Articles filed under Obituaries

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  • Maine Twp. assessor, former Dist. 207 board member Tom Rueckert dies at 73 May 7, 2014 9:38 PM
    Maine Township’s assessor of the past 29 years, Thomas E. Rueckert, died Tuesday at the age of 73 after a long battle with lung disease. First elected township assessor in 1985, Rueckert had previously served as president of the Maine Township High School District 207 board of education and chairman of the Oakton College Law Enforcement Advisory Committee.

  • Notable deaths last week May 3, 2014 6:59 PM
    This week’s deaths include the hall of fame coach who led the Portland Trail Blazers to their only NBA title; the former Mad magazine editor who established its unique brand of satire; a British actor who mixed charm and menace in a wide range of roles; and a longtime TV actor who brought respect and prestige to the FBI.

  • Funeral set in St. Charles for former Grizzlies owner Apr 29, 2014 8:01 PM
    The funeral for former Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley will be Friday in St. Charles. The team on Tuesday announced the wake and service for Heisely, who died Satuday at age 77.

  • Notable deaths: ‘Hurricane’ Carter, Princess Camilla’s brother Apr 26, 2014 10:43 PM
    Notable deaths this week include Rubin "Hurricane" Carter and Mark Shand, Princess Camilla's brother who died after a fall in New York.

  • Slain Chicago doctor’s tireless work remembered Apr 25, 2014 4:01 PM
    A Chicago children’s doctor killed in Afghanistan often told young medical trainees that the financial sacrifice was worth the privilege of helping the world’s neediest patients, colleagues said Friday. A day after Dr. Jerry Umanos’ death, co-workers described him as an early riser who never seemed to tire and became a father figure to young patients on Chicago’s West Side.

  • St. Charles golf pro remembered as teacher, mentor, booster Apr 24, 2014 6:38 PM
    Jim Wheeler, the longtime golf pro at St. Charles' Pottawatomie Golf Course, died suddenly on Tuesday. He is treasured for his golf advice and beloved as a positive community presence for more than 30 years.

  • No matter her age, 'Dolly' Hein never quit working for Wheeling Apr 24, 2014 12:05 AM
    The village of Wheeling has lost one of its best ambassadors. Ida “Dolly” Hein served on multiple village commissions and was known to a generation of children at the Wheeling Historical Society's Lollipop Lane celebration each December as Mrs. Claus.She died Sunday from congestive heart failure, at the age of 95.

  • Former Cook County sheriff dies at 80 Apr 21, 2014 4:27 PM
    Former Cook County Sheriff Richard J. Elrod has died at age 80. Elrod served four consecutive terms as sheriff between 1970 and 1986 and was a Cook County circuit court judge from 1988 until his death.

  • Colombia loses a literary giant Apr 19, 2014 7:31 PM
    This week’s notable deaths included a Nobel Prize-winning novelist and the billionaire founder of France’s second-largest drugmaker who was the focus of a healthcare scandal.

  • Notable deaths: Iconic Hollywood great; Obama’s aunt; WWE superstar Apr 12, 2014 7:53 PM
    This week’s notable deaths include an Oscar-winning child star who kept working into his 90s; one of Canada’s longest-serving finance ministers;; and a model and U.K. television personality whose punk rocker father staged concerts to raise money for famine relief.

  • Photographer captured humanity amid chaos Apr 12, 2014 4:56 PM
    The Rev. Berndt Mueller’s sermon highlighted the two worlds between which Niedringhaus moved: major world events from wars to summits and sporting contests, and the tranquil farm life of central Germany.“Restless Anja, spending her life between extreme poles,” Mueller said.

  • Charles S. Stone Jr., a prominent and pioneering American journalist, dies Apr 7, 2014 11:00 AM
    Charles S. “Chuck” Stone Jr., a prominent and pioneering American journalist who touched and shaped many lives as a big-city newspaper columnist, university professor and a founder of the National Association of Black Journalists, died Sunday at an assisted living facility in Chapel Hill, N.C. He was 89.

  • Christian Life editor, philanthropist dies at 92 Apr 6, 2014 6:35 AM
    Family and friends are not only mourning the loss of Janice Gosnell Franzen, the longtime editor of Wheaton-based Christian Life Publications, but are heartbroken the 92-year-old philanthropist won't be able to enjoy the long-awaited launch of her autobiography “Be an Angel?” next week. Jay Renstrom, the son of one of Franzen's first-cousins, said the beloved lady's three passions in life were “teaching and doing good for people and writing.”

  • Images: Work of AP photographer killed in Afghanistan Apr 5, 2014 6:41 PM
    Anja Niedringhaus, 48, an internationally acclaimed German photographer, was killed and an AP reporter was wounded on Friday, April 4, 2014, when an Afghan policeman opened fire while they were sitting in their car in eastern Afghanistan. Niedringhaus was a Pulitzer Prize winner.

  • Notable deaths: Frankie Knuckles, Charles Keating Apr 5, 2014 6:39 PM
    Frankie Knuckles, a Grammy-winning Chicago disc jockey known as the “Godfather of House Music” who worked with artists including Michael Jackson and Diana Ross, has died at age 59. Knuckles died Monday in Chicago, the Cook County medical examiner said Tuesday. The medical examiner said a cause of death was not available. Knuckles is considered a key figure in the evolution of the house music genre, dating back three decades to venues in Chicago and New York. “When you’re as fortunate as most of us working DJs to be able to share our creative blessings with the rest of the world, no matter how great or small, wouldn’t you agree that it’s best to give the world the best of who you are?” Knuckles said, in a quote provided Tuesday in a release from his company, Def Mix Productions. Knuckles was born Francis Nicholls on Jan. 18, 1955, in the Bronx. He worked as a DJ in the early 1970s in New York before moving to Chicago in the late 1970s. In Chicago he was resident DJ at the city’s The Warehouse club until it closed in 1983. It was there that he defined House music’s distinct style and took on the role of DJ as tastemaker, said Phil White, co-author of “On the Record: The Scratch DJ Academy Guide.” Knuckles “defined really what House music was in terms of style,” White said. Knuckles even would cut and tape together pieces of reel-to-reel recordings to make extended tracks, he said. Junk bond schemer of the 1980s Charles Keating, 90, spent more than four years in prison for looting Irvine, California-based Lincoln Savings & Loan Association, costing taxpayers more than $3 billion. He became the face of the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s caused by the institutions’ unsound lending and reckless investing. He died March 31 in a Phoenix hospital. When Keating’s Phoenix-based home construction company, American Continental Corp., bought Lincoln Savings & Loan in 1984, the multimillionaire elevated its worth from $1.1 billion to $5.5 billion in a four-year period. But his financial empire crumbled with state and federal convictions for defrauding investors. Keating allegedly bilked Lincoln customers by selling them $200 million of unsecured “junk” bonds. They became worthless when Keating’s company became bankrupt. The thrift’s collapse cost taxpayers $2.6 billion and tarnished the reputations of five senators who became known as the “Keating Five.” One of them was Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, and the scandal re-entered the spotlight during the 2008 presidential campaign. Chorus director who helped score films Paul Salamunovich, longtime director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale who helped score movies including “The Godfather,” died at 86. The chorale’s publicist, Libby Huebner, says the Grammy-nominated conductor died Thursday of complications related to West Nile virus. From 1991 to 2001, Salamunovich exposed millions to choral music through recordings and live performances. The New York Times declared the chorus one of America’s top vocal ensembles during his final season. Salamunovich also helped score and sing on soundtracks for numerous films, including “The Godfather,” “How the West was Won” and “A.I. Artificial Intelligence.” Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Anja Niedringhaus, the German photojournalist who won a Pulitzer Prize for her coverage of the Iraq War, was shot dead by a policeman while on assignment in Afghanistan. She was 48. Niedringhaus was killed while reporting on an election-commission convoy preparing for the presidential election in Afghanistan, according to Baryalai Rawan, a spokesman for the governor in Khost province bordering Pakistan. A Canadian reporter, Kathy Gannon, was wounded in the same attack. The women were seated in the back of a car when the officer fired. A photographer for The Associated Press since 2002, Niedringhaus was the only woman in a team of 11 photojournalists from the AP who won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in the breaking-news category for its coverage of the Iraq War. She was also the chief photographer for the European Pressphoto Agency during the war in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The artist who drew Mr. Clean Harry Richard Black, the Ohio artist who created the Mr. Clean character that became a long-lasting advertising hit, died at age 92. Consumer products maker Procter & Gamble Co. credits Black with creating the muscular bald man who cleans things up quickly. The company chose his depiction to represent its cleaner when it launched in 1958. Mr. Clean quickly became a popular brand and advertising character. Black also was among artists behind depictions of Smokey Bear for U.S. Forest Service fire-prevention messages. ‘Dynasty’ star Kate O’Mara British actress Kate O’Mara, best known for her role in the 1980s soap opera “Dynasty,” died at the age of 74. The actress, who began her television career in the 1960s, became a household name for playing Cassandra “Caress” Morrell, sister to Joan Collins’ Alexis Colby, in “Dynasty.” In Britain she is often remembered for her role in “Triangle” — a soap opera set aboard a North Sea ferry that is often cited as the worst piece of British television. She also appeared in the original run of British series “Doctor Who” and BBC drama “Howards’ Way.” In the 1990s she starred in the comedy show “Absolutely Fabulous” with Joanna Lumley. Other notables • Hobart “Hobie” Alter, 80, designed the first polyurethane foam surfboards in the 1950s, and Hobie became the world’s top- selling surfboard brand. In the 1960s, he produced an affordable fiberglass catamaran called the Hobie Cat, which helped make sailing a sport available to the masses. He died March 29 at his home in Palm Desert, Calif. • Willard S. Boothby Jr., 92, oversaw the 1972 merger of two financial companies that created Blyth Eastman Dillon & Co., which at the time was Wall Street’s third-largest investment firm. Seven years later, the company was bought by Paine Webber Inc. He died March 22 of complications from a fall at his home in Hobe Sound, Fla. • Ray Hutchison, 81, a bond lawyer in the Dallas office of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, played a key role in major infrastructure projects that shaped the Dallas-Fort Worth area. A former chairman of the Texas Republican party, he married Kay Bailey Hutchison, who served in the U.S. Senate. He died March 30 at a Dallas hospital of heart complications. • Margo MacDonald, 70, was an influential figure in Scotland’s independence movement who served in both the Scottish and U.K. parliaments during her 40-year career. Voters will decide whether to remain part of the U.K. in September. She died April 4 of Parkinson’s disease.

  • Writer-environmentalist Peter Matthiessen dies Apr 5, 2014 9:29 PM
    Peter Matthiessen, a rich man’s son who spurned a life of ease in favor of physical and spiritual challenges and produced such acclaimed works as “The Snow Leopard” and “At Play in the Fields of the Lord,” died Saturday. He was 86. His publisher Geoff Kloske of Riverhead Books said Matthiessen, who had been diagnosed with leukemia, was ill “for some months.” He died at a hospital near his home on Long Island. Matthiessen helped found The Paris Review, one of the most influential literary magazines, and won National Book Awards for “The Snow Leopard,” his spiritual account of the Himalayas, and for “Shadow Country.” His new novel, “In Paradise,” is scheduled for publication Tuesday. A leading environmentalist and wilderness writer, he embraced the best and worst that nature could bring him, whether trekking across the Himalayas, parrying sharks in Australia or enduring a hurricane in Antarctica. He was a longtime liberal who befriended Cesar Chavez and wrote a defense of Indian activist Leonard Peltier, “In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,” that led to a highly publicized, and unsuccessful, lawsuit by an FBI agent who claimed Matthiessen had defamed him. Matthiessen became a Zen Buddhist in the 1960s, and was later a Zen priest who met daily with a fellow group of practitioners in a meditation hut that he converted from an old stable. The granite-faced author, rugged and athletic into his 80s, tried to live out a modern version of the Buddhist legend, a child of privilege transformed by the discovery of suffering. Matthiessen was born in New York in 1927, the son of Erard A. Matthiessen, a wealthy architect and conservationist. “The Depression had no serious effect on our well-insulated family,” the author would later write. While at Yale, he wrote the short story “Sadie,” which appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, and he soon acquired an agent. After graduation he moved to Paris and, along with fellow writer-adventurer George Plimpton, helped found The Paris Review. (Matthiessen would later acknowledge he was a CIA recruit at the time and used his work with the Review as a cover). The magazine caught on, but Paris only reminded Matthiessen that he was an American writer. In the mid-1950s he returned to the United States, moved to Long Island’s Sag Harbor (where he eventually lived on a six-acre estate), socialized with Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and other painters, operated a deep-sea fishing charter boat — and wrote. Matthiessen’s early novels were short, tentative efforts: “Race Rock,” “Raditzer” and “Partisans,” which features a wealthy young man who confides that “his ignorance of human misery.” In need of money, Matthiessen also wrote for such magazines as Holiday and Sports Illustrated. In 1961, Matthiessen emerged as a major novelist with “At Play in the Fields of the Lord,” his tale of missionaries under siege from both natives and mercenaries in the jungles of Brazil. Its detailed account of a man’s hallucinations brought him a letter of praise from LSD guru Timothy Leary. The book was later adapted into a film of the same name, starring John Lithgow and Daryl Hannah. He wrote many other books, including “Far Tortuga,” a novel told largely in dialect about a doomed crew of sailors on the Caribbean; “The Tree Where Man Was Born,” a highly regarded chronicle of his travels in East Africa. In the 1980s and ‘90s, Matthiessen published a trio of novels — “Killing Mr. Watson,” “Lost Man’s River” and “Bone by Bone” — about a community in Florida’s Everglades at the turn of the 20th century and a predatory planter. Unhappy, especially with “Lost Man’s River,” he spent years revising and condensing all three books into “Shadow Country,” published in 2008 and a surprise National Book Award winner. Although an explorer in the Hemingway tradition, Matthiessen didn’t seek to conquer nature, but to preserve it. In 1959, he published his first nonfiction book, “Wildlife in America,” in which he labels man “the highest predator” and one uniquely prone to self-destruction. Much of his fiction, from “At Play in the Fields of the Lord” to “Bone by Bone,” bestowed a lion-like aura upon nature — grand when respected, dangerous when provoked, tragic when exploited. “There’s an elegiac quality in watching (American wilderness) go, because it’s our own myth, the American frontier, that’s deteriorating before our eyes,” he once wrote. “I feel a deep sorrow that my kids will never get to see what I’ve seen, and their kids will see nothing; there’s a deep sadness whenever I look at nature now.” Matthiessen was married three times, most recently to Maria Eckhart, whom he wed in 1980. He had four children, two each from his first two marriages.

  • Buffalo Grove High School grad loses fight with cancer Apr 4, 2014 6:07 PM
    A 19-year-old Buffalo Grove High School graduate lost his battle with cancer this week, but while Andrew Zint lived he inspired and touched a lot of people. “Students became very compassionate for what Andrew was going through and really rallied behind him,” says Robert Hartwig, associate principal. “He had a great sense of humor and attitude, and students really admired him.”

  • Suburban woman was more than just a receptionist Apr 3, 2014 11:08 AM
    Patricia Tyrrell worked as a longtime receptionist at the famed Chicago ad agency J. Walter Thompson, but her role superseded her title. As the receptionist on the agency’s creative floor, she served as the gatekeeper to celebrities that waited to meet with producers, casting directors, and designers who created some of the firm’s iconic ad campaigns.

  • Notable deaths last week Mar 29, 2014 5:47 PM
    Prisoner of war Jeremiah Denton, former Defense Secretary James R. Schlesinger and Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson among the deaths of note this past week.

  • Lake County official remembered as 'humble, caring' Mar 26, 2014 5:08 AM
    About 700 mourners said goodbye Tuesday to Artis Yancey, Waukegan city clerk and former Waukegan police chief and Lake County coroner. "Artis was a warrior for rightousness," said Anita Hanna, Waukegan Unit District 60 school board president.

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