maeve, Owen, Penny, Sam, Grace and Kate.  

Ann was the quintessential student and teacher, who loved to read, write, learn and educate.  You could always count on her to know the answer to your question and if she didn’t, she would find it.  A lifelong student, she persisted with her own adult education, taking early childhood courses at Harvard night school in Boston and later, obtaining her interior Design and Space Planning degree from Harrington Institute of Interior Design in Chicago. Some of her other passions included knitting, crocheting, traveling and cooking.

The “kitchen table” at her house had more meaning than just the place to eat.  It was where she held court with anyone who entered the house and made them feel welcome and special.  You would find her at that table with a cross word puzzle, a cup of tea, and NPR in the background. She took great pride in her culinary skills, constantly trying new recipes and being adventurous before her time when it came to food.  You knew you were loved if you received some of Ann’s special homemade pesto! You always had a seat at Ann’s table for holidays, birthdays, Sunday dinners or just because you were in the neighborhood. She will be fondly remembered for her generosity and hospitality but mostly for having a heart of gold.

The family will be forever grateful for the doctors, nurses and staff at North Shore University Hospital, Glenbrook for their compassionate care in her final days.

Visitation and funeral mass will be held at Sts. Faith Hope and Charity Church, 191 Linden St, Winnetka, IL at 10 a.m. on Monday, November 4. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, a charity the Dillon family has generously supported for many years.

Burke, John Joseph “Jack”

John “Jack” Joseph Burke, 81, of South Barrington passed away peacefully, June 7, 2019.  Beloved husband of Nancy; loving father of Sheila Burke (Mitch Manthey), Eileen Cokins (Bill), John Burke, Maureen Medvedyev (Alex) and Erin Maniatis (John).  Cherished grandfather of John Cokins, Jessica Cokins, Patrick Manthey, Alexandra Manthey, Liam Medvedyev, Eliana Medvedyev and Emily Maniatis.  He is preceded in death by his parents, John and Jane Burke, and sister Jane Carlson.  Jack was known for his insatiable thirst for knowledge, his advisement, mentorship, quick wit and candor.  He had multiple passions including but not limited to, research, heirloom tomatoes, reading, politics, motorsports, specifically focused on Alfa Romeos and American Staffordshire Terriers.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in the name of Jack Burke to the American Lung Association.  A private family celebration will be held in his honor.

Jeanette Josephine Courtois

Jeanette Josephine Courtois, age 91, passed away peacefully on June 2, 2019 at Sunrise of Buffalo Grove. Jan was born September 21, 1927 to Alex and Josephine Zaroski in Racine WI.

Jan attended Taft High School and later met and married Peter Courtois in 1950. Peter and Jan raised their family in Des Plaines, IL, and later moved to Vista, CA and Dayton OH. Jan was a devout Catholic and worked for many years as a sacristan at St. Stephen’s parish in Des Plaines.

After Peter’s death in 1992, Jan moved again to the Chicago area, spent time with her grandchildren, and volunteered at the Wheeling Pavilion Senior Center, earning the award of Super Senior in 2002. Jan resided at Sunrise since 2012. Jan is survived by her three sons Marty (Lori Goetsch), Mark (Patti), and Matt (Kate), grandchildren Katie (Bryan) McClelland, Kevin, Kelly, Sean (Christine), and Zora, and great-grandchildern Clara and Sophie McClelland. Jan is also survived by siblings Roland and Florence Bettis. Jan is preceded in death by siblings Leonard, Zenon, Sister Agnes Zaroski, and Edna Paluch.

Patrick Leigh

Patrick Leigh, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on May 6, 2019. Beloved husband to Suzanne, loving father to his children, loving son of Donald Sr. and Irene Leigh, and loved father of his two dogs. He was a kind, generous, loving man, who was known for his clever wit and would always put a smile on your face. He was surrounded by his closest family and friends. He loved spending time with them as much as they loved spending the time with him. He will be remembered as the fun loving, hard-working man that will be missed by many.

Anna Rayas

Anna Rayas passed away. Specific details are being withheld per family request.

Michel L. “Mitch” Spratford

Michel L. “Mitch” Spratford, 71, passed away peacefully at his home in Oswego 20 months after receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis. He was born in New Brunswick, NJ to an American G.I. (Larry) and his French war bride (Helen) on March 1, 1947. Mitch attended Franklin High School in Somerset, NJ where he met the love of his life, Olesja “Lesh” Kozar. He graduated from Amherst College in idyllic Western Massachusetts in 1969 with a BA in Math and from Rutgers University with a M.Ed. Mitch and Lesh married a week later before enjoying a 7-week honeymoon visiting family, friends, and sights in France, Switzerland, and Germany. He taught math and coached football throughout the ’70s at North Plainfield High School in NJ while they welcomed the birth of their two children, Eric M. and Melanie K. The family relocated to Aurora, IL, and he worked at Plano Molding Company for about 15 years, ultimately as VP-Marketing. He owned and ran Centerline Models in Bartlett, IL until his retirement.

After his diagnosis in 2017, he and Olesja downsized to the community of the Villas at Southbury in Oswego, IL, leaving wonderful friends (including the Buckleys and the Goldsmiths) in the subdivision of Sans Souci. He is survived by wife Olesja, son Eric (wife Becky and their children Samantha and Nathaniel), daughter Melanie, mother Helen, brother Roby, sister Catherine, and numerous nephews and nieces. His final written statement was “Lesh is the love of my life. Eric and Melanie are the pride of my life. Samantha and Nathaniel are the joy of my life.”

Throughout Mitch’s life he enjoyed travel, family, food/drink, and the enjoyment of all of the great things in life. He was devastated last year when Hurricane Irma ravaged one of his favorites places on earth, St. John, USVI. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Mitch’s name to the St. John Community Foundation, www.stjohncommunityfoundation.org.  A remembrance celebration will be held at a future date.

Michael Lee MacAfee

Michael Lee MacAfee (80), passed at his place of residence in McHenry, Illinois.

Mike was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona; the middle son of Don H. MacAfee and Marian (Brooks) MacAfee; brother of Don G. MacAfee and Dan H. MacAfee.

He worked at his father’s business, Painters Warehouse, and served in the US Navy and reserves. He attended and graduated from ASU and Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management while working as Police Officer for the City of Phoenix. Later, he became a Special Agent for the Arizona State Attorney General’s Office, where he retired. After retirement, Mike lived in Moscow, ID; Albion and Endicott, WA; then moved to Barrington, IL (in late 2017) and finally, McHenry, IL in 2018. Mike is survived by his children: Bryan H. MacAfee, Lupita (MacAfee) Tokarski, and Michael S. MacAfee; and grandchildren: James MacAfee, Allison Tokarski, Emily Tokarski, and Anne Tokarski .

Mike will be fondly remembered for his dry sense of humor, his love of animals and the outdoors, and new-found tech toys. He was also the self-proclaimed “black sheep” of his family, a great storyteller, and the starter of endless unfinished projects. In his final weeks, he decided to donate his body to the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois, for medical education and research. At his request, there will be no services/memorial. Memorial donations may be made to a favorite pet shelter/foundation, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – http://www.lls.org/ , or The MDS Foundation – https://www.mds-foundation.org/.

Gae Diane Conroy

Gae Diane Conroy, 66, of Elgin, IL passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her family and beloved cat Lizzie.  She was born on December 31st, 1951 in Fox River Grove, Illinois the daughter of George and Theresa Elfmann.  Gae worked a very successful and rewarding career holding various positions with Kane County Court Services with her retirement coming as Supervisor in 2011.  Throughout her 30+ year career she truly valued giving back to the community, specifically to Administer Justice, and helping those during very troubling times in their lives.  After her retirement she loved traveling, listening to live music (especially Elvis tributes and the Lenny’s), adopting her kitties, making many memories with her two granddaughters and children, playing cards, and spreading joy with her infectious laugh and sense of humor.  She was admired by all her former colleagues, friends, family, and loved ones for her strength, courage, and positive attitude; especially throughout all her health challenges during her remarkable life.

Survivors include her two children:  Amy D. (Jason) Koebel and Adam M. (Jenni) Conroy; and two granddaughters: Kendall and Blakely Koebel.

She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Theresa, and her siblings Charles and Charlene.

The family is very grateful to all the staff at Presence Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Elgin, Transitions Hospice, and Elements for all of their compassionate care.

Memorials may be made in her honor to the Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin or Administer Justice in Elgin.

 

Marina S. Valaitis

Marina S. Valaitis, 64, resident of Palos Hills, formerly of Cicero and Berwyn, passed away peacefully after a gutsy two- year struggle with pancreatic cancer.

She spent her decades-long career in customer service solving problems for and building relationships with customers for Royal, Willamette, Weyerhaeuser, and most recently International Paper.

Admired by friends, colleagues, and family for her positive attitude and frankness during her illness, Marina was cherished by all for her kindness, loyalty, and fierce independence.

She is survived and beloved by her sister Kristina (Valaitis), brothers Joseph and Charles; sisters-in-law Nijole and Susan (Valaitis); nieces Laura (Levato), Elizabeth (Valaitis), Sara (Valaitis), and Kim (Tillery); nephew Stephen (Valaitis); nephew in-law Anthony Levato; grandnieces Kasey (Sorbers) and Kaitlyn (Valaitis), Faithana (Levato); and Allison and Emily (Tillery); and grandnephews Adriano (Levato), Lincoln (Levato) and Jesse (Tillery), and her many friends..

The family is very grateful to all at Rush Hospital Cancer Center, Journey Care hospice, and Warren Barr Lincoln Park for their compassionate care.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network – https://www.pancan.org/ or Journey Care https://journeycare.org.

The family welcomes friends and colleagues to a reception following the service to celebrate Marina’s life.  Location details to be confirmed at the service.

Gregory J. Baron

Gregory J. Baron, 68, formerly of Dundee, passed away. He was born on September 29, 1949 in Evanston, the son of Walter and Wanda. He is survived by his beloved wife of 47 years, Ellen, brother David and Geoff, sons Scott (wife Terri and sons Christopher and George) and son Mark (wife Dena).

Greg took great pride in his life’s work in owning and operating a plastics manufacturer in Dundee, and later Cary.  Greg retired in 2005 and split his time living in California and Chicago. Early retirement allowed Greg to do his favorite things- ride motorcycles across the country (he took particular pride in his 1947 Indian Chief), travel the world with his wife, and spend time with his family. He possessed natural talents rare in people these days, with the ability to fix anything.  Mostly he will be remembered for having a heart of gold.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital, one of his favorite charities due to having survived a rare childhood illness. Alternatively, donations can also be made to the Chicago-based Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.

Jessie Flinchum

Jessie is number 10 of 11 children born to Charles and Jessie Miller on November 15, 1928. She has one biological son and many nieces and nephews. She is a Grandmother of 4 and Great Grandmother also. She was a wonderful companion to LeRoy Flinchum and had a long enduring relationship with her niece Rosemargaret and Jessies baby sister Ruth Brumwell. Jessie loved her family dearly.
As a lifelong friend since 1965, Betty Tharp loved and cared for Jessie. They laughed, worked, and went everywhere together and, oh yes ….. played cards endlessly.
Jessie worked at DeMars Resturant for 30 years, Robertson Transformer, and Miller Potato Factory to name a few.

Claire Shroba Morris

Claire Shroba Morris, 23, of Chicago, Illinois.

Claire was born April 27, 1997, the cherished daughter of Jane Shroba and David S. Morris, beloved sister of Talia. Survived by her uncle Alan Morris (Denise); aunt Melinda Varkel (Benny), cousins Eric Morris (Alyssa Schwartz), Andrew Morris (Madelyn), Lizzie Varkel, and her very special Auntie Kay and Uncle Jerry. Preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Harold and Rebecca Morris, and her beloved maternal grandmother Gertrude “GaGa” Shroba. Claire always had a beautiful smile, and brought joy to all those around her. A Memorial Service celebrating her life will be held on Monday, February 19, 2018, at 11:00 a.m., at Misericordia Home, 6300 N. Ridge Ave. Chicago, IL, in the Lois Gates Courtyard Inn. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Claire’s name may be made to Misericordia.

Margaret ‘Meg’ Lauer

Margaret ‘Meg’ Lauer, age not enough, died after a long illness. Margaret was born to Bill and Harriet Kelly, the youngest of five. Peggy grew up in Michigan City, IN at Duneland Beach’s Stop 35 on her beloved Lake Michigan. She moved to Chicago to attend Loyola, where she changed her name to Meg, met the very best of people, and where her grandfather helped introduced her to the love of her life, Mark Lauer, whom she married in 1982. Meg and Mark had an incredible life together full of love and adventure-moving all over the country, raising their two daughters Erin and Maureen in Chicago, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, Omaha and Dobbs Ferry, NY before moving home to Chicago. She was blessed to make life-long friends in each place.

Meg was non stop. In her 59 years, she earned a BA and MBA from Loyola Chicago, worked in the insurance sector, and made the world a better place, volunteering with organizations like the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, the Hudson River Museum, After School Matters, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Dobbs Ferry PTSA, in addition to being elected twice to the Dobbs Ferry Board of Education. She worked as an election inspector in New York, and did we mention she was on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?

Even with all of that, her greatest joy was being a mom. She raised two amazing daughters, Erin and Maureen, that she bragged about to everyone. Meg raised them to share in her passions: volunteering, Chicago Cubs baseball, reading by the pool, traveling the world, improving the education system, and when they were old enough, great drinks. Erin and Maureen couldn’t have asked for a better mom.

Those that had the joy to know her miss her dearly. She is survived by her beloved family: Mark, Erin, and Maureen (Tom Chase). In addition, her brother Bill Kelly (Mary Gross) and sisters Kathy Kelly and Ilene Kelly (Randy Wendt) survive her; she was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Mary. She is also remembered fondly by her many brothers and sisters in law, nieces, nephews and friends the world over.

Help us to commemorate Meg’s life by giving to two causes close to her heart: the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation, http://rizzo44.com/donate/,  and the Dobbs Ferry Food Pantry at South Presbyterian Church, https://dobbsferrypantry.org/donations/ .

Betty Jane Engler

Services private.

Gail L. Vandover

Services will be announced.

Lillian Johnson

Services private.

Kevin Neal Nelson

Services pending.