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posted: 12/24/2013 4:26 PM

In memoriam 2013: Reflecting on those who died in Lake County

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  • Bill Madole

    Bill Madole

  • Former Vernon Hills village Trustee James Heier died in 2013. Here, he poses with pageant queens at a Heier Annual Fishing Derby.

    Former Vernon Hills village Trustee James Heier died in 2013. Here, he poses with pageant queens at a Heier Annual Fishing Derby.
    Courtesy of Amber Heier

  • John Lynn and daughter-in-law Paddy Lynn in Kirk Players' "Death of a Salesman". John Lynn died in 2013.

    John Lynn and daughter-in-law Paddy Lynn in Kirk Players' "Death of a Salesman". John Lynn died in 2013.
    Courtesy of John Lynn

  • Kim Kearby

    Kim Kearby

  • Raymond True

    Raymond True

  • Richard Wojcik

    Richard Wojcik

  • Frank Beelow

    Frank Beelow

  • Eugene Pritchard

    Eugene Pritchard

  • Anthony Rose

    Anthony Rose

  • Delmer "Dusty" Powell

    Delmer "Dusty" Powell

  • James Heier

    James Heier

  • Charlann Schwan

    Charlann Schwan

  • John Lynn

    John Lynn

  • Bob Quig

    Bob Quig


In 2013, we said goodbye to several notable Lake County residents, who left indelible marks on their communities through impressive accomplishments and dedicated community service.

While the list includes several local politicians, it also includes the founder of a local theater group, business leaders and a priest who had survived the sinking of a passenger ship.

Frank Beelow

Longtime Lake County Fair Association Board member Frank G. Beelow was remembered as a sweet, funny man with a passion for farming.

Beelow, 78, a lifelong Fremont Township resident, died Jan. 7. He was a longtime member of the Lake County Farm Bureau and was with the Lake County Fair Association Board since 1996. He was the fair's executive director in 2012.

The Beelow family was among the pioneer families in Fremont Township, said longtime friend Pete Tekampe, the township's supervisor.

A U.S. Army veteran, Beelow owned Beelow's Body Shop in Grayslake from 1968 to 1987, and he also worked as a heavy equipment appraiser for Crawford & Co.

But he ran the family farm during those years, too, Tekampe said.

"He always kept his farming roots," Tekampe said. "He raised his kids on the farm."

Beelow led the fair association board's entertainment and advertising committee for several years and sat on the building committee.

Kelli Kepler-Yarc, the fair association's board president, called Beelow a sweet and lovable guy.

"I loved his optimism," she said.

James T. Heier

James T. Heier was a Navy veteran who served three terms on the Vernon Hills village board from 1983 to 1995, during a time of change and growth.

Heier, who died Sept. 1 at the age of 87, also was known for his concern for and work with disabled veterans, including organizing a long-running fishing derby at Big Bear Lake in Century Park. He also established fishing derbies for the community and for handicapped children.

"He had a heart a mile wide. He loved to help people," said his son, Richard.

During World War II, Heier served on the USS Corregidor, an aircraft carrier that was attacked by Japanese suicide bombers.

"Jim loved his country, he loved his community, he loved serving as a trustee," Deputy Police Chief Jon Petrillo said.

A native of Kansas City, Mo., Heier, a printing salesman, was living in Wilmette in 1974 when he saw an ad for new homes in Vernon Hills and moved his family to the village.

Rapid growth of residential and commercial areas was the scenario during his tenure on the board and trustees had some long late-night meetings, recalled Barbara Williams, a current trustee and former mayor who served 24 years on the board, including most of Heier's tenure.

The development of the Cuneo estate and widening of Route 60 were among the issues of the day.

"He was an elected official during a time we were changing, not only that but the town was growing," Mayor Roger Byrne said. "He was a good public servant."

Kim Kearby

Kim Kearby was a longtime educator in Round Lake Area Unit District 116, but he was probably better known for his intensity and dedication as a union leader.

A polarizing figure who never lost his zest for the district or the community, the Round Lake resident died Sept. 19. Kearby was 66.

"When you were in a tight battle with him, you realized he was a fighter but he got along with everybody," said his wife, Jeanne. "His integrity was everything to him."

Kirby taught for 40 years at Round Lake Beach and Round Lake Village elementary schools, retiring in 2011. He also served as a board member of the former Avon school district and regional chair for the Illinois Education Association. He was elected in April to the District 116 board.

"He was a very opinionated person but he did it because he loved the community and the kids," said Nanci Radford, school board president.

Friends and family described him as a hippie and an agitator -- a staunch supporter of labor, civil liberties and other social issues.

Kearby was the public face of labor about 20 years ago during a 38-day teachers strike.

Jeanne Kearby said it was her husband who encouraged the district to bring in state officials to help with its financial problems. State oversight or authority over finances lasted about 10 years until 2011.

W. Guy Finley, who served eight years on the District 116 school board, said Kearby helped in the district's recovery by selling pay freezes and reductions to union members.

F. James Lumber

F. James Lumber was a former Round Lake mayor and College of Lake County's first board chairman but he also was remembered as a friendly and kind person who cared deeply for the communities he served.

He died Dec. 2 at age 78.

Born in Ingleside, Lumber graduated from Grant High School and later became a lawyer.

He joined the CLC board in December 1967 and helped hire the college's first president and employees.

"(He) helped set the direction and the policy of the college when it was just in the infant stages," current board Chairman Amanda Howland said.

In 1976, Lumber left the CLC board and made an unsuccessful bid for Congress. Lumber was re-elected to the CLC board in 1977 and remained on the dais until 2003. During his time on the CLC board, the college grew from temporary classrooms to a multi-campus facility.

He received the college's Illinois Outstanding Citizen Award in 1994.

A Round Lake resident since 1967, Lumber simultaneously served as that town's mayor from 1989 to 2001. As mayor, he oversaw improvements to the downtown business district, the construction of Veterans Memorial Park and the construction of a new village hall, among other projects.

Lumber's ties to CLC remained after he left the board. The performing arts center at the school's Grayslake campus was named after him in 2003.

John Lynn

Local theater founder, community volunteer, die-hard Cubs fan, John Lynn of Mundelein wore those hats and more.

The founder of the Kirk Players theater group, died Aug. 27. He was 83.

Lynn was remembered as a kind, family man who believed in giving back to the community.

He founded the volunteer Kirk Players theater group in 1966 and retired in 2001.

Paddy Lynn said her father-in-law went beyond donating profits from all Kirk Players shows to worthwhile charitable organizations. He also believed in having free summer theater workshops for children ages 7 to 13, which started at least 40 years ago.

"He was all about community service," Paddy Lynn said, "and he stressed that to the Kirk Players on a regular basis."

His community service included working as the Lake County Fair pageant coordinator and 13 years as a volunteer with the Mundelein Community Days commission, which puts on the town's annual summer festival.

As an actor, John Lynn appeared in locally shot motion pictures including "Groundhog Day," "Return to Me" and "My Best Friend's Wedding."

He was honored during a March village board meeting for his work in community theater and for the years he spent volunteering in Mundelein. He also received an Outstanding Citizen Award from the village.

Bill Madole

Bill Madole's list of community involvement was long and deep and reflected his unflagging support for his hometown of Libertyville, friends say.

The former village trustee and former president of the Lakeside Cemetery Association was also involved with the fire protection district and numerous other organizations. He died Jan. 1 at the age of 86.

"He embodies the greatest generation," said Ed Kelly, who knew Madole for decades and succeeded him as president of the Lakeside Cemetery Association. "It was always about giving back to Libertyville, the community, never asking for anything in return."

He was a U.S. Army Air Corps veteran who had just completed training as an aerial gunner when the Japanese surrender ended World War II. Madole was instrumental in the planning, fundraising and construction of the veterans memorial at Lakeside that was dedicated in 1999.

A commendation from the village in October 2006 acknowledges Madole as someone who immersed himself in the community and had a lasting influence through selfless contributions that made Libertyville a better place.

"I can't think of one person who did more for this community than Bill Madole," said Mayor Terry Weppler, who once served with Madole on the village board.

Delmer 'Dusty' Powell

Lake County residents may not personally have known Dusty Powell but they likely are familiar with his work.

"Look all around Gurnee, all those four- and five-lane roads," Lake County Administrator Barry Burton said. "A lot of those were county roads and he held developers accountable."

The Gurnee resident, who died Nov. 13, at the age of 59, worked for Lake County in top administrative positions, including assistant county administrator and deputy director of planning. His nearly three-decade career spanned from March 1985 until retiring early this year.

But it was as director of planning and programming for the Lake County Division of Transportation where his impact was directly felt. He worked there for 20 years, much of it during a time of explosive growth.

Road work around Gurnee Mills and the extension of Rollins Road to Grand Avenue as examples of Powell's expertise, officials said.

Powell left the transportation division in late 2005 for the county administrator's office. He moved to the planning, building and development department in late 2010.

"Dusty has his fingerprints all over Lake County and we're all the better for it," Burton said.

Eugene Pritchard

Eugene Pritchard was at the helm of what is now Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville during some of the hospital's biggest growth.

Pritchard, who served as Condell's president from 1976 to 2006, died July 11. He was 80.

"He loved what he did," said his daughter, Cynthia Keilwitz, of Round Lake Beach.

Pritchard previously had been a vice president at Highland Park Hospital, she said.

Condell grew dramatically during his tenure. Home pharmacy and health care programs launched, the Centre Club on the Libertyville campus opened, and acute care centers opened throughout Lake County. In 2003, Condell celebrated a 190,000-square-foot expansion.

"He definitely helped lay the foundation for the regional medical center that we are today," Condell spokesman Josh McColough said.

The hospital became part of the Advocate Health Care chain in 2008.

Born in Chicago, Pritchard was a U.S. Army veteran. He earned degrees from DePaul University and the University of Chicago.

Robert Quig

The last apples were picked at Quig's Orchard some eight years ago, but many patrons still have fond memories of its congenial founder and proprietor, Robert Quig, who died June 1. He was 89.

Just after World War II, Quig, an Army veteran who had graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in agriculture, planned to start a mink farm along Route 83 in Mundelein. Instead, he sold apples from trees on the property at a roadside stand to supplement his income.

For 58 years, Quig and his family operated the business while adapting to changing times, adding a restaurant, bakery, country store, greenhouse, seasonal attractions and other features that became staples for generations of area residents.

In 2005, Quig sold the family-owned business for development that never materialized and moved to Pickerel, Wis.

"He was a visionary in a sense. He started this orchard and really kept adapting to changing times," Mundelein Assistant Village Manager Mike Flynn said. Initially, homemade cider, jellies and doughnuts were offered. A small restaurant opened in 1987, and a few years later it was expanded and relocated to overlook a courtyard and waterfall.

More attractions followed as the emphasis changed from agriculture to agritourism, according to Pam Berek, Quig's daughter. Hayrides, pony rides, a bounce house, a dunk tank and a beer garden followed as part of the Harvest Days fall festival.

Anthony Rose

Anthony Rose was a former Lake County resident and one of the 19 members of the Arizona-based Granite Mountain Hotshots team who died June 30 when a wind-whipped wildfire overran them on a mountainside north of Phoenix.

It was the nation's biggest loss of firefighters in a wildfire in 80 years and the deadliest single day for fire crews since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Rose, 23, lived in Wadsworth and Beach Park before moving to Arizona as a teen. He attended Spaulding School and the former O'Plaine School in Gurnee and Viking Middle School. From 2004 to 2006, he attended Zion-Benton Township High School.

Rose moved to Arizona in 2006 and started working for the Crown King Fire Department at 17 and became a firefighter when he was 18. His uncle was a dispatcher for the department, family members said.

Retired Crown King firefighter Greg Flores said Rose blossomed in the fire department.

"He was the kind of guy that his smile lit up the whole room and everyone would just rally around him," Flores said. "He loved what he was doing, and that brings me some peace of heart."

Charlann Schwan

Former Lincolnshire Trustee Charlann Schwan was remembered as a dedicated public servant and volunteer.

Schwan, 70, of Ivanhoe, died July 24 during a trip to Moscow.

Known as Char by her friends, Schwan had traveled around the world, often with her husband, Joe. Together they visited more than 30 countries.

She was traveling with a friend when she died.

Born in Chicago, Charlann Schwan worked as a flight attendant for United Airlines. She met Joe Schwan while living in San Francisco.

They settled in Lincolnshire, where Charlann Schwan volunteered as a Cub Scout den mother, with various community groups and with the Community Christian Church, where she was an active member of the congregation for nearly 40 years.

She was named Lincolnshire's citizen of the year in 1983 and served on the village board from 1987 to 1992.

"It's a loss to the community," Lincolnshire Mayor Brett Blomberg said of her death. "I know she served the village well."

The Schwans eventually moved to Ivanhoe, an unincorporated neighborhood near Mundelein.

Raymond True

As chairman of the conservative Republican Assembly of Lake County, Raymond True was known as a man of "unwavering principal," said state Sen. Dan Duffy, a Lake Barrington Republican.

Known to some as Colonel True because of his achievement of that rank in the Air Force, True died Oct. 22, after a long illness.

He was a staunchly conservative voice in Lake County who sometimes clashed with other Republican leaders there.

"He was the heart of the party," Lake County Republican Chairman Bob Cook said. "We had some good disagreements, but we always knew where he was coming from."

Duffy agreed and said True could quickly put disagreements behind him.

"The next time that I'd see him, he was just as welcoming," Duffy said.

The Rev. Richard Wojcik

The Rev. Richard Wojcik was known for his passion for music, his work as a teacher and for surviving the infamous 1956 sinking of the SS Andrea Doria.

Wojcik, who died Jan. 26 at the age of 89, taught at the University of St. Mary of the Lake and the Mundelein Seminary for parts of seven decades. He also was the longtime choir director at Prince of Peace Church in Lake Villa and was an assistant priest there on weekends in his later years.

Ordained in 1949, he served at St. Mary of Perpetual Help Parish in Chicago for a year, then was a professor of Latin and music at Quigley Seminary.

In 1953, he began studying sacred music in Rome and earned a master's degree in Gregorian chant while in Rome.

"I think he had a passion for music and how music touches the hearts of people," said the Rev. Richard M. Yanos, a pastor at Prince of Peace who was a seminary student of Wojcik.

Wojcik became part of history on July 25, 1956, when the Andrea Doria, an Italian ocean liner, was struck by the MS Stockholm off the Massachusetts coast. Forty-six passengers aboard the Andrea Doria died, while 1,660 survived.

Wojcik, who was returning to the U.S. from Rome with three other priests, was among those who ministered to passengers during the rescue effort.

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