Jean Eleanor Masek

Daughter, sister, aunt, cousin and friend, Jean Eleanor Masek died peacefully at Ignite Medical Resort, McHenry, IL, on December 9, 2021, following a courageous battle with Mesothelioma.

Jean was born in Chicago, IL on March 15, 1934. She worked for Sears, Roebuck & Co. her entire adult life finishing her career as a secretary in the buyer’s department. She enjoyed living in Southern California for several years but spent the majority of her life in Illinois. Jean was a loyal and steadfast sports fan her entire life. One of her greatest joys was cheering for her favorite professional teams, the Chicago Black Hawks (Go Hossa #81!) and the Chicago Cubs (Go Rizzo #44!). Jean had a talent for creating beautifully crocheted and knitted afghans and other treasured gifts for her family and friends. She enjoyed music, dancing and spending fun times with good friends. Jean’s Roman Catholic faith was important to her, and it always was an integral part of her life.

Jean was preceded in death by her parents, Frank “Lefty” Masek and Mary Fuhrman Masek and her brother, Robert “Bob” Masek. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Mary Ann Masek, nieces, Tricia Lang, Dianne VanArsdale and Karin Malinofsky, 3 great nieces, 3 great nephews, many cousins including Laura Fuhrman LoCascio and Leslie Townsend Brueggermann, dear friend, Edvard Jensen and several extended family members and friends.

Jean’s family would like to express our sincere gratitude to Ignite Medical Resort and Transitions Hospice for the kind, compassionate care they provided for Jean during her illness. Also, our sincere appreciation to Senior Services Associates, whose staff and volunteers offered Jean ongoing support and genuine friendship for many years.

Before Jean passed away, she wrote a letter to family and friends to express how much she appreciated the memories she had shared with them. She closed her letter with these words: “Until we meet again, I give you all a big hug and a thank you for the many kindnesses you have shared with me”.

Per her request, Jean’s ashes will be interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in Forest Park, IL, alongside her parents final resting place.

Marcus Frederick Larsen

Marcus Frederick Larsen, 79, passed away on Tuesday, December 22, 2021. Marcus was born on December 7, 1942 as the son of Marcus and Myrtle Larsen. Marcus is preceded in death by his wife Patricia ( Polarek) Larsen.

Marcus is survived by his daughter Jessica (Michael) Larsen Nickless and son Stephen (Amy) Larsen; Marcus is survived by six grandchildren, Andrew, Luke, Gywneth, Ellise, Jude and Claire; two brothers Richard Larsen, Nicholas Radosta and one sister Margot (Fred) Reis. Marcus retired after his career as a probation officer, many of those years dedicated to serving in the RAP Court- Rehabilitation Alternative Probation drug court treatment program. Marcus was a veteran of the United States Army and served in the Vietnam War.

Marcus was an avid reader and had many interests. Some of his favorite hobbies were fishing and golfing. He had an avid interest in boating and flying. Marcus enjoyed travelling and was an avid walker. His true love was his family but his pets held a special place as well.

A Memorial Mass is scheduled for Thursday, December 30, 2021, at 11:00 a.m., St. Michael Catholic Church, Orland Park, Il. 60462.

Marylyn Carleo Grabosky

Marylyn Carleo Grabosky, fiercely loving, fiercely independent, and fiercely private, always did things her way. On December 4, 2021 after eight years of pushing back multiple health challenges, she died as she chose to live: gracefully, peacefully, at home in Chicago with her beloved spouse Laura Desmond at her side.

Born in Utica, New York on October 31, 1940, Marylyn was the eldest child of Carmel and Stephen Custidero. For the first five years of her life, she grew up in Washington D.C. and Virginia, while Carmel kept house and her father was part of the team that first developed radar technology for the U.S. government during World War II. Tragically, Stephen died of accidental radiation exposure in 1945. Two years later, Marylyn’s mother remarried Frank Carleo, and he adopted and raised Marylyn and her young brother Frank, as his own. Four years later, her youngest brother David arrived on the scene, and the family moved to Liverpool, NY, outside of Syracuse.  It would be a place Marylyn would return to countless times visiting her parents and family.  She loved the rolling hills, the long windy roads, the salt box houses and physical beauty of upstate New York.

Marylyn was an excellent student. She had a multitude of interests, and they all came easily to her.  She was a Bell Lab Scholar and 1958 Valedictorian of Liverpool High School. She earned a full scholarship to Syracuse University, from which she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Philosophy in 1962. She went on to earn a Master’s Degree in English from the University of Chicago in 1972. She put her passion for education into action, teaching English and becoming Department Chair at Lincoln Way Central High School in New Lenox, Illinois from 1975-1995. At Lincoln Way, she designed a curriculum that led to an increase in the school’s National Merit finalists; she also created an innovative AP interdisciplinary course in English and History, that was recognized by the State of Illinois.

Marylyn’s pride in her Italian-American heritage showed up in her deep and sustained connection to her family, and also in her cooking – as anyone who had the pleasure of sharing fresh tomato caprese, meaty lasagna, stuffed shells or delicately made zucchini flowers at her table could attest. And beyond food, she loved culture of all kinds:  music, architecture, cinema, theater, literature, and art. She frequently put her own hand to crafting beauty as well, painting and restoring “found” items of furniture for their home. She and Laura travelled the world with enthusiasm and inevitably, she would find the perfect local treasure to bring home and remind them of their adventures.

As Laura’s career stretched across multiple markets and growing responsibilities, Marylyn was the ideal partner. She created and recreated homes – in London, New York City, Miami Beach — that were oases of comfort for them in each new location. She delighted in learning the ad business and engaging with colleagues and clients, who universally admired and loved her. Her curiosity and charm yielded perceptive insights that were a key ingredient in Laura’s success.

Marylyn was an unwavering feminist, and a loyal supporter of women’s rights and advocacy groups such as Personal PAC, Planned Parenthood, and Emily’s List. She made frequent donations to female candidates for local, state, and national political office and she became a strong advocate for helping women and girls in STEM educational programs.

She was an avid walker and took great pride in her fitness & strength. She was an early adopter of yoga, which she loved. Years later, she took up Tai Chi, boxing and cross training when she learned that these disciplines could benefit her health.

Marylyn had a radiant smile and an easy, infectious giggle. She was both delighted by and utterly protective of those she loved. She knew her principles and held steadily to them, even through the strongest storms. She had no patience for fools or those who would take advantage of others. She had a way of asking the one piercing question that got right to the heart of any matter.

Those who knew her best knew that Marylyn balanced seemingly opposing traits with grace. She was confident in her own opinions, but she was a patient and open-minded listener. Her style was refined and elegant, but also incredibly practical. She appreciated beauty and quality but hated fussiness. She was always up for an adventure, but she truly cherished quiet time at home.

Marylyn deeply loved Chicago, and she gave her time and resources generously to campaigns and causes that she felt would make the city stronger, more beautiful and more equitable. Her heart, though, belonged to the quiet woods and sandy dunes of Michiana, where she and Laura spent countless happy times together and with their dearest friends & family.

In addition to her spouse of 34 years Laura Desmond, and her sweet cat Sammie, Marylyn is remembered by two brothers, Frank Carleo (Susan) of Inglewood, CA and David Carleo (Roberta) of Liverpool, NY. She will be dearly missed by family, friends and former students.

A Celebration of Life Event will be held in early 2022 to honor Marylyn, her life and legacy.

Gifts may also be made in Marylyn’s honor to the legacy endowments and charitable organizations she created and cared about. More information about each of these and their meaningfulness to Marylyn can be found under Giving on the website located at:

Sandra “Sandi” Lee Maenner

Sandra “Sandi” Lee Maenner (Chmielewski), age 76 of Berkeley, Illinois, passed away Tuesday, November 30, 2021 after a courageous fight with cancer. She is survived by her loving husband, Michael Maenner; her two daughters, Deborah (Jeff) Grammer of Chandler, Arizona and Susan (Robert) Newton of Gilbert, AZ, and her five grandchildren, Justin, Jillian, Aiden, Jace and Cole. Along with many nieces, a nephew, and her fur baby, Teddy.

Sandi was born September 7th, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois. She was preceded in death by her parents Stanley and Ann Chmielewski (Lach).

Shortly after graduating from Riverside-Brookfield High School she married her late husband, Robert Caba. Sandi enjoyed spending the weekends at the cabin in Wisconsin, cooking and gardening.

A “Celebration of Life” memorial service will be held at a future date.

Karen Kalchbrenner

With profound sadness, we announce the passing of our dearest Karen Kalchbrenner. She was born on June 17th, 1950 and entered eternal life on November 3rd, 2021.  She was the loving wife of John for 50 years, proud mother of her sons Kurt (Patty) and Kyle (Andrea), and beaming grandmother to Kane, Alyssa, Luke, and Lilly. 

Karen’s love for her family was second to none. She had the deepest bond with her twin sister Sharon (Ray) Dykema and mother Alice Carey, as well as with her brothers David (Debbie), Daniel (Maureen), and Thomas (Debbie) Carey. Karen is reunited in Heaven with her father James Carey and her brother Jimmy Carey. She is also fondly remembered by many nieces and nephews.

Karen was a remarkable cook who enjoyed preparing meals for every holiday and frequent Sunday family dinners. Spending quality time at home with her family, often sitting in her gazebo wrapped in a cozy blanket overlooking her flower garden brought her so much joy. Karen’s laugh was one of a kind, and she had a way of instantly making you feel welcome just seconds after meeting you. In addition, she adored spoiling her grandchildren who will miss her greatly.

A memorial mass celebrating Karen’s life will be held on Friday, November 19th, 2021 at 10 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Seton Church, 9300 W. 167th Street, Orland Hills, IL 60487. We invite all of our family and friends to join us.

Karen will be dearly missed, but we know we all have gained another guardian angel. The love she gave us and the lessons she has instilled in us will always be in our hearts. 

Leopold Defort

Leopold Defort, 82 years, of Niles, Illinois, passed away at his home surrounded by his three children and loving wife of 53 years after a battle with a very aggressive cancer.  Leopold is survived by his wife Elisabeth, his three siblings, Nelly, Marga & Peter (Helen), his three children, Monica (Armin), Michael, Eric (Heather) and his four wonderful grandchildren, Tyler, Emma, Kyle and Adrian.

A Memorial service will be held at 11 am on Saturday, November 6, 2021 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 205 N. Prospect Avenue, Park Ridge, Illinois.  Visitation is from 9-11 am.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society or Animal Cruelty Society.

Attendees are asked to wear masks within the building due to Covid regulations.

Karen Cunningham

Karen Cunningham passed away on September 20, 2021 after a four-year battle with non-small cell lung cancer. Even after her stage 4 diagnosis, Karen continued to live life to its fullest, teaching, traveling, laughing, learning, and raising awareness about lung cancer among non-smokers.

She leaves behind her beloved children, Lucas and Mateo LaPaglia and husband of 25 years, David LaPaglia; parents Paula and Ed Cunningham; siblings Andrew Cunningham, Christine Cunningham, and Mary Kay Cunningham; and several nephews and nieces.

Karen was known for her universal warmth, deep empathy, and easy laughter, even finding humor in the darkest corners of her own struggle. Never afraid to invest time in people, Karen developed countless cherished friendships, was known as the “glue” that kept her family close, and always made her boys her number one priority. Equally willing to invest time in building relationships in her professional life as a teacher, she worked collaboratively to make meaningful change by bringing diversity to the curriculum and advocating for inclusion and equity in every aspect of the school experience.

Throughout her 32 years as a high school educator, Karen was deeply passionate about engaging students personally by striving to understand what was important to them and humbly committing to her own growth as a life-long learner. She was most recently the instructional supervisor of the English department at Glenbrook North High School, her alma mater, where she was a trusted teacher, mentor, colleague and friend.  In 2018, Karen received DePaul’s celebrated teacher award, an honor that asks students to nominate a former instructor whom they feel significantly impacted their life. She was also repeatedly nominated for the Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching Award and Distinguished Teacher of the Year.

For Karen, reading and travel was an essential part of learning. She studied at the University of Edinburgh during her junior year of college at the University of Michigan and continued to teach and learn during extended stays in rural South Africa, Italy, and Costa Rica. More recent travel with her family to Peru, Mexico, and Hawaii were among her most treasured memories.

While Karen always held herself to the highest standards of excellence as a student, in her work as a teacher and administrator, as a friend and devoted daughter, sister, aunt, and spouse, there was no greater love, accomplishment, nor gift in her life than being mother to Lucas and Mateo.

A Celebration of Life to honor Karen will be available virtually at 3:30p on October 10, 2021 ( with recording available afterwards). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lungevity ( or the Cancer Wellness Center (

Margaret M Hecht

Margaret M Hecht (Marge) passed away peacefully in her home in Lockport, IL on June 25, 2021 with her daughter Lorraine and the hospice nurse nearby.  Born at the family home on Loomis Street in Chicago, Marge was the youngest child of Andrew and Catherine Mueller.  She out lived all of the siblings, Andrew, Catherine, Lawrence, George, Charles, and Gertrude.  She was also the final survivor of her lifelong group of friends that met regularly since high school, “club”.

While bowling with friends in 1949, Marge talked to Wally Hecht who she had known though St Raphael Parish.  They started dating and were married 10 months later.  Marge and Wally had 5 wonderful children.  

Together Marge and Wally cared for their oldest son Larry as be battled, and eventually lost his life to AIDS.  In her later years Marge, along with her daughter, Lorraine cared for Wally as he declined with dementia.  Marge and Wally were married for 65 years at the time of his death.  The surviving children Rita Kucik (Ed), Ken (Patty), Lorraine, and Peggy Lentz (Jim) will dearly miss the companionship of their Mom.  

Marge had the joy of many years with four grandchildren, Matthew Kucik, Beth Perino (Mike), and Danielle and Brendan Hecht.  In her final years, she cherished time with her great grandchildren, Lucy and Winnie Perino.

One of her deepest wishes was that her children “stay together”.  And we have!  Bonded by a deep love and appreciation of each other, despite our differences.  The loss of Larry and later Matthew affected the family deeply, highlighting the fragility and brevity of life, opening hearts to cherish the time we have together.  

Marge was the first in the family to learn meditation, and encouraged her spouse and children to learn as well.  She was on her own spiritual quest, and also remained a faithful Catholic.  Marge was a voracious reader of fiction and non-fiction, her way of exploring the human experience and consciousness itself.  In her last many years she would only read novels penned by female authors.  She finished her final novel just a few days before she died.

Kind, generous and thoughtful of others, Marge never stopped growing and learning.  In her later years she came to personally understand the love of a pet.  She was so amazed by it and was so grateful to have had the experience of loving an animal.  She once called Lorraine’s dog Rio, who she lived with, “my favorite grandchild”.  In the last years of her life Marge gained a deeper appreciation of nature, observing the sky, birds, trees, sun and moon with the eye’s of a child.

On behalf of all the family, thank you for knowing and appreciating our beloved Mother.  Special thanks to the brilliant team at Lightways Hospice, your services were invaluable. 

Funeral services will be private.

Lauren A. McCue

Lauren A. McCue, passed on August 23, 2021. Dearly beloved daughter of Dolores A. (nee Mazurek) & the late Donald J., loving sister of Catherine, Martin (Monica), Brian (Donna) & Carolyn (fiancé’ Rich), Proud Aunt of Kristen, Dillon, Maureen, Colleen, Jerry & Kyle. Loyal member of The Chicago Teacher’s Union. Visitation Saturday, August 28, 2021 at St Catherine of Alexandria Church, 10621 Kedvale Ave., Oak Lawn, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Funeral Mass immediately following. Interment private at St. Mary’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations to the Children & Teachers Foundation of the Chicago Teachers Union, 312-329-9100.

Marilyn L. Svoboda

Marilyn L. Svoboda (nee Schutte) passed away on August 18, 2021 at her home in Joliet, Illinois. She is lovingly remembered by her son Frank (Michelle) Madura Jr. and her sisters, Carol Savant and Janet Sterne. Marilyn was exceptionally proud of her grandson, Aaron Madura, who will always cherish their special relationship. She will be dearly missed by those lucky enough to have called her mom, grandma, sister, aunt, and friend.

Marilyn is preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Blanche Schutte, and husbands Carl Svoboda and Frank Madura.

Never one to be the center of attention, her wish was to be remembered simply. In this spirit, no formal services are planned. Donations to charitable organizations supporting death with dignity for the terminally ill, breast cancer, colon cancer, or others close to your own heart are appreciated.

“I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.” – Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility

Judith E. (Hansen) Bradchulis

Judith E. (Hansen) Bradchulis, age 80 of Plainfield, Illinois passed away Saturday, July 31, 2021 at her home surrounded by her children.  She was born in Racine, WI, the daughter of Ralph and Elaine Hansen.

She married Frank Bradchulis, June 12, 1971; resided in Batavia, IL and later moved to Minong, WI where they spent the majority of their years together.  She was a member of the River Life Church.

She is survived by her children, Sandie, Ken, Cindy (Rob), Steve and Cathy, many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Frank, son, David, and her parents, Ralph and Elaine.

A Graveside Memorial Service will be held at a later date at River Hills in Batavia, IL.

Londa Lea Ewing Robinson

Londa Lea Ewing Robinson (born February 15th, 1964 – died July 23rd, 2021) spent 57 years leaving an impression on everyone she encountered.  As kind as she was extroverted, Londa was eager to exchange life stories with anyone who crossed her path, making friends everywhere she went. Londa grew up in Oklahoma City and Wagoner, Oklahoma, singing and dancing her way to a fine arts scholarship at the University of Oklahoma.  As a freshman, Londa caught the attention of an upperclassman … and while her looks drew him in, her fiery personality – and her cooking – made him stay.  The two married on January 7th, 1984, and their lives became a shared adventure.

Londa earned a Bachelors and Masters Degree from The University of Oklahoma.  The couple raised two children, Chad and Kristin, and watched them begin their own love stories.  Londa even became “Gigi” to two beautiful grandchildren.  Never one to settle on any one thing, she also had many successful careers.  Londa and Greg explored the world together, living in Oklahoma, Michigan, Massachusetts, Texas, Hong Kong, Washington DC, traveled to numerous other far parts of the world, and finally settled in Chicago, Illinois. They even spent a year exploring the U.S. in a customized van while homeschooling the kids. Londa loved the quote, “Not my circus, not my monkeys,” but in truth, Londa LOVED her circus, and took great pride in all of her little monkeys.

Londa truly believed there was always something to celebrate, and she enjoyed nothing more than hosting cozy Sunday dinners for family and friends, whimsical holiday get togethers, and elaborate birthday parties. She massacred all common sayings (six of one, a dozen of another, don’t count your chickens until they cross the bridge.)  She was generous to a fault, unbelievably stubborn, and intensely loyal.  She believed that family was everything.

Londa’s death was sudden, but her family got to be by her side in her final days, and she was able to tell each of them that she loved them.  Anyone who knew Londa knew this mattered to her. She passed peacefully in her husband’s arms as he quietly sang to her.  Her family is comforted by the knowledge that her beloved granddaddy was waiting for her in Heaven, ready to give his girl the biggest hug. She is survived by her husband, Greg Robinson; son, Chad Robinson and wife Brecklyn; daughter, Kristin Robinson and wife Jamie; grandchildren, Cooper and Charlie Grace; parents, Hobart and Lynda Ewing, parents-in-law, Mary and Conrad Hornbuckle; brother, Mike Ewing and wife, LaVoyce, and many other in-laws, cousins, nephews, nieces, friends, and two (mostly) sweet dogs, Simba and Phoebe.

Londa, Babe, Momma, Gigi: you were loved to the moon and back, and you will be missed every single day. We are so proud of the person you were, thank you for blessing us with your life, and we can’t wait to see you again.

Celebrations of Londa’s life will be held in Chicago, St. Louis, Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Dallas.  Specific dates, times and locations are pending and will be shared with family and friends for each location at a later time.

Brian Carey

Brian Carey, Loving son of Thomas and Deborah, Loving brother of Tiffany Ann, Grandson to Alice, Loving cousin, relative, co-worker, and friend of many, passed on July 28, 2021. Passionate UPS Employee for 15 years. The gift of life from God who now rests with him eternally.

Please join us Wednesday, August 4, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at Palos Country Club, 13100 Southwest Highway, Orland Park, Illinois 60462 for a Celebration of Life.

Richard ‘Dick’ Lipinsky

Richard ‘Dick’ Lipinsky, Husband of One, Father to Three, Grandfather to 6, Brother to 4, Friend, Coach and Mentor to hundreds more, died on Tuesday, July 20th at the age of 85.

Dick was born on October 20th, 1935 in Woodstock, Illinois to John and Helen Lipinsky.  He grew up in Union, Illinois with his 3 Brothers and 1 Sister.  On July 23rd, 1958 he graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree.  He went on to a 27 year career in Sales and Sales Management that took him and his family to New York, Boston, Maryland, Montreal, Canada, and then back to McHenry County where they settled in Algonquin, IL in 1976 and stayed there until the end.  Throughout his Sales and Sales Management Career, Dick was an honest and fair boss who valued integrity and hard work- the lifelong friends he made of former employees and customers is a testament to that.  In 1985 at the age of 50, Dick started a second career as a Financial Planner.   In a field dominated by people decades younger than him, Dick used his work ethic, honesty, and integrity to build a thriving practice that he ran until he sold it in 2007.

In August 1962 in the Three Bears Bar in Westport Connecticut, Dick was approached by a beautiful Swedish woman.  Never lacking confidence, Dick was certain that she was about to come on to him.  Luckily, his confidence was misplaced and instead that woman wanted to set Dick up with her friend.  In July 1962 Dick went out on a blind date with an even more beautiful and amazing Swedish women, Elaine Lundh.  Elaine was not impressed with Dick and found him to be a typical ‘Pushy American’.  But Dick was smitten, and he called her every week until Elaine relented to a second date in early September.  They spent a weekend in Connecticut where Elaine met Dick’s friends and decided to give him a chance.  From that point on, for the next 59 years, they were ‘Hot and Heavy’, as Elaine would often say.  On January 18th, 1963 Dick made what he for the rest of his days called the best decision of his life and married Elaine.  In each other they had found partners and best friends for life.  Dick and Elaine together experienced the birth of 3 sons and 6 Grandchildren.

From his very earliest days back in Union Dick exhibited what some might call a mischievous streak.  Pranks, feats of daring, and always a fan of (mostly) good natured teasing- his Mother Helen gave him the nickname ‘Poison’- which to those who know Dick makes not just a little amount of sense.  Dick retained this mischievous and teasing streak throughout his life.  He suffered no fools, and all 3 of his daughter in laws were prepped for their first meeting with a version of ‘if he starts making fun of you, it’s him letting you know he likes you’.  But his teasing was loving and done with a laughing glint in his eye.  Whether it was because he had survived being shot with a shotgun when he was 10 and falling off a silo when he was 19 (an accident that left him with a metal elbow that he used both to amaze grandchildren with and to his physical advantage in pickup basketball games), or just because he understood that life is precious- Dick always had an infectious passion for life.  He loved being an enthusiastic dancer with Elaine at any wedding.  He loved competition- playing basketball into his 50’s and Golf until the very end.  He loved the Bears, the Bulls, and the White Sox.

Dick was a huge believer in fairness and was always looking to help those that needed a hand up.  Whether it was being the first Sales Manager to hire Women into a Sales Role, neighborhood kids who needed support, or most of all his own kids and grandchildren, Dick was always willing to coach, mentor, and give advice.

Dick is survived by wife Elaine, siblings Ronald, Raymond and Mary (Lipinsky) Foster, sons John (Linda), Joe (Mary), Jason (Catherine) and his 6 adored grandchildren.  A celebration of life will take place on a future date.

Judith Ryba

Judith Ryba, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend, passed away peacefully in her home on July 4, 2021, surrounded by her children, while fireworks illuminated the night sky. Born in Conway Arkansas on April 30, 1925, in a log cabin (stagecoach station now displayed in the Faulkner County Museum), Judy was the youngest of John and Ella Havens’ eleven children. Affectionately nicknamed “Doodle” as a child, she was adored by her large family especially her nieces and nephews with whom she remained close over the years. Judy was a model for resilience and perseverance as she experienced many losses and hardships over the course of her long life. She was raised on farms in Arkansas where she cultivated her green thumb and respect for the earth. She worked in the fields during the Great Depression and in a munitions factory during WWII. By the time she was eighteen she had lost her father and two brothers, one a gunner whose bomber was shot down in the war.

On February 14, 1944, Judy was serving as a junior hostess for a USO dance in Little Rock Arkansas when she met a handsome young soldier, Frank Ryba, who soon thereafter shipped overseas to continue his service in both theaters of the war.  Frank courted Judy via letters from abroad until they could meet again and begin their life together. Judy laughed as she recalled his romantic proposal, “Hey Kid, you wanna go to Chicago?” On April 20, 1947, Judy married decorated war veteran, Frank Ryba, and made the big move from Little Rock to “the foreign land” of Chicago.

Judy and Frank lived in Chicago near Frank’s Polish family who taught her to love all things Chicago including pierogis, pizza and the White Sox. Frank was employed at the Department of Defense and Judy   transferred from the Little Rock telephone company to Illinois Bell. Their first child, Thomas, was born in 1953. Judy took a hiatus from her career after her second son, Lawrence, was born in 1955. Two daughters, Patricia and Susan, followed in 1961 and 1964. The family moved to River Grove in 1962 where she lived out her life making many close friends and happy memories. Judy returned to work in 1971 as a telephone operator and retired from AT&T in 1987.

Sadly, Frank passed away at age 45, leaving Judy to raise and college educate her four children as a single parent, a role she embraced with grace, fortitude and competence.  When her son, Larry, passed away unexpectedly in 1987, Judy’s strength was challenged like never before but again, she picked herself up and maintained her faith in God and zest for life. Judy’s unwavering faith carried her through the toughest of times. She remained a member of St. Cyprian Catholic Church in River Grove for 59 years.

Judy loved her children and their spouses fiercely, embraced all with her big smile and generous heart. She was a second mother to many. She doted on her grandchildren who were the joy of her life in her later years.

Judy is survived by her son, Dr. Thomas Ryba (Christine), daughters, Dr. Patricia Ryba Wills (William), Susan Ryba Tirone (Peter) and grandchildren, Elizabeth Ryba, Jack Wills, Alina Wills, Frank Tirone and Nate Tirone

Judy touched the lives of so many with her kindness, big heart and generosity. She leaves a legacy of unconditional love and beautiful memories.

A funeral mass will be held at St. Cyprian Catholic Church at 11.30 am on August 6 , 2021 followed by a reception for friends and family.

Olesja K. Spratford (“Lesh”)

Olesja K. Spratford (“Lesh”), died from complications of ALS at her home in Oswego, IL on May 28, 2021. The embodiment of the American Dream, she was born to Paul and Natalie Kozar in a displaced person’s camp in Germany on May 2, 1947. The Ukrainian family immigrated to the United States when she was a toddler, arriving first in Maryland and settling in New Jersey. She attended Franklin High School in Somerset where she met the love of her life, Michel “Mitch” Spratford. She graduated Hartwick College in 1969 with a BA in Russian and married Mitch two weeks later. They started their family in North Plainfield, NJ, before relocating to Aurora, IL in 1982. While raising her children, Olesja worked first at the Illinois Migrant Council and later as the coordinator of the Children’s Enrichment Program at Waubonsee Community College. After Mitch was diagnosed with cancer, they downsized to a home in Oswego, leaving wonderful friends including the Buckleys and Goldsmiths in the subdivision of Sans Souci.

Proud to be a naturalized US citizen, Olesja served as an election judge in Kane County and an international observer with the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) for three contentious elections in Ukraine. She loved current events, reading at least two newspapers and watching multiple news and commentary broadcasts each day. Lesh was an outstanding home cook, loyal patron of the arts, and fan of Lidia Bastianich, Yo-Yo Ma, Amy Tan, dark chocolate, St John USVI, gardening, and, much to her family’s chagrin, the Green Bay Packers. Above everything else, she was a devoted daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother. Her family’s lives are darker for her absence but immeasurably richer for having been blessed with her loving presence.

Olesja is survived by son Eric (wife Becky and their children, Samantha and Nathaniel), daughter Melanie, cousins Olia Lupan and Mark Adams and their families, and Mitch’s mother and siblings and their families. In order to pay forward the generosity of The ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter, please make donations at A private remembrance ceremony will be held in the future.

Eileen Marie Ashe Callaghan

Eileen Callaghan, 81, of Chicago, Illinois, passed away peacefully on May 27, 2021. She was surrounded by her loving husband and all three of her children.

Eileen was born on October 31, 1939 in Chicago, the daughter of the late John and Nellie (O’Connor) Ashe. She was a proud graduate of Loretto of Englewood High School.

Eileen married Edward Joseph Callaghan on April 27, 1963. They were married a glorious 58 years during which they raised a beautiful family, purchased two brand new homes together (she was very proud of that), hosted innumerable gatherings, became devoted grandparents, cheered at many an athletic event, moved to Orland Park, and spent years traveling.

Eileen worked for the Jewel for 32 years at a variety of locations, beginning her career in the bakery at 54th and Pulaski and ending it as a cashier at the Orland Park store. She made lifelong friends there.

Eileen is survived by her devoted husband Ed (an incredible caregiver until the very end), her oldest son Patrick (he’s so funny), her storytelling middle son Daniel (she could listen to his tales all day long), and her darling Diane (her favorite youngest child and only daughter). She leaves behind her daughter-in-laws, Lisa and Beth, and her son-in-law Mike all who have been so good to her over the years. Her legacy will live on in the beautiful lives of her grandchildren Colin, Sarah, Abby, Michael, Jaclyn, Erik, and Luke.

Eileen was a lover of family, luncheons, word searches, the morning paper, her Mt. Greenwood neighbors and friends, her Loretto best buddies for life, a fine meal, camping memories, finding a bargain at Kohl’s, going to the movies, morning mass, the Orland Sportsplex, making soup to share, “Blue Bloods,” volunteering at GiGi’s Playhouse, and traveling the world with Ed. She will be missed more than words can express.

Eileen was a tremendously proud supporter of the Down syndrome community. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to GiGi’s Playhouse Tinley Park, 15954 S Harlem Ave, Tinley Park, IL 60477.

A Memorial Mass will be held at 10:00am on June 14th at Saint Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, 9300 W 167th St, Orland Hills, IL 60487.

Lisa Marie Nicholson

Lisa M. Nicholson, born January 23, 1971 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, died peacefully in her home in Des Plaines, Illinois, on April 18, 2021 due to breast cancer.

Lisa grew up in Des Plaines. She attended Catholic Schools (St. Mary’s and Our Lady of Hope) up until High School, when she attended Maine West. Lisa grew up playing basketball through the local youth girls basketball feeder program. Lisa graduated from Maine West High School (Des Plaines, IL) in 1989. She was part of the Maine West teams that won 65 consecutive basketball games and the undefeated Maine West team of 1988 that won the Illinois State Championship. Lisa became a coach herself for many years at Our Lady of Destiny and the Lady Warriors Feeder Program.

After high school, Lisa attended University of Chicago where she continued her basketball career and was a central member of the “Maroon basketball chick” team for decades, continuing to play basketball recreationally after college in various Chicago leagues. She graduated with B.A. from University of Chicago (Psychology) in 1993. After college while working at West Englewood-Frick with developmentally-disabled adults, she met her future husband Jeff. Lisa and Jeff moved to Portland, OR in the summer of 1996. In Portland, Lisa worked at Perry Center with traumatized kids who were wards of the state. Lisa went to graduate school at Portland State University, receiving a M.A. in Public Health.

Lisa and Jeff moved back to Illinois in 2000 and they were married on October 14, 2000 at Our Lady of Hope Church in Rosemont. Lisa had a great life with her family enjoying many vacations, camping trips, biking adventures around the city, basketball tournaments, soccer tournaments, school functions, family functions, weekend excursions, get-togethers with friends, quiet time with family. She was the best mother and wife that we could ask for. She took care of everything for her family. She would say looking at her family, “my heart is full.”

Her last job was working at Tradewater, LLC helping to clean up the environment from toxins.  Lisa was blessed and energized by being able to work at her “dream” job with like-minded co-workers. Prior to that, she spent many years working at Lighthouse (2004 – 2019), helping people addicted to narcotics. She also worked at Genesis House (2000-2004), helping prostitutes get off the street. Her work was dedicated to helping others, and she created positive energy wherever she went.

Lisa  leaves behind her husband, Jeff Russel Van Fleet and two children Dylan E. Van Fleet (19) and Maxwell R. Van Fleet (9). In addition, leaves behind her parents, Mary Ann and David Nicholson and two sisters, Michele (Nicolson) Grolewbeskwi and Nicole Nicholson. She also leaves behind a large extended family of in-laws, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.  She was dedicated to her family and will be dearly missed.

A Celebration of Life was held on May 8, 2021 at the home of long-time friends Patty and Michael Albo.

Lori Renee Federman

Lori Renee Federman, 56, loving wife, devoted mother and beloved Nana, passed away on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, after a brief, but devastating battle with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.  Lori was born in Aurora to Jack and Barbara nee Schrader Middleton on April 27, 1965.

She leaves behind her family who loved her unconditionally, her husband Christian, the love of her life; children Paul (Lauren) Middleton of Yorkville, IL, Lauren (Adam) White of Wheaton, IL, Mark Brackett Jr. of Montgomery, IL, Cara (Matt Oltmann) Federman of Sugar Grove, IL; grandchildren Emma, Owen, Nolan, Sullivan, Mia, & Rayne; sister Carolyn (Charles) Thompson of Sugar Grove, IL, brothers Andrew (Carol) Minneci of Memphis, TN, Steven (Sherri) Middleton of Cottage Grove, TN, Robert (April) Middleton of Montgomery, IL, Michael (Lesa) Staley of Austin, TX, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and relatives. Lori was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Bruce Hanks.

Lori was a shining light to all that knew her. Her beautiful smile and wonderful sense of humor left a lasting impression on so many. Lori was committed to her personal growth and worked hard as an adult learner to receive her Associates Degree from University of Phoenix. Environmental consciousness was also very important to Lori. She worked tirelessly to reduce her carbon footprint and bring awareness to others about this cause. Lori also enjoyed creating jewelry and baking, but her greatest passion was being a Nana to her beautiful grandchildren. She found her greatest joy in being surrounded by her grandkids whether it was watching them play a sport they loved, learning about dinosaurs or Pokemon, or playing Barbie and watching Moana for the 100th time. She loved every single second she spent with them.

Lori will be forever remembered and missed by all who knew her, including many cousins, in-laws, nieces, nephews and friends. A celebration of life is scheduled May 22, 2021 to honor Lori. Memorial Service at 12:00 pm, Celebration of Life 1:00 pm – 4 pm, 46 Circle Drive W, Montgomery, IL 60538. In lieu of flowers and in memory of Lori, please consider making a donation to the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation at

James “Jim” A. Riska

James “Jim” A. Riska, age 75 of Crest Hill (formerly Brookfield and Chicago), passed away peacefully on Friday May 7th, 2021. Throughout his life, nothing was more important than family; his favorite titles were father, grandfather, husband, and friend.

James is survived by his wife of 2 ½ years Mildred, son Frank, daughter Stacy (Kristopher) Hansen, and stepdaughter Patricia Xena Shim stepson Raphael Argente Shim.  James took great pride in his role of “grandpa” to Chase Hansen (4).  In addition to many nieces and nephews, James was beloved by many friends whose lives he touched with his kindness.

James is preceded in death by his parents, Laddie and Violet Riska and his treasured wife of 43 years, Cynthia and his sister Judith Wohlford (Paul)

James exceled in his career as a “horizontal transportation engineer” – aka truck driver – until November 2020.  When not on the road, James enjoyed golfing and spending time with family and friends. He was known for his willingness to help anyone at anytime; including the time he assisted in building the baseball field in Brookfield … and then coaching countless baseball and softball teams.

His giving spirit and love for those closest to him will never be forgotten. Memorial Services are private.

Michael E. Barrett

Michael E. Barrett, 73, loving husband, father and grandfather, passed away at home surrounded by his family on Friday, April 30, 2021.  Mike was born in Chicago to Joseph and June Barrett in 1947.  He was a devoted husband to Connie for 50 years, and a loving father and grandfather.  He is survived by his wife, his daughter Ami, married to Jim O’Neil, parents of Kaitlin and Alex, and daughter Natalie, married to David Frobish, parents of Lily and Vivian, as well as his sister Mary and brothers Daniel and Patrick.  He worked as a union electrician until he retired at the age of 58, and then worked for a local school district as a teacher’s aide, where he loved being able to help educate and pass on his knowledge.

Mike’s primary love and focus was his family.  He had a passion for running, reading and travel and enjoyed many trips overseas and around the country. Mike ran over 40 marathons around the country, including Minnesota, San Francisco and Hawaii, as well as qualifying and running in the esteemed Boston Marathon twice. He enjoyed listening to music, grilling, having date nights, and helping Connie with her gardening.  He was known for his willingness to help his family and friends, his sense of humor, and his endless vault of trivia and history facts.

Mike will be forever remembered and missed by all who knew him, including many cousins, in-laws, nieces, nephews and friends. A celebration of life will be scheduled over the summer to honor Mike. Details will be provided to family and friends at that time.

Michael Anthony Tighe, Jr.

Mike Tighe, age 83, loving father to Sean, dear brother of Ann and friend to many passed on Monday April 26.

Mike grew up in Highland Park, graduated from Dartmouth college and served in the US Marine Corps, after which he settled in Chicago. He loved skiing and meeting friends at Butch Maguire’s. As Cubs season ticket holder for forty years he meticulously scored every game he attended.

Mike is survived by his loving son Sean and his dear sister Annie. Mike touched many during his lifetime and will always be remembered for his charm and great smile.

Alice V. Majewski

Alice V. Majewski 82 of Elmhurst passed away March 2,2021 with family at her bedside. She reunites with her Beloved Husband Peter F. Majewski. Daughter of Catherine Maduzia Majewski and Rudolph Bednara. She leaves behind her Son Craig P. Majewski (Carla Majewski) Daughter Susan Chitwood, Sister In Law Peg Majewski (Late Michael Majewski) and Grandchildren Christopher Majewski, Cory Majewski, Ali Chitwood and Katie Chitwood and many loving nieces and nephews. Her beautiful smile and soft words of wisdom will be dearly missed. Celebration of Life will be held at Visitation Catholic Church 779 S York St., Elmhurst, IL, April 17, 2021 at 9:30a.m. masks required and all social distancing guidelines will be followed.


Lees Carson Waintroob

Lees was born Florence Lees Carson in Oak Park, Illinois on July 8, 1922.  She spent her first nine years in Oakland, California but returned to Oak Park in 1931.  Lees graduated from Oak Park High School in 1940.

Following high school, Lees went to secretarial school and held a variety of jobs in Chicago and San Francisco.  After World War II, Lees worked for the U.S. Army in China and Hawaii before returning to Chicago.  In 1949, she met and married her husband, David Waintroob.  Their first child, Daniel, was born in San Francisco in 1950.  That same year, Lees and Dave returned to Chicago.  Their second child, Andrea, was born in Chicago in 1952.  In 1953, Lees and Dave moved to Highland Park, IL. where their third child, Tom was born in 1958.

Dave died in 1966.  After his death, Lees went back to work as a secretary.  In 1971, she moved to Evanston and began work for the American Medical Association.  She worked for the AMA until her retirement in 1989.  At the AMA, Lees worked her way up from secretary to Assistant Director of the Department of Officer Services.  Lees made many enduring friendships at the AMA.

Lees was a life-long learner and was a proud graduate of the University of Chicago Basic Program.

After her retirement from the AMA, Lees volunteered for many years at the Art Institute.  Lees moved to a retirement home in Vernon Hills in 2011.  In 2020, she moved to Glenview Terrace where she spent her final days.

Lees was a warm and loving mother and grandmother and a beloved friend of many.  She had a cheerful, indomitable spirit which enabled her to overcome the tragedies of her husband’s early death, her son Tom’s mental illness and premature death and her own later life vision and hearing impairments.

Lees is survived by her children, Dan and Andrea Waintroob, her daughter-in-law, Karen Waintroob, her grandchildren David (Alicia) and Jon Waintroob (Natalie), Anne and David Wildman, and her great-grandchildren Sarah, Ethan, Fritz and Annelise Waintroob.  A private family service will be held.

Fernanda Sassetti

Fernanda Sassetti, 91, of Elmhurst, Illinois passed away on Friday, January 29, 2021 with her family at her bedside. She reunites with her Beloved Husband Louis and Son Gino. She leaves behind her children Annamarie (Philip Paris), Carla (Craig Majewski), Louis Jr. Sassetti (Kelly). Grand Children Kristina (Tom Gambarotta), Gino Paris (Lyneea), Michelle, Christopher and Cory. Great Grandchildren Jasmine, Amelia, Archer and Atlas.

She was a nurturing person who felt everyone was family and family dinners were a very important time to her to enjoy everyone.  There was nothing she wouldn’t do for her family. She will be dearly missed.  A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held in the spring/summer, once it is safe for family and friends to gather to honor her bright light.

Marie Joanne Flanagan

With profound sadness we announce that surrounded by loved ones, Marie Joanne Flanagan (née DeFilippis), 76, passed away in her home in Orland Park, Illinois on December 14, 2020.
Marie is survived by husband Michael, daughters Lisa, Tracy, and Erin Flanagan, grandson Brendan, in-laws Richard and Deborah Flanagan, Patrick and Rosalyne Flanagan, Kenneth and Cheryl Flanagan, and cherished nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by parents, Rocco and Clara, sister Lucile (Lou) and brother Michael. Marie was beloved by many precious friends whose lives she touched with her kindness and humor.

While a young mother to Lisa, Tracy, and Erin, she was active in local social justice activities including co-founding The Women’s Room in Chicago, a safe space for women to gather and advance the women’s liberation movement agenda. Marie earned her undergraduate degree at 48 and her master’s degree at 52. She embarked on a professional career as a school psychologist, providing comfort and guidance to young children in the Chicago and Orland Park school systems. Among her most proud accomplishments, she helped found a support group at Little Company of Mary Hospital to counsel and comfort bereaved children.

Marie adored all forms of creative expression: music, art, dance. She particularly enjoyed pottery, and her pieces fill her home and garden. She loved music, especially live performances, and went to many concerts with her children, and later would attend many events at the Old Town School of Folk Music with her grandson, Brendan.

She had a generous heart and a fabulous sense of humor. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for her family and friends. She was the glue that kept everything together.

She wasn’t ready to go, and we didn’t want her to leave. She will be dearly missed.

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held in the spring/summer, once it is safe for family and friends to gather to honor her bright light. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the bereaved children’s support group Marie helped found: OSF HealthCare Foundation, LCMMC Heart Connection Program, 2800 W 95th Street, Evergreen Park, IL 60805.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
-Maya Angelou

Marlene E. Pantazelos

Marlene E. Pantazelos (Kutyba) of Rockford, Illinois, passed away in her home on July 9, 2018 with her loving family present. She leaves behind many beloved family. Loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. Loving wife of Jim Pantazelos and of the late Joseph Walter Kutyba. Loved daughter of Evelyn (Nee Crowfoot) and the late Joseph Palasz. Beloved children, Debbie Irving, late Joseph Ricky (2013), Christina, Wendy, and Corinne. Grandmother of sixteen, Great Grandmother of many. Dear sisters and brothers of the late Palasz family, Ronnie, Nora, Dennis and Corinne.

P.S. In loving memory of Grandma, I Love you with all my heart. Life will be hard without you, but we must push forward until we meet again. Send me my butterflies and dragon kisses in the wind and my cardinal of love. I already miss you Grandma. Love Yonna

Gertrude Jane Wendling

Gertrude Jane Wendling, age 92, of Oak Lawn, passed away surrounded by family.

She is the loving wife of the late Edward Louis, and mother of the late Mary Ella (Wayne) Fisher, Sharon (Tim) McCotter of Minnesota, Ed (Lisa) of Washington, Shawn (Cynthia) of Alaska, Carol Cropp of Colorado, Scott (Peg) of Washington. Fond grandmother of twelve grandchildren Michelle, Sam, Michael, Monica, Allison, Holden, Malia, Sara, Hudson, Beckett, Riley, Jack, and two great grandchildren Parker and Cole. Fond aunt of many nieces and nephews.

Born a farm girl in northern Wisconsin and educated in a one room school-house, she went on to earn a Registered Nurse certification from St. Bernard School of Nursing.  A lifelong nurse, she worked across the American west doing public health nursing for the American Red Cross, in various hospital positions, ran the Worth Township Health Clinic, and was the ad-hoc nurse to all she knew. Served as 4-H Club Leader, involved with Scouting at multiple levels, she was awarded: the Wood Badge, Silver Beaver Award, St. George Spiritual Award, and served as Chicago Area Council District Trainer.

Dedicated to her family, a role model to many, Gert’s infectious smile radiated love and joy. While she loved all her children, it was her grandchildren and great grandchildren that brought her special joy.

Funeral Mass, Tuesday December 29th at Saint Germaine Catholic Church for 11:00 A.M. Mass. In accordance with public gathering restrictions, attendees are expected to wear a mask and observe social distancing. Private Interment at Abraham Lincoln Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please consider donations to: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Department 142, Memphis TN, 38148.

Funeral Mass on Tuesday, December 29th at 11:00 A.M. will be LIVE STREAMED. Please click HERE to access link.

Roseann Veith

Roseann Veith, from Chicago, passed away on December 6, 2020 in Berwyn, Illinois.

Dear sister of Albert E. (Millie), Thomas (Pat), Hank (Lisa), Mike (Dawn), Kathy (Howard) Pikel and the late, Mary (Bob) Kirchner, as well as Aunt to sixteen nieces and nephews, and nine great nieces and nephews.

Due to restrictions for the pandemic, a private family memorial will be held. Burial will follow at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery. In lieu of cards or flowers, please make a donation to Catholic Charities in her name.

Douglas Ray Hawkins

After a hard fought battle with an aggressive cancer, Douglas Ray Hawkins passed away peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, at 10:07 p.m. in his Chicago home, surrounded by family.

Doug leaves behind his partner, Gary Weiand of Chicago; sister Lisa Hawkins of Carbondale; brother Keith Hawkins, sister-in-law Tammy, and nephew Cody Hess and niece Stephanie Hess, and great nephews Josh, Ben, and Kenneth of Wyoming; nephew Justin Hawkins and wife, Nikki, great nephew Drake, and great nieces Raeli Jean and Kiley of Louisiana; and his life-long friend, Deborah Tate.

Doug was born on August 14, 1964, in the Carbondale Memorial Hospital, to Curtis Ray and Norma Jean Hawkins, who predeceased him.  He attended Carbondale Community High School and was a Theatre Major at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale before relocating to Chicago, Illinois.  He was very active in the summer theatre at SIUC and remained close throughout his life to George Pinney, the previous Head of Performance Studies at SIUC.

Doug had a career in commercial real estate at the Chicago Levi Corporation.  He continued his love of theatre and music throughout his life and was a talented artist in many areas, including acrylic and water color painting, glass art, furniture making, cooking, and was infamous for his Christmas present wrapping.  He loved spending time with his family and friends fishing, camping, sitting by a fire, or simply relaxing at home.

Doug will be missed greatly by his family and many close friends.  It was Doug’s wishes to be cremated.  Due to the COVID pandemic, a public service is not scheduled at this time.

The family would especially like to thank the staff of Northwestern Hospital and Rainbow Hospice/Palliative Care for their constant attentive treatment, and Dwayne, Mandy, and Molly Ormsby for their love and support.  In lieu of flowers and gifts, please send memorials to the Ryan White Foundation at

Vivian Nancy Fernbacher

Vivian Nancy Fernbacher, age 81, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her husband and children, on December 5, 2020 in Chicago. She was born on February 13,1939 in Maywood, NJ to Adolf and Nancy Aubert.  She married Robert Fernbacher in August 1961, and they were married for 59 years. 

Vivian received a BS in Education from SUNY Oswego and taught elementary school for several years before she married.

Vivian was a devoted mother who raised five children and had eight grand-children. She was known for her creativity, gleeful wit, frequent big hearted laughs and commitment to education. She studied and then worked for twenty years as a nutritionist and lactation consultant, working with Women, Infant and Children (WIC) programs supporting underserved communities in Cook and McHenry counties. 

Donald F. Purcell, Sr.

Mr. Donald F. Purcell Sr., 87, Tinley Park, IL, son of the late Charles F. Purcell and the late Maude A. Purcell (nee Raley) passed away on November 17, 2020 due to complications of COVID.

Donald was born in Great Mills, MD in 1933. He later moved to Chicago to pursue his boxing career and won a Golden Glove. He was a long-time employee, and retiree, of the Continental Can Company in Chicago, IL.  He recently retired from Jewel in Oak Forest after 20 years of service there.

Donald was an avid bowler, having achieved a perfect 300 game.  He also enjoyed reading, genealogy, gardening, exercising, and doing puzzles. Donald was a devoted father and loved his children very much.

His life will forever be cherished in the lives of his children: Renee (Charles) Kehr of Gainesville, FL, Donald Jr. (Barbara) of Chicago, IL, Michelle (Ted) Tomeski of Alsip, IL, Andrea (Donald) Laprad, of Kershaw, SC.  Grandchildren, Heather, Lauryn, the late Robert O. Davis, Tia, Travis, Lisa, Wayne, Brianna, and four great-grandchildren: brothers Charles K., the late Joseph R., Patricia Ann, Robert L., Mary Linda, and Peggy Ann: and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends of Tinley Park and Orland Park Bowl. 

Gordon W. Mertes

It is with a great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Gordon W. Mertes on November 9, 2020 at the age of 68 years old.  He was surrounded by his son and daughter at Christ Advocate Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

Gordon was born in Chicago, Illinois to Gerald and Rose Mertes and was the 2nd oldest of 9 children.  He was a loving, caring, and supportive brother, uncle, father and friend.  Gordon owned his own remodeling business and was a mentor to many in the remodeling industry, including his son, who still works in the industry.  Gordon was a friend of Bill W. and dedicated a lot of his life supporting, mentoring, and helping others when they needed it most.  His words of wisdom, “dad jokes”, infectious laugh, and honesty will not be forgotten by those lucky enough to have had him in their lives.

Gordon is survived by his son, Gordon T. Mertes, his granddaughter Laila Mertes, by his daughter, Tanya Raz, (Jonathan) and he was also excited to be expecting his second grandchild in May (Tanya and Jonathan), his brother Gerald Mertes (Bonnie), Kevin Mertes (Patricia), his sisters Laura Mertes, Eileen (Ronald) Dolansky, Diana (Dennis) Johnson, and Joanna Mertes and is the brother of the late David Mertes and Ronald Mertes.

Services will be held at a future date. 

Melanie Sirois

Melanie Sirois, 55 of Chicago, Illinois, passed away at her home after a long illness on Saturday November 7, 2020, surrounded by her loving family.She was born on November 25, 1964 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the daughter of Rollande Sirois of Dartmouth, Massachusetts and the late Wilfred “Bibby” Sirois.

Melanie was a master pastry chef and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. She began her career as an executive chef in Boston.  Working as a personal chef took her to Wyoming and then to Chicago where she made her home as a pastry chef, a personal chef and food consultant. She loved to bake and decorate her famous Gingerbread Houses at Christmas and was a spin class devotee where she met her “Chicago Family.”
Melanie is survived by her loving brother Marcel Sirois and his wife, Eileen, her adored niece and nephews, Lindsey, John and Dan Sirois of New Jersey and many loved aunts, uncles, cousins and cherished friends. She will be lovingly missed by all those who knew her.  
Thank you to the wonderful and caring medical staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women’s Hospital and to the truly amazing nurses and staff at Rainbow Hospice.    

A celebration of her life will be held next summer.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that remembrances may be made to: Rainbow Hospice, and Palliative Care, c/o Foundation, Attn: Emily Douville, 2601 Navistar Dr., Building 4/Floor 1, Lisle, IL 60532,

William “Bill” Michael Brown

William “Bill” Michael Brown, 65, of Oak Lawn, passed on Thursday October 15, 2020. He was born January 27, 1955, in Evergreen Park at Little Company of Mary to William G. Brown and Geraldine B. Brown (nee Shaw).  He received an Associates Degree in Electrical Engineering from Moraine Valley. He worked for many years at Unisys and then at the Post Office Bedford Park location as a mechanic. His main passions in life included fishing, grilling, and woodworking. He was an excellent drummer and played for fun and functions. He was active in the American Legion in Evergreen Park.

He is survived by his daughter, Rebecca Brown of Oak Lawn; his siblings Gail (Mark Kane) Sizemore of South Baldwin, PA, Russell (Melissa) Brown of Willowbrook, Cathy (David Kucera) Zidek-Kucera of Newark, IL, and Timothy Brown of Evergreen Park; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents.

There will be a visitation on Friday, November 6, from 3 P.M. – 7 P.M. at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church at 10400 S. Kostner Ave. Oak Lawn, IL 60453. Internment is private. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Brookfield Zoo at or the Evergreen Park American Legion Post 854 at 9701 S. Kedzie Ave. Evergreen Park, IL 60805.

Herman Lee Bringle

Herman Lee Bringle, 88, passed away peacefully Friday, October 23, 2020 at Joliet Area Community Hospice, Joliet, Illinois.

Survived by his loving wife, Joyce (nee Cullen), Son Edward A. Bringle, Step children Geni (Craig) Judd, John (Rebecca) Gagnon, Stephanie DeMattia, David (Sandi) Gagnon, Nine grandchildren, Johnny, Crystal (Ronnie), Patrick, Jared (Carly), Danny, Aly (Mark), Kayla, Maddie and Nathan, One great granddaughter, Odette, Sisters Agnes (John Lamar) and Elizabeth (Malcolm), Brothers Harold (Tasha) and J.D. (Nibia) and numerous nieces and nephews.

Herman loved cars and motorcycles! He loved making repairs and would always lend a hand to anyone that needed help. Herman was an honorable man of service and had a servants heart.

A Memorial Serivce honoring Herman’s life will be held Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. at Judson Church, 2800 Black Road, Joliet, Illinois 60435.

Phillip Henry Klos

Phillip Henry Klos, 64, of North Riverside, Illinois, passed away on September 21, 2020.
He is survived by his sister Pat Albert, his niece Christie View, and his nephew Michael Albert as well as mike’s wife Katherine. He was blessed to have a best friend of 50 years, Bob Slifka who also survives his “brother” Phil.

Preceded in death by his Mother, Audrey Klos and Father, Henry Klos. Also Grandparents, Paul and Pauline Lamich and Mary Maslowski.

Special Thank You to all employees of Ty Miles Inc., where Phil worked for 40 years, and his amazing boss, Steve.  Thank you to the best neighbors anyone could have, Dave and Linda Widlock for their continued and kind care, love and support of Phil for all his years and during his battle with cancer.

We know he is no longer in pain and is certainly sitting in a boat fishing with a cold beer in his hand. He will be missed by all.

Jesse E. Walden, Jr.

Jesse E. Walden, Jr., age 76, of Westmont, Illinois, passed away peacefully at home on July 26, 2020, following courageous battles with both lung and bone cancer.  

Jesse was born at home on a farm in Charleston, Illinois on August 25, 1943 as the only child to Jesse E. Walden Sr., and Gladys (Miller) Walden. During his formative years, Jess enjoyed driving and working on cars and began a lifelong appreciation of marksmanship, shooting at the range with the retired folks of the Charleston area.  Later in life, Jesse would decline requests for help snapping the stems off of fresh green beans, explaining that he had had his fill of that kind of work while growing up on the farm.  

After attending Charleston High School and graduating in 1961, Jesse enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, serving as a Medical Service Specialist airman on active duty from 1961 to 1964 and in the Air Force Reserve until 1967.  During his time in the Air Force, he received the Air Force Good Conduct Medal and the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon.  Jesse would reflect and draw upon his time and service throughout his life.

Following his release from active duty, Jesse returned to Charleston, serving as a patrolman with the Charleston Police Department. After moving with his family from Charleston, Illinois to Watertown, New York in the mid-1960s, Jesse worked on the factory floor for a local ski lift company for a short period of time, hating it and determining that was not going to be his gig.  So, drawing upon his skills as a natural conversationalist, Jesse transitioned to a lengthy career in sales, first by selling Dodges in New York, and later, heavy equipment, starting with the Elgin Leach Corporation, where he worked his way up the corporate sales ladder through a series of promotions that would take him from New York to Georgia to Ohio again to Georgia, then back to Illinois.  Later, Jesse would work at Stanton Equipment Company (where he met his wife Denise in 1986), Canton Industrial Corporation, and Standard Equipment Company, before opening his own business, Midwest Equipment Sales & Service.  After retiring from the equipment business, Jesse worked at Walden Floral Design in Downers Grove, Illinois, ultimately closing out his working career as a security officer with Securitex, protecting a variety of businesses, including, most recently, Lawson Products, Inc.

He was preceded in death by his parents. Jesse is survived by his wife, Denise Walden; his daughters, Bridget (Damon) Taylor and Mary (Warren) Gilbert; his sons Ronnie Walden, Jesse (Erin) Walden III, and Daniel (Emily) Kurowski; his grandchildren, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jon Gilbert, Coleman (Hannah) Taylor, Shelby (Nathaniel) Baker, Amanda (Alex) MacKensie, Hannah (Michael) Torres, Austin Walden, Alex Walden, Ronni Walden, Laurel Kurowski and Leo Kurowski; great grandchildren, Gabriella MacKensie, Grayson MacKensie, Ava Dickson, Silas Baker, and Blake Gilbert and Lillian Gilbert; and countless friends.

An open, outdoor visitation will be held at the Morton Arboretum’s Thornhill Education Center on Saturday, August 8, 2020 from 10:00 am to Noon, followed by a private memorial service and luncheon.

At his request, Jesse was cremated and he will ultimately be interned at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.

Jesse praised the care that he received from the VA Medical Center in Hines, Illinois.  In lieu of flowers, donations in Jesse’s memory may be made directly to either (1) the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital by selecting that facility via or (2) to Seasons Hospice via

Teresa Ellen (Polizzotto) Flucus

Teresa Ellen (Polizzotto) Flucus, age 86, of Naperville, IL. passed away on July 19, 2020, following a courageous battle with Parkinson Disease.  Teresa was born in Gary, IN to Joseph and Margaret (Buscemi) Polizzotto on July 13, 1934.

She attended St. Mark’s Grade School and graduated from Lew Wallace HS in 1952.  In addition to being a homemaker, Teresa worked for the Anderson Company and for US Steel as a production planner, retiring in 1999 after 33 years of service.

She was active in the Sigma Upsilon Alpha Pi Sorority and a lifelong member of St Mark’s Catholic Church in Glen Park, IN where she married Nicholas Flucus on October 20, 1956.  Teresa was proud of her Sicilian heritage, was hard-working, mentally strong, generous and devoted to her family.

She was preceded in death by her parents and numerous aunts and uncles. Teresa is survived by her husband, Nick; daughters: Teri Pearson, Kathi (Dan) Tromblay and Sharon (Alex) Zain; grandchildren: Nick, Kristin, and Margaret Pearson; Erica (Paul) DeLuca, Ben and Dylan Tromblay; Nathaniel and Andrew Zain, great grandchildren: Sophia and Scarlett DeLuca, sisters: Angeline (late John) Napalowski and Joan (John) Cox, and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Nativity of Our Savior Catholic Church (2949 Willowcreek Rd, Portage, IN) on Friday August 21, 2020 at 11am and will be live streamed through the parish Facebook page.  Private Burial will follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association at

Patricia V. Larsen

Patricia V. Larsen, 75, passed away peacefully on June 3, 2020. Beloved wife to Marcus and devoted loving mother to Jessica (Michael) Nickless and Stephen (Amy) Larsen.  Patricia was a wonderful and dedicated grandmother to her five grandchildren Andrew, Luke, Gwyneth, Ellise and Jude.  Dear sister of Robert Polarek and wife Vickie, and the late Richard Polarek and wife Donna Polarek Jocius. She is survived by many loving nieces and nephews.

She will be remembered by her generosity, her unconditional love of her family, her many friendships and passion for travel, music and flowers. Some of her best moments were traveling and spending time with her family on trips to Europe, Disney World and Arizona.

The Larsen family would like to thank all of her friends and family who provided their love and support. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Therese M. Bandur

Therese M. Bandur (nee Jordan) Born 10/11/1929. Died 5/24/2020. Terry was the daughter of Charles and Valerie and big sister to Ronald and Valerie “Vi”. Mom met the love of her life, Stanley, at a St. Hedwig dance in Chicago. They were married on 9/11/1948. Mom always wanted to be a wife and a “Mom”. She did both with love, grace and patience. She had a great teacher in her own mother. Mom and Dad grew their family in Lake Zurich in the 1950’s and 60’s. Surviving through house additions, ice storms and a tornado in 1967.

She lost her beloved brother Ron in 1993, first born son James in 2005, her husband Stanley in 2008 and never forgot the baby she lost in 1959. Mom never said “in-law”, as everyone who came into her family became her ‘sister’, ‘brother’ ‘son’ and’ daughter’. Survived by sister: Valerie Ware, ‘sisters’  Pat (late Ron) Jordan, Charlotte (late Chet) Sanocki and Bernice (late Ed) Bandur.

Mom to: Linda (late James). Sue (Bill) Zaker, Barbara (Joe) Massani, Don (Kathi) , John (Cindy)  and Tom (Janet). GG Terry to: 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Auntie Terry to many nieces and nephews.

We wish to thank  Addolorata Villa in Wheeling and Transitions Hospice for the care given at a difficult time. If thinking about a memorial gift please consider a contribution to Addolorata Villa in Wheeling.

Gary C. Lewis

Gary C. Lewis passed away peacefully on April 12th, surrounded by his wife and sons. Beloved husband to LaVerne, loving father to his 3 children, 7 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild: James Lewis and Sue Crackel (Ava and Samantha), Daniel Lewis and Marybeth Orlandi (Nick and Tommy), and Jennifer Lewis and Dan Fannon (Grace, Maggie, and Lewis), and his newest love, Aria Lewis (daughter of Nick Lewis and Aileen Montiel).

Gary started Masters Irrigation, his own sprinkler company, in 1980. Throughout the years, he had employed almost everyone in his cherished Flannigan family. He will be remembered by his generosity, his paintings that he wouldn’t let you leave the house without taking, and his devotional love for his family, Bob Newhart, and Andy Griffith. He was preceded in death by his brother Leslie Ray Lewis and his parents Leonard Lewis and Esther Warren.

A memorial service will be held in Gary’s honor after the Shelter and Stay lifts. The Lewis family would like to thank all of his friends and family who provided their love and support during this journey. Service information will be shared upon scheduling.

Victor Hugo Sotelo

Victor Hugo Sotelo, 38, died peacefully in the arms of his wife and son on March 15, 2020 at his home in Chicago, IL after a courageous battle with cancer.

Devoted father and loving husband, Victor Hugo is survived by his wife Liliana Batres of 15 years of marriage and his beautiful son Matthew Sotelo whom Victor loved very much.

The family would like to say Thank You to all friends and family whom provided their unlimited support and love during this journey. A Memorial Service in his honor is planned for a future date.


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.