A final farewell
The Northwest suburbs lost some renowned movers and shakers in 2012. Here is one last salute.
ECC's second president
Robert Appel, 86; died March 19: Only the second president of Elgin Community College, Appel's relatively short tenure (1971-75) was marked by his determination to keep the college a leader in higher education, and he was instrumental in expanding the Spartan Drive campus, notably of Buildings B and C.
'Father' of the Schaumburg Park District
Bob Bock, 80; died Feb. 26: The "Founding Father of the Schaumburg Park District," was enlisted in 1963 by Mayor Bob Atcher to pull the park district together both legally and financially. He then joined its first board of commissioners and continued to serve until 1977. "If it wasn't for Bob Bock, there wouldn't be a Schaumburg Park District," said former executive director Jerry Handlon.
First president of Palatine Boys Baseball
Thomas Bowman Jr., 91; died July 3: The league Bowman worked to start — organizing crews of volunteers to carve out the fields and build backstops — now is part of the Palatine Park District and is known as Palatine Youth Baseball/Softball. Bowman documented it, covering their split in 1970 from the Palatine North chapter of Little League, through the development of the three fields at Community Park and one behind St. Theresa Church.
'Iconic' Catholic educator in the Northwest suburbs
Sr. Ann Busch, 72; died Sept. 9: Her 10 years as principal of St. Anne School in Barrington culminated 50 years in education, 49 of which were spent in the Archdiocese of Chicago and 25 as a school principal. She also was principal at St. Mary School in Buffalo Grove and St. Norbert in Northbrook. Is credited with leading the drive for St. Anne's to become a National Blue Ribbon School.
Alderman always spoke his mind
Alderman Larry Buske, 68; died Dec. 16: Rolling Meadows 3rd Ward alderman since 2003 and longtime community activist Larry Buske battled lung cancer for more than a year but continued coming to council meetings until near the end. Remembered as a tough guy who wouldn't hesitate to disagree with fellow aldermen, Buske also had a soft side. "That big bear loved three things: people, nature and the city of Rolling Meadows," said Mayor Tom Rooney.
U.S. Olympian, renowned judo coach
Irwin Cohen, 60; died Aug. 27: At the 1972 Munich Olympics, Irwin Cohen rode to training sessions with Israeli athletes who later died in the massacre engineered by militants. Once his own career was finished, he and his brother turned their attention to coaching, where he was beloved by his athletes and their parents. For him, judo was much more than a sport — it was family, and a way to learn life lessons and self confidence.
Award given in his name at St. Viator
Frank M. Covey Jr., 79; died March 18: Every year, during senior awards night at St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights, select seniors are given the Frank M. Covey Jr. Award, marking their "meritorious service" to the school. Covey was the first chairman of St. Viator's new board of trustees during the years immediately following its merger with Sacred Heart of Mary High School. "Frank was instrumental in setting a direction for the board," said the Rev. Robert M. Egan, president.
State's first 'safety dog'
Dandy; died February 2012: She was among the first "safety dogs" in Illinois and showed that dogs could have a place in high schools. Her nose was keenly trained to sniff out drugs on campuses, but she also never met a student she didn't like, said her handler, Glenn VandeBonCoeur.
'Happiest, most loving priest'
Fr. Eugene Faucher, 86; died July 15: Faucher had 61 years in the priesthood, including years with St. Colette in Rolling Meadows and the former Sacred Heart of Mary High School, and later was a senior priest in residence at St. Edna Catholic Church in Arlington Heights. He gave his last homily on May 3 at St. Edna's, on the 61st anniversary of his ordination.
'Mr. Canoe' was devoted to race he started, and to conservation
Ralph Frese, 86; died Dec. 10: The founder of the 19.5-mile Des Plaines River Canoe Marathon was also one of the state's leading conservationists, and mounted re-enactments of several French Canadian exploring expeditions. He was inducted into the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame in 2006. by members of the Illinois Conservation Foundation. "Ralph Frese was one of our state's leading conservationists and advocates for water trails and waterway protection," said Marc Miller, director of Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Trustee, volunteer and bit part actor
William Golembiewski, 69; died Feb. 19: A onetime Streamwood village trustee and volunteer in local charities, his real estate career took an interesting turn when he was "discovered." He brought one of his young daughters to a commercial audition, but he got the job, and more. He portrayed a Chicago cop in "The Fugitive," a butcher in "Home Alone," and had parts in "The Babe," "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," "Only the Lonely" and the remake of "Miracle on 34th Street." He was a trustee from 1979-1987 and later was president of the Streamwood Lions Club and a charter member of the Bartlett Rotary Club.
Taught music for nearly 4 decades
Robert Henry, 82; died Sept. 2: Henry taught band students in Mount Prospect Elementary District 57 for nearly four decades, before retiring to teach privately in the District 214 area. "He guided some of the finest woodwind players in those bands to achieve extremely high standards of musicianship," said Former Hersey band director Dallas Niermayer.
Son of Kimball Hill went his own way
Tracy Hill, 68; died Oct. 14: Instead of taking over Kimball Hill Homes with his brother David, when their father died, Tracy Hill founded Property Specialists Inc., a property management firm, in 1975. "As much as he loved his father he really wanted to be his own guy," said colleague Kurt Kojzarek. Hill also was president of the Homebuilders Association of Greater Chicago.
Influenced health care locally, nationally
Brother Philip Kennedy, 83; died May 2: Kennedy led Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village for 14 years and had a significant influence on Catholic health care in the U.S. after his retirement as CEO. He received the Catholic Health Association's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001, recognizing his leadership that extended past health care and into the local community. Considered modest and humble, he was once spied cleaning a toilet at the Alexian Brothers Bonaventure House in Chicago.
Tireless volunteer for Hoffman Estates community
Sharon Kimble, 76; died Sept. 24: Kimble was Schaumburg Township's Employee of the year in 2001, when she retired as deputy clerk and director of administrative services. "Sharon Kimble was active in virtually every good cause in our community," said Mayor Bill McLeod said, as she volunteered for the Commission for Disabled and Seniors, the Celebrations Commission, the village's sesquicentennial committee, the township Historical Society and the Hoffman Estates' Sister Cities Commission.
One of Wheeling's last pioneers
Erna Koeppen, 90; died July 5: Koeppen and her late husband, Andrew, ran the 120-acre farm started in 1918 by his parents, William and Minnie, in the center of Wheeling, and they continued the seasonal roadside vegetable stand along Dundee Road. The couple slowly sold off parts of the farm to developers and the bulk of it now is home to the Wheeling Village Hall and its police department, Holmes Jr. High School, Heritage Park and the former Wickes Furniture. The last 10 acres went to the Wheeling Park District in 1991 for its community center and aquatics venue.
Dedicated his career to the grocery industry
Martin Lavelle, 79; died May 9: Of South Barrington, Martin Lavelle served the grocery industry for more than 60 years in the Chicago area. Most recently he owned and operated the Edmar Foods chain of grocery stores and the Mared Building Corp. with longtime business partner Ed Olczyk, but his career started at age 16 and included Del Farm Foods, owned by the National Tea Co. and A&P.
The man behind Landwehr's Appliances
Ed Landwehr, 86; died July 14: One of the iconic businesses in the Northwest suburbs was Landwehr's Appliances in Arlington Heights, thanks to Ed Landwehr's driving interest in the hot new postwar field: television. He found work at a television repair shop in downtown Arlington Heights, and less than 10 years later took over as owner. His new Landwehr's TV store grew with the village and moved to Northwest Highway.
Was in Rolling Meadows from the beginning
William Miseska, 83; died June 7: One of Rolling Meadows' earliest business owners, William "Bill" Miseska was also the city's third mayor, in 1966-1967. He opened a gas station at Meadow and Kirchoff roads in 1957, only two years after the city incorporated. Former alderman Rudy Balek said Miseska was an "ideas" man who helped set the city up for success.
Candy master brought business to suburbs
William Morkes, 90; died Oct. 2: William Morkes grew up in the family business, Morkes Chocolates, but he made the pivotal decision that changed the company: He moved it to Rand Road in Palatine. Today, the Palatine location is accompanied by a second retail location in Algonquin, and combined they sell nearly 70,000 pounds of chocolates a year. Their manufacturing is done in Lake Zurich.
Pioneer in Chicago children's TV programming
Elaine Mulqueen, 80; died May 20: A pioneer in Chicago children's television — declared "television royalty" by the Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications — Mulqueen played the bubbly clown, Pandora, on the trendsetting preteen dance show called "Kiddie A-Go-Go," created by Mulqueen and her husband, Jack. One of their early shows, featuring the band New Colony Six singing, "I Lie Awake," is something of a YouTube hit. The Four Seasons, Leslie Gore, Sonny and Cher and the Cowsills all appeared. Their TV careers started in 1962, when Elaine did Coca-Cola commercials on "Bozo Circus" while her husband operated some of the show's puppets. By 1963, they had their own show on WGN-TV, "The Mulqueens." In 1965, they moved to WLS-TV, where they debuted a new format for children, "Kiddie A-Go-Go." They lived in Bartlett.
First president and CEO of WBEZ-FM
Carole Nolan, 80; died July 5: The founding president and CEO of WBEZ-FM lived quietly in her Arlington Heights condominium in retirement, secure in the knowledge she built the station into one of the premiere public radio outlets in the country. Nolan started as a science teacher in the Chicago Public Schools, but her boss soon suggested she become a science consultant and in 1960, they created closed-circuit television programming that brought science curriculum to inner city students.
Came from a historic family and married into one, too
Virginia Weidner Raupp, 89; died Dec. 2: The granddaughter of one of the first families in Buffalo Grove, Pancratz and Mary Weidner, who came to the U.S. in 1851. As the youngest and last survivor of their 10 children — her parents were Theodore and Anna Weidner — Raupp grew up on a 150-acre dairy farm, which now stretches from Cooper Middle School to Weidner Park in Buffalo Grove.
'Heart and soul' of Wheeling High School
Thomas Shirley, 82; died Dec. 2: Thomas Shirley retired more than 20 years ago, but longtime administrators with Northwest Suburban High School District 214 still refer to him as the "heart and soul" of Wheeling High School. A Prospect Hts. resident and alderman, Shirley began his career in 1956, teaching math at Arlington High School. When Wheeling High School opened in 1964 he was named assistant principal, and the next year he became principal, a job he held for 25 years before retiring in 1990.
Community health director for Hanover Township
Trisha Lynn Simon, 40; died Aug. 12: Simon was Hanover Township's community health director, who in six years built a department that grew to provide a host of screenings and immunization clinics, conduct home visits to those in need, help residents with chronic illnesses learn how to manage their disease, and helping uninsured and underinsured residents find access to primary care.
Former Arlington Hts. chamber president
Frank Soprano, 69; died Aug. 9: Former Arlington Hts. Chamber president was among the group of local business leaders who worked with former Arlington Park President John J. Mooney when he organized the first Arlington Million, to welcome international owners and trainers to Arlington Heights. Rob Lincoln, another former Chamber president said that was the hallmark of Soprano's leadership: "He wanted to make the sure the village — and the racetrack — put its best foot forward."
Famed reporter went wherever the story was
Richard Threlkeld, 74; died Jan. 13: Threlkeld, who traveled the world over as a correspondent for CBS and ABC News, covered the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars, the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, the Patty Hearst kidnapping and trial, and the execution of Gary Gilmore. He was also one of the last journalists evacuated from Phnom Penh and Saigon in 1975. But he never forgot his hometown of Barrington, where former classmates remember him as an excellent student and who kept up with them in the alumni association. "When we all wrote papers, his was always the one read before the class because he was so outstanding," said Mary Williams, who graduated with Threlkeld from Hough Street School in 1951 and Barrington High School in 1955.
Threlkeld joined CBS News in 1966 as a producer-editor based in New York, and later became a reporter, anchor and bureau chief. He covered presidential campaigns from Barry Goldwater and Lyndon Johnson to Bill Clinton, and worked alongside Lesley Stahl as co-anchor of "The CBS Morning News" from 1977-79, and reported for "CBS Sunday Morning" from its inception in 1979, as well as for "The CBS Evening News With Dan Rather." In 1981 he moved to ABC News, where he reported for "World News Tonight" as a sort of roving news analyst. He returned to CBS News in 1989, where his final assignment was as Moscow correspondent. From that experience, he wrote a book, "Dispatches from the Former Evil Empire," published in 2001.
Dedicated to the Boy Scouts
Betty Wurster, 75; died Jan. 12: Known for her tireless efforts with the Northwest Suburban Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Elizabeth Ann "Betty" Wurster always made sure everyone was comfortable and baked spectacular cookies for just about any occasion. Wurster was president of the Des Plaines Kiwanis Club, Eagle project coordinator for the Northwest Suburban Council, and was active with the Knights of Columbus Tootsie Roll sale. Her volunteerism and community service won her many awards, but she shied away from the spotlight.
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