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Article updated: 5/15/2013 6:46 PM

Kane County law librarian loved to help others

By Harry Hitzeman

Adella N. Wolff, a lifelong Elgin resident, former Kane County law librarian and wife to a former county board chairman, recently died at the age of 93.

Wolff, who was the law librarian for 17 years, was remembered by friends and colleagues as a patient, friendly woman who was self-taught in library administration.

Halle Cox, director of the Kane County Law Library and Self-Help Legal Center, recalled Wolff's greatest quality as warmth and willingness to help anybody.

"She was a great teacher, super patient, loved working with the attorneys," said Cox, who Wolff hired in the early 1990s. "A lot of the judges and local attorneys she helped shepherd them through law school in terms of the research. They spent many, many hours working with Adella."

Wolff was born Nov. 9, 1919, in rural Crystal Lake. She married Paul Wolff in 1941. He later served as Kane County Board chairman and Forest Preserve chairman. After raising a family, she applied for the librarian's job. A lack of formal college training didn't hold her back.

"She really, really knew her stuff when it came to the law library and legal research, and it was all self-taught," Cox said. "She was always interested in people and supportive of them. She laughed a lot."

Lyle Wolff said his mother believed in treating people the way you would want to be treated, and that "manners matter."

"My mom believed that life is about helping people. She definitely put family first, but my mom taught us to be kind, respectful and that manners do matter when dealing with people," he said, noting she was named the county's Employee of the Year in 1983.

"'Treat all people like how you would want them to treat you' was her slogan to me during my youth," he said.

Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Laird Funeral Home, 310 S. State St., Elgin.

Memorials may be made to the Apostolic Christian Resthaven or Bethlehem Lutheran Church of Elgin. A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Wait Ross Allanson Funeral & Cremation Services Chapel, 51 Center St., Elgin.

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