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2011 Obituaries - page 2

Marjorie (Lucille) Wigton

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Marjorie (Lucille) Wigton, 101, of Aurora, formerly of Batavia, now rests in the everlasting arms of her Savior after passing away peacefully on Thursday, Oct. 27, at Countryside Care Center in Aurora.

Technically born a Leo on July 29, 1911, Marjorie was really a “lamb” and was a blessing to her parents, Theron “Brownie” and Georgie (Snyder) Wigton.

From birth, Brownie wanted his baby girl to be a harpist, as he himself was a musician who played throughout the United States. He waited patiently for 12 years before her instruction would begin, and begin it did with practice six to seven hours a day. Wiggy took to it so naturally that after only two years learning under a local teacher, the “student became the master” and she was sent to Wurlitzer in Chicago to study under the great Italian Master, Alberto Salvi. He told most students to “go home and help wash the dishes,” but not Wiggy. Though practice took much of her time, it never deterred her from her studies, and she graduated from East Aurora High School in 1929. Her father died several years later, and so Wiggy put down her harp to help support the family.

In 1936, Wiggy became a “Zephyrette,” a group of women stewardess’ on a train that traveled nationwide. When the war came five years later, the trains had barely enough room for the soldiers, so the Zephyrettes were disbanded. Wiggy went back to Chicago and found work in accounting and later in the law departments of the Burlington Railroad. She retired in 1976 after 39 years of service.

Retirement gave her an excuse to return to her passion. She was known to say that you don’t “master the harp—the harp masters you.” Few could argue that she became one with her instrument, and her talent brought her into the company of many other locally renowned musicians and orchestras throughout the years, playing at the NBC Orchestra Silken Strings Hour, Chicago Amphitheater, The Aurora Symphony, Interlochen Music Camp Orchestra, Fox Valley Music Festival, Blackhawk Concert Orchestra—later, the Civic Orchestra of Aurora and soloed with the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra.

Wiggy also shared her passion at weddings, concerts and other functions throughout the Chicagoland area. Her heart was meant for playing music with a passion that wouldn’t be denied and although she never married, she was always quick to add that she “broke a lot of hearts.”

In recent years, she was known as the “Mayor of Stone Manor Circle” and had several articles written about her life and her playing that were featured in local newspapers and the Chicago Tribune. Wiggy also was a member of the Chicago Musicians Union for over 65 years. She had a great sense of humor, loved riddles and was a friend to many, often saying “I love everybody, no matter who you are or how you are made.

In recent years, Wiggy began every morning by praying for others while she played The Lord’s Prayer on her harp, sometimes having so many that she had to play it twice. She will be missed by many and although the sound of her harp now becomes a distant echo, she will never be forgotten in the hearts of all who loved her.

Survivors include one nephew, Ron (fiance Ann Brown) Wigton; two nieces, Janet (Pat) Inlow and JoAnn (Roy) Boeckler; three great-nephews, Ken (Wendy) Wigton, Jeff (Aimee) Wigton and Scott (Pam) Inlo; one great-niece, Sheri (Ed) Washeleski; three great-great nephews, Alex Wigton, Nathan Wigton and Carter Wigton; one great-great niece, Beth Wigton; cousins, Richard and Marie Murphy; and special long-time friends, Sharon “Sandy” Sanderson and Mary Anast. She was preceded in death by her parents and one brother, Wayne Wigton.

Visitation to celebrate her life and her passion was held Monday, Oct. 31, at Conley Funeral Home. Private family burial will occur at a later date.

A memorial will be established in her name to benefit Wayside Cross and other favorite charities. Memorials checks may be made to the Marjorie “Wiggy” Wigton Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through

Maxie Jean Francis Todd

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Maxie Jean Francis Todd was born Aug. 1, 1920, to James W. and Naomi Francis in Bogart, Missouri. She was the oldest of three children. On Dec. 12, 1942, she married James E. Todd Jr. in Chicago.

In 1949, they moved to Sugar Grove, with their two little girls. They decided Sugar Grove was a wonderful place to raise their two daughters and later a son. James and Maxie joined Sugar Grove United Methodist Church, the Young Adult Club and later “Senior Citizens.” They always participated enthusiastically.

Some younger folks may remember Maxie as Mr. Crow’s secretary at Sugar Grove Elementary School. Later she worked at Hartford Insurance in St. Charles.

In raising her children, Maxie was often heard admonishing them to “Love one another,” “Be kind to one another,” and “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Her children blessed her with eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She loved them all well. Maxie was full of life and lots of energy.

She went home to be with the Lord quietly in her sleep on Oct. 30, 2011.

Maxie is survived by all three of her children; Sherlyn Holdeman of Naperville, Jerolee Richards (Stan) of Naples, Fla., James E. Todd III of Fall River, Wis.; and all of her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, her husband and a son-in-law, Roger.

We praise the Lord for her life and all that she meant to us.

Funeral services will be held Friday, Nov. 4, at noon at Sugar Grove United Methodist Church. Visitation will be held Thursday, Nov. 3, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Healy Chapel in Sugar Grove, 370 Division Drive. Interment will take place at Sugar Grove Cemetery. For further information, please call (630) 466-1330 or visit to sign the online guest book.

Chad Ryan Johnson

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Chad Ryan Johnson, 32, of Elburn, now rests in his faith and the arms of his Savior after passing away unexpectedly at home, leaving this earth too soon on Monday, Oct. 24, 2011.

He is survived by his parents, Ken (Gina) Johnson and Vicki (Larry) Linden; one brother, Greg (Kate) Johnson; five step-brothers and sisters, Nicki Graham, Bob Graham, Michael (Kayla) Linden, Mathew (Monica) Linden, Michele (Kyle) Breyne; several aunts, uncles, cousins and his faithful four-legged feline friends, Carla, L.B. and Mischief, will all miss him dearly.

He is preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Melvin and Erma Johnson; and his maternal grandparents, Harry and Violet Johnson.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28, at Grace Lutheran Church, 5N600 Hansen Road, Lily Lake. A funeral to celebrate his life will be at the church, on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. The Rev. Ernst Rex, pastor of the church, will officiate, and interment will follow at Blackberry Township Cemetery, Elburn.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit Grace Lutheran Church and other favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Chad Johnson Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at His giving did not end with his death but gave life to others through Gift of Hope, an organ transplant and donation organization.

Wassil Wituk

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Wassil Wituk, 88, of Batavia, formerly of Elburn, passed away in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Oct. 25, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family.

He is survived by seven children, Helmut (Carole) Wituk, Mark (Cathy) Wituk, Judy (Jim) Woods, Fran (John) Joyner, Kathy McIlnay, Betty Wituk and Heidi (Joe) Jakubaitis; 19 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren with another on the way.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Katherine; one son, Jim Wituk; and a grandson, Randy Joyner.

Visitation will be from 4 to 6:30 p.m., with a funeral service to follow at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. Fr. Karl Ganss, pastor of St. Gall Catholic Church, will officiate with private family interment following cremation.

A memorial has been established in his name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Wassil Wituk Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at The family wishes to thank a special care giver, Regina Rimaviciene of the Aurora Rehabilitation Center, where Wassil recently made his home, and especially Hospice Passages for their outstanding care for Wassil and the rest of the family, as well.

Donnakay F. Boudreau-Mahan

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Donnakay F. Boudreau-Mahan, 69, of Bradley, Ill., died Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, at Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee. She was born Aug. 13, 1942, in Chicago, the daughter of George D. and Ruth D. Hoger Boudreau. Ms. Mahan worked in food service at Kankakee School District 111.

She is survived by her daughter, Julie-Ann C. and Glenn Fuchs of Kaneville; two grandsons, Ryan and Kevin Fuchs; three brothers, G. Daniel and Eileen Boudreau of Clifton; Richard and Jeanne Boudreau of Chebanse; and Marc Boudreau of Bourbonnais; her sweetheart, Dick Hecht of Bradley; four nieces and one nephew. Memorials may be made for her grandson’s education. Sign her guestbook at

Mary Elba Roberts

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Mary Elba Roberts, 87, of Maple Park, passed away at her home on Monday, Oct. 3, 2011, surrounded by the love and prayers of her family.

She is survived by three children, Dorlis Roberts, Tommy (June) Roberts and Janet Roberts; 12 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren with another along the way; two siblings, Hershel Brown and Edna Cooper; many nieces, nephews and friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Wayne; one son, Truman; and seven siblings.

Visitation was Friday, Oct. 7, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, from 10 a.m. to noon followed directly by a graveside service with Rev. Mark Harkness, pastor of the Kaneville United Methodist Church, officiating and at East Pierce Cemetery, Maple Park.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in her name to benefit DeKalb Hospice. Checks may be made to the “Mary Roberts Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at

George Edward Fleming

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George Edward Fleming, 93, of Wheaton, Ill., formerly of St. Charles, passed away peacefully surrounded by the love and prayers of his family on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011, at Wynscape Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

He was born on Jan. 25, 1918, the son of Antoine and Marguerite (Renier) Vlemink in Chicago. George was raised in Oak Park, Ill., and attended the local schools there. He graduated from Oak Park-River Forest High School in 1936. He continued his education at Northwestern University, where he received his liberal arts degree and then his doctor of dental surgery degree in 1943.

George heard the calling of his country and enlisted in the United States Navy, serving in the Dental Corp. He was stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Base, as well as Treasure Island in San Francisco, Calif. He returned to civilian life, but continued to serve in the Naval Reserves for 24 years, eventually retiring in 1978 as a Commander.

George had a double major of sorts while in college. His first was in dentistry, but his second began the moment he found the love of his life, Irene Kostre. Their two hearts became one when they were married on April 16, 1943. George and Irene began their life together while he was stationed at Great Lakes Naval Base, where they welcomed their first son, George. They returned to the Chicago area after the war and made their home on the North Side. It was at this time George began his own dental practice on Spring Road in Elmhurst, Ill. Over the course of their marriage, the family grew to include four more children, James, Barbara, Robert and Richard. The family lived in Elmhurst for a few years and then moved to St. Charles in 1953, where they lived on Golden Oak Farm. In later years, after Irene’s passing and his health began to decline, George moved to Wheaton, where he made his home at the Wyndemere campus. He passed into eternal life on his beloved wife’s birthday, Sept. 29.

George served his community faithfully during his lifetime. He was a member of the Kane County Board and also the Baker Memorial United Methodist Church. He was also the past Executive Secretary, Board of Trustees—Baker Community Center and past president of the Far West Study Club of the Chicago Dental Society.

George loved to spend time on the links and play as many rounds as possible. Music also spoke to his heart and his hands. Many nights while at Northwestern, after only a few hours of sleep, George played the bass at various gigs, finishing his homework while on break. He never received less than stellar marks on both music and educational fronts. He continued to play his bass professionally throughout the Chicago area.

He is survived by his five children, George (Peggy) Fleming of Chippewa Falls, Wis., James (Kathleen) Fleming of St. Charles, Barbara (David) Webster of Geneva, Robert (Cheryl) Fleming of Chicago, and Richard Fleming of Geneva; eight grandchildren, Rachel Fleming, Nathan (Nicki) Fleming, Ryan Fleming (fiance Lauren Wolowiec), Eric (Lauren) Fleming, Elizabeth (Christoph) Groth, Andrew Webster, Michael Fleming, and Joseph Fleming; two great-grandchildren, Henry Imsande and Max Groth.

He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Irene; and two sisters, Mary Lou and Josephine.

Private services have already been held, and interment took place at Prairie Cemetery in St. Charles.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit his favorite charities, which include the Baker Memorial United Methodist Church. Checks may be made to the “George Fleming Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may be forwarded to the same address or on the web at .

Norma J. Ludwig

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Norma J. Ludwig, 78, a resident of Mountain Home, Ark., passed away Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011.

She was born Dec. 25, 1932, in Geneva, to Fred and Francis (Levy) Wacaser. Norma married Loren Emmit Ludwig on June 20, 1953, in Wheaton, Ill. She was a member of the Grace Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, Ill. In 1999, Norma and Loren moved to Mountain Home from Elburn. She was a member of the Lions Club in Elburn and the Elks Lodge No. 1714 in Mountain Home. Norma was preceded in death by her parents and a daughter, Wendy Ludwig.

Survivors include her husband of 58 years, Loren Ludwig of Mountain Home, Ark.; a son and daughter-in-law, Loren E. and Lauri Ludwig of Oswego, Ill.; two daughters and a son-in-law, Karen Lynch Jones of Elburn and Yvonne and Todd Dietz of Oswego, Ill; two sisters, Dianne Vesio of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Sharon Ripa of Peabody, Mass.; 10 grandchildren and their spouses; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Graveside services were held Monday, Oct. 3, at Forest Hill Cemetery in Glen Ellyn, Ill., with the Rev. Richard Likeness officiating. Burial was in Forest Hill Cemetery under the direction of Leonard Memorial Home in Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Henry G. ‘Butch’ Larsen

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Butch Larsen, 70, of Marseilles, Ill., died Monday, Sept. 19, 2011, at Provena Hospital in Joliet, Ill. Funeral services were held on Sept. 22, 2011, at the Osborne-Nelson Funeral Home in Seneca, Ill. Burial was in the Mount Hope Cemetery in Seneca.

Butch was born Aug. 25, 1941, in Sycamore to Hank and Alma (Beck) Larsen. He married Nacine Lyles on Oct. 21, 1967, in Maple Park at the Grace Limited Church. She died Oct. 1, 2002.

Butch was a retired heavy equipment operator and was a member of Local 150.

He is survived by a son, Scott Larsen of Ottawa; three daughters, Tina Whited, Rhonda Read and Terry (Danny) Ricks, all of Alabama; 16 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; one sister, Anna Mae (John) Olson of Maple Park; and a loving friend, Diane Hanlon, of Marseilles.

He was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; one son, Samuel; and one grandson, Benjamin.

Memorials may be directed to the family in care of Osborne-Nelson Funeral Home, 135 E. Lincoln St., Seneca, IL 61360.

Carol L. Capes

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Carol L. Capes of Green Valley, Ariz., joined our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Sept. 27, 2011, after a five-year battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP).

Carol was born May 30, 1942, as the oldest child of Elmer and Leona (Knop) Pieper in Atlantic, Iowa.

Carol is preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Lana Berglund; and a brother, Lynn, who died in infancy. She is survived by her husband, Dean D. Capes; three sons, Daniel and (Darla) Capes of Herrin, Ill., David and (Sandra Pollnow) Capes of Genoa, Ill., Douglas and (Melinda Scissom) Capes of Whitwell, Tenn.; six grandchildren, Jimmy Lee Capes, Brandon David Capes, Nicholas James Capes, Kimberly Nicole Capes, Lacy Michelle Capes, Logan Andrew Capes; one brother, Jay B. and (Beverly Schultz) Pieper of Wayland, Mass.; one niece, Cynthia and (Arsallan) Afkhami; one brother-in-law, Barry Berglund of Greensboro, N.C.; one nephew, Morgan and (Chaeli) Berglund; and several grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

Carol spent her early years growing up on a farm in Elk River, Minn., later moving to Boone, Iowa, and graduated in the Class of 1960. Carol attended Valparaiso University for her freshman year. She transferred to Drake University, majoring in Spanish with a minor in French, graduating in 1964. During her time at Drake, she worked at the Drake library, where she met her husband and the love of her life, Dean Capes.

They were married June 6, 1964. They took up residency in Elburn, which was their home for 44 years. Carol took a job as a school teacher at Oswego Middle School, teaching Spanish until Dan (their first son) was born. During the next two years, David and Doug were born.

Carol was very active with church activities. She had a gift and passion for working with churches and promoting God’s work from Sunday School teacher to church administrator. She was raised Missouri Synod Lutheran, 10 years United Church of Christ, 10 years Grace Lutheran Church, 10 years Rejoice Lutheran Church, during which time Carol and Dean were charter members of the new mission church, Rejoice, located in Geneva. Carol was administrator during the mission phase and through construction.

Carol shared her talents to make people around her better. She always made the pastor look good with her organizational ability and being a stickler for detail. It was 2006 when retirement and the Lord brought them to Green Valley and Desert Hills Lutheran Church.

Carol loved to help people. The people of Elburn have reminded Dean how she touched so many lives with her swimming lessons for both young and old. People always referred to Capes’s pool as the only place for swimming lessons. Carol even had a group of workmen that wanted to learn to swim and did so in the evening after work. She would give lessons to over 100 children in the area each summer for three generations.

When grandmothers were bringing their grandchildren, and she had taught all three generations, Carol felt it was time to retire from giving swimming lessons. This allowed Carol to devote more of her time and talents to God’s work. She had many dear friends in Elburn that worked with her to promote God’s work. Carol had three other activities that she enjoyed. She flew single-engine aircraft every Thursday and was instrument rated. Dean and Carol square danced for over 28 years, helping people learn to dance and did so three to five times per week until a mystery disease stopped this activity. Carol loved to travel and do things.

In 2006, everything changed, and the mystery disease got its name; that’s when Carol was diagnosed with PSP, which has no known cause, treatment or cure. During the early years of retirement, Carol and Dean were “snowbirds,” spending their summers at their beautiful home at Knights Templar Club in Summit Lake, Wis.

The last two years, Carol was not able to travel and stayed in her Arizona Dream House. The progressive nature of the disease kept moving forward. Carol worked very hard to fight the disease and remain active. She looked forward to every Sunday, going to church and Sunday evening pizza at Two Girls Pizza, Wednesday going to Bible study, Friday getting her hair and nails done and going to the doctor, during the week going to Mama’s Kitchen and having breakfast and watching many friends and people come into the restaurant. Carol would give them a smile and thumbs up until the disease attacked those muscles, and then those trademarks were gone.

She loved going to Nancy Pantz and Meredith Hallmark to visit or shop.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Desert Hills Lutheran Church, Green Valley, Ariz., or Knights Templar Club Memorial Fund, PO Box 130, Summit Lake, WI 54485. Arizona Memorial Services will be 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Desert Hills Lutheran Church, 2150 S. Camino del Sol, Green Valley, AZ 85622.

Illinois Memorial Services will be Sunday, Oct. 16, at 2 p.m. Visitation will be Saturday, Oct. 15, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W Pierce St., Elburn, with private interment of her ashes at Blackberry Township Cemetery, Elburn.

Robert A. Gilkey

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Robert A. Gilkey, 75, Fort Atkinson, Wis., died on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, at home.

He was born on December 10, 1935 in Fort Atkinson, the son of the late Edwin and Helen (Paulson) Gilkey.

Bob married Janice M. Mitchell on April 14, 1984 in Yorkville. He was a graduate of the Elburn High School in Elburn, Illinois, class of 1955.

Following high school, he joined the Army and served from 1955-1958. Bob was employed by Lyon Metal Products in Montgomery for 37 years. Most recently, he was employed by Blodgett Garden Center in Fort Atkinson for 16 years. He was a member of the Aurora Lodge No. 254 A.F. & A.M. and the Shrine Club in Illinois. Bob enjoyed motorcycles, motorcycle racing, snowmobiles and boats. He was a member of the American Motorcycle Association.

Survivors include his wife, Jan; three sons, Greg of Murfreesboro, Tenn., Michael of Waynesville, N.C., Steven (Rhonda) of Monument, Colo.; two daughters-in-law, Susan Gilkey of Lebanon, Tenn. and Sara Gilkey of Waynesville; seven grandchildren, Kyle, Rob and Coleena, Maggie and Jim, Garrett and Austin; three great-grandchildren; one sister, Jean Harrington of Illinois; one brother-in-law, Frank Wood of Elburn; one sister-in-law, Paula Hildebrand of Yorkville; nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends, and his companion dogs, Hooper and Cody.

Also preceding in death was his brother, Jim; and sister, Clarice Wood.

Memorial and Masonic services will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, at 2 p.m., at the Dunlap Memorial Home with friend, Jack Blodgett officiating. Memorials may be made to Rainbow Hospice Care, who gave Bob such wonderful care.

Karl G. Zimmer

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Karl G. Zimmer, 53, of Sugar Grove, passed away unexpectedly, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011.

He was born June 16, 1958, in Chicago, the son of John Sr. and Nancy (LeVangie) Zimmer.

Karl was one of 13 children and spent many of his growing years around the Chicagoland area and attended local schools. Karl had several jobs in the first several years following school but began a career in water purification at Interlake Continental in Broadview, Ill.

Karolyn Rhode tried to set Karl up with a friend, but he ended up falling head over heels in love with Karolyn instead. Their love story began shortly after, and before long they were united in marriage on May 8, 1982.

They began their new life together in Cicero, Ill., for a time and welcomed home two of their five daughters, Rachel and Kate. They bought their first home in Berwyn, Ill., and watched their family grow when Laura, Karla and Dana made their family complete. In 1994, the family moved to Kaneville before finally settling in Sugar Grove in 1999.

While Karl began his career at Interlake Continental, he later began working for Ionpure in Lombard, Ill. Karl’s entrepreneurial spirit soon bloomed and he began his own business, H2O Technical Services. He was so successful in building the business that it was soon bought by US Filter. Karl worked for them as a service manager for two years before longing to be his own boss once again. Karl resurrected H2O Technical Services, built it up once again and eventually partnered with AmeriWater, who honored him with the 2010 National Distributor Award.

Karl’s foundation was built with the help of the local Boy Scout Troop. He grew and learned hard work, determination and love of the outdoors. He worked many jobs to make money for his dues and to help pay for trips and was forever grateful for the opportunities it provided him. He was a big kid at heart who knew how to make you feel special. He was a favorite of not only his daughters, but his nieces, nephews, cousins and neighborhood kids as well. He loved to pull the kids in a trailer with his tractor and later taught them how to drive it. All the kids made a million memories on the playset he built in the backyard, but they made even more when they took a camper on the road, visiting Mt. Rushmore, any campground they could find and later Disney World.

He taught his girls smelt fishing and snipe hunting and was their biggest fan when they played sports at school. You couldn’t find a dad that was more proud. Karl also loved to make home movies. His first camera weighed a ton and was as big as a suitcase, but it never kept him from capturing the perfect moment.

When he sold his first business, Karl officially began his love affair with Harley Davidson, when he bought a Road King. Later, when he restarted his business, Karl upgraded to his Ultra Classic and called it his “therapy”. He enjoyed playing horse shoes almost as much as he loved playing the Lotto, but there was nothing he loved more than becoming a “Grumpa” to his grandchildren. He was a great man who lived a great life but was taken before his time. Karl will be missed by many and never forgotten.

He is survived by his loving wife Karolyn; five daughters, Rachel (Tom) Lang and their son Graham, Kate (Andrew) Clements and their son Owen, Laura (Greg) Reinert, Karla Zimmer with another grandson on the way, and Dana Zimmer; his mother, Nancy Zimmer, six brothers; five sisters and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He is preceded in death by his father, John Sr.; and one brother, Gerard Zimmer.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 22, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. A funeral to celebrate his life will be Friday, Sept. 23, at Kaneville United Methodist Church in Kaneville. Rev. Mark Harkness, pastor of the church, will officiate and interment will follow at Kaneville Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you send a memorial to the charity of your choice. Tributes may be forwarded to where you can read his full life story.

Carolyn M. Butts

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Carolyn M. Butts, 69, of Yorkville, passed away on Friday, Sept. 2, 2011, at her home after a courageous battle with cancer. She was born May 18, 1942, in DeKalb, the daughter of Charles and Edith (Reid) Strausberger.

She was a graduate of Kaneland High School in 1960 and married Dale L. Butts in 1962. They enjoyed their 49 years together camping, traveling, gardening and sharing with their children and grandchildren.

She was very active at Cross Lutheran Church in Yorkville, where her services and burial took place.

She will be deeply missed by her husband, Dale Butts, of Yorkville; her children, Karen (Robert) Lukowski of Battle Creek, Mich., and Duane (Diane) Butts of Yorkville; her grandchildren, Sarah, Jessica and Christopher Lukowski, and David and Derek Butts; her brother, Marty (Elverna) Strausberger of Elburn; her sister, Janet (Dr. Warren) Golliger of Spearfish, S.D.; sisters-in-law, Donna (Art) Maercker of Maple Park and Denise (Mike) Rogers of DeKalb; as well as several nieces and nephews.

Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Edith Strausberger.

Arrangements were made by Larson-Nelson Funeral Home, 410 E. Countryside Parkway, Yorkville, IL 60560.

Phillip ‘Phil’ J. Gardner

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Phillip “Phil” J. Gardner, 28, of DeKalb, formerly of Batavia, passed away tragically following a car accident on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011.

He is survived by his parents, Kim (Jeff) McGuire of Plano, and Jack (Debbie Younglove) Gardner of Oregon, Ill.; one brother, Erik (Dani Grote) Gardner of Sycamore; two step-brothers, Sean McGuire of Chicago and Garrett McGuire of Palatine, Ill.; one step-sister, Sarah Younglove of Oregon, Ill.; maternal grandparents, Bob and Penny Johnson; paternal grandparents, Jack and Sharon Gardner; many aunts, uncles, cousins and a family of friends.

He is preceded in death by his cousin, Michael York.

Visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 18, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. A funeral to celebrate his life will be held Monday, Sept. 19, also at Conley Funeral Home, at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Blackberry Township Cemetery, Elburn.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Phil Gardner Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or at

Richard “Dick” Williams, Jr.

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Richard “Dick” Williams, Jr., 87 , of Elburn, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 24, at Provena McAuley Manor in Aurora.

He was born July 25, 1924, the son of Richard Sr. and Vivian (James) Williams in Big Rock.

Dick grew up in Big Rock, and after graduating from Big Rock High School in 1942 he began working for Lyon Metal in Aurora for time. It wasn’t long before Dick heard the call of his country and he dutifully answered, entering into the United States Army Air Corp.

After his training, Dick was sent overseas as bombardier and viewed Italy from the air before his honorable discharge in 1945. Upon his return to civilian life, Dick began working at Dewey Nash Garage in Aurora as a manager.

Dick also returned to his high school sweetheart, Betty Holmberg. They celebrated their love on V-J Day, Aug. 8, 1945, when they were united in marriage in Batavia.

They began their new life together in the midst of a national celebration, but as life settled down, Dick and Betty did, too, making a home in Aurora for a time before moving to rural Elburn after their son Gary was born. They lived with Betty’s father following her mother’s passing, but when her father passed in 1987, they made the big move, a whole quarter of a mile, to their present home.

Dick and Chuck Swan managed a gas station and garage in Elburn on the south side of town for many years until working with his brother at the Big Rock Truck Stop. Before long, Elburn came calling again and Dick returned, this time beginning a career that would last almost 20 years at Northern Farm Service, where you could get just about anything you needed, a tank of gas, a wrench or the latest piece of local gossip, all delivered with Dick’s signature smile.

Dick was a proud member of both the Elburn American Legion and the 40 & 8 club, bringing back memories of his time in the service and the lifelong friendships he made. He was also a recipient of the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award as a lifelong member of the Elburn Lion’s Club. Dick was also the last surviving member of the Elburn Fox Hunter’s Club, a “notorious bunch” whose reputation preceded them.

Dick had an incredible work ethic which left him little time for hobbies. Always moving, Dick was never at a loss for something to do. His yard was a thing of beauty and source of much pride as he trimmed, pulled weeds and rode on his Simplicity mower. When there was time, Dick liked to play Pitch with friends. It was his family he loved most, and although his body failed him, his spirit lives on, and the memories left behind will be treasured by not only his family, but by the community he served for so many years.

Dick is survived by his loving wife, Betty; his son, Gary Williams of Mountain Home, Wyo.; five grandchildren, Karen Stephen and her son Cole of Wasilla, Alaska, Christy Blackburn and her three children, Micah, Mavin, and Tavain, of Houston, Texas, Samantha Williams of Colorado Springs, Colo., Randy Williams and Jayme Williams, both of Laramie, Wyo.; several nieces and nephews and a community of friends.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Francis Williams; and two siblings, Betty, and James, who died in infancy.

Visitation was held on Monday, Aug. 29, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A funeral service to celebrate his life was held at 3 p.m. Rev. Michelle Prentice-Leslie, pastor of the Elburn Community Congregational Church, officiated. Interment followed at West Big Rock Cemetery in Big Rock.

A memorial has been established in Dick’s name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Dick Williams Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at

James W. Wituk

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James W. Wituk, 59, of Elburn, passed away peacefully surrounded by the love and prayers of his family at his home Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011.

He was born Jan. 5, 1952, in Sycamore, the son of Wassil and Katherine (Zehetner) Wituk.

Jim grew up on the family farm on Route 38 across from the Elburn Forest Preserve in Elburn, where he attended local schools. Jim graduated from Kaneland High School with the class of 1971.

Jim was united in marriage to Patty Chidester shortly after high school and welcomed home two children, Kelly and Jim. They made their home in Elburn for a time before they parted ways in 1979.

He was lucky in love a second time when he met Lilija Adomenas-Van Reenan by the bonfire at Jim’s sister’s Halloween Party in 2000. He asked Lili if she wanted to go on a hay ride, and instead of jumping on the back of a hay rack, she joined him in the truck that pulled the rack instead. He drove away with her heart that night, and the friendship that was born that night turned into a deep and profound relationship where each soul recognized its counterpoint in the other.

The following year, Jim and Lili began making memories of their own in their present home in Campton Hills.

His work ethic was forged on the farm, but after it was sold during his high school years, Jim busied his hands as a mechanic, working first at Harms Chevrolet, now Bob Jass in Elburn. After Harms, Jim found work at various dealerships but dedicated his time and hands to Reber and Foley, on Main Street in St. Charles for almost 20 years.

Jim’s hands were strong and sure, just like his spirit, second only to his mind. He was extremely creative and instinctual, which when mixed with courage and resolute determination, enabled him to persevere to attain his goals. This may be why his vocation was the same as his passion. Jim worked in the shop during the day and continued this passion once he was home, restoring classic cars and trucks whose glory days were long lost.

His resume includes a 1963 Chevy Impala SS, a 1969 Chevy Pick-Up, and most recently a work-in-progress 1952 Chevy Pick-Up. His collection of model cars and trucks were first proudly displayed in his garage, but soon overflowed into his home, much to Lili’s chagrin.

Jim didn’t stop at restoring however. He enjoyed truck pulls and in his younger years could be found at the Oswego Drag Strip, ripping up the track a quarter mile at a time. Jim’s love also extended to nature and the great outdoors. Exhaust fumes and the roar of the engine were replaced with the quiet solitude that brought a peace like no other. In fact, Jim helped to rejuvenate an entire orchard in the woods of Michigan. It was Jim’s easy going nature and lovable personality that won him friends in many walks of life, but that was nothing compared to the relationships he built with his step-daughter, Audra, and his grandkids. In each relationship, Jim found something special and unique, creating a connection that was theirs and theirs alone.

He is survived by his father, Wassil of Batavia; his soul mate, Lili of Elburn; two children, Kelly Mills and her children, Tyler and Kailey, of Collinsville, Va., and Jim (Kelly) Wituk and their children, Luke, Jack and Ben, all of Maple Park; one step-daughter, Audra (Gerson Contreras-Lule) Adomenas-Van Reenan and their son, Lukas, of Chicago; seven siblings, Helmut (Carole) Wituk, Mark (Cathy) Wituk, Judy (Jim) Woods, Fran (John) Joyner, Kathy McIlnay, Betty Wituk and Heidi (Joe) Jakubaitis; many nieces, nephews and a family of friends.

He is preceded in death by his mother; one nephew, Randy Joyner; and one granddaughter, Keyonna Mills.

Visitation will be Thursday, Sept. 15, from 3 to 8 p.m., with Rosary to begin at 4 p.m. and a wake service to conclude visitation at 8 p.m., at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. Following cremation, a memorial Mass will be held at St. Gall Catholic Church in Elburn on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 10:30 a.m. Fr. Karl Ganss, pastor of the church, will officiate, with private family interment to occur at a later date. Prior to Mass, the family has opened an invitation to take part in a special procession. Those wishing to follow the family with his urn past his home are welcome to line up at the funeral home at 9:30 a.m.

William ‘Bill’ N. Keifer

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William “Bill” N. Keifer, 62, of Sugar Grove, was called home to eternal life suddenly Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011.

He leaves to carry on his legacy , his loving wife of almost 37 years, Yvonne; three sons, Doug (Renee) Keifer of Maple Park, Jeff (Jamie) Keifer of Cortland and Marty (Stephanie) Keifer of Sugar Grove; four grandchildren, Madison and Brennan Keifer of Maple Park, and Jayden and Jillian Keifer of Cortland; four siblings, Jack (Ellen) Keifer of Boise, Idaho, Tom (Maryann) Keifer of Tinley Park, Ill., Kathy (Rae Sena) Keifer of Milwaukee, Wis., and Joe (Regina) Keifer of Plainfield, Ill.; many nieces, nephews, cousins and a countryside of friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 7, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. A Mass to celebrate his life will be held at S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Virgil at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8. Interment will follow at S. S. Peter & Paul Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Bill Keifer Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at

William “Bill” Guth

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William “Bill” Guth, 89, of Drummond, Wis., and formerly of the Aurora/Chicago area, died on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011, at the Ashland Health and Rehabilitation Center in Ashland, Wis.

He was born Aug. 20, 1921, in Aurora, to William T. and Eugenie (Schneiter) Guth. On May 2, 1942, he was united in marriage to Louise Peterson in Aurora.

Bill proudly served as a Bombardier in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the 7th Air Force, 11th Bomb Group, and 42nd Squadron in the Pacific arena from September 1944 to January 1946, retiring from the Air Force Reserves as a Captain. Prior to his service during WWII, Bill was employed by the Electromotive Division of General Motors as engineer of tests, and resumed his position once honorably discharged from the U.S. Army Air Corps. In 1958, he went to work for the Ashland Oil & Refining Company as a sales manager in the Railway Sales Department, retiring in 1986.

Bill and Louise lived in the Chicago/Aurora area until 1965, when they moved to Elburn, and finally to Drummond, Wis., in 1986. Bill was active in the Lions Club in Elburn, as well as the American Legion in both Elburn and Cable, Wis. He was also an active member of the United Church of Christ in Cable. He liked to hunt and fish, and enjoyed watching sports on TV, especially his beloved Packers.

Bill is survived by his two sons, Kenneth of South Elgin, Ill., and Charles (Barbara) of Richmond, Ill.; grandchildren, James of Hebron, Ill. and Laura (Eric) Hanson of Waukee, Iowa; and many nieces and nephews. He was not only a father to his sons, but was a “father” and mentor to many others as well.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Louise, in 2010; and a brother, Samuel.

A memorial service for Bill will be held Saturday, Sept. 17, at 2 p.m. at the Congregational United Church of Christ in Cable, Wis., with pastors Lynn Larson and Deb Pyne officiating. A time of gathering with family and friends will be held after the service. Interment will be at a later date in the River Hill Cemetery in Batavia, Ill.

Online condolences may be left at

Allan Scott

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Allan Scott, 61, of Elgin, formerly of St. Charles and Elburn, passed away Sunday, Aug. 7, 2011, at Sherman Hospital in Elgin following a fierce battle with cancer. Released from his body, he is now whole and at peace in Heaven.

He was born June 14, 1950, in Dodgeville, Wis., the son of Ambrose and Lois (Needham) Scott.

Allan’s family moved to Iowa in 1955. His education came from several sources, beginning at a country school in Hurstville, New Castle and East Iron, before finishing his education in Baldwin and Maquoketa, Iowa. After school, he found work as a laborer on the railroad. In later years, Al lived with and farmed with Melvin Lipski on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. He also worked on local farms in Iowa before entering the service.

Allan enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1969 and faithfully fought for his country during Vietnam. Upon his honorable discharge in 1971, he returned to Iowa, living in both Emeline and Canton. He continued working on the railroad, first becoming a gang foreman and later a section foreman. He then moved to St. Charles, working on the Milwaukee Road. Later, he found work with Metra, where he was a track inspector, machine operator and finally a crane operator, which culminated a 41-year career with the railroad before his retirement in February of 2011.

Allan and Barbara Bermer met at a local dance, and before the night was through, Barb had danced away with his heart. They were united in marriage on Nov. 15, 1980.

They followed Allan’s work to South Elgin, where they made their home in an apartment for a time. Soon they welcomed their son, Chad, in 1982. As the family grew, more room was needed, and in 1985 they moved to St. Charles. Their daughter Amy was welcomed into the family in 1988, and Megan made their family complete in 1994. Six years later, they made their way to the Elburn area, living off Campton Hills Road. In 2003, Allan and Barb went their separate ways, but love is the tie that binds, and in February 2011 they were wed once again.

Allan was past local chairman of The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, where he worked hard using all the passion for the railroad to help his fellow co-workers. He was also a proud member of the Elgin American Legion, Post No. 57.

Allan made time to go fishing in the Fox River for anything that would take his bait, and sleeping under the stars while camping also brought a thrill. He also loved to golf, making a golden memory when he made a hole in one.

Allan was very proud of his “green thumb” and enjoyed tending to his garden, especially his prized tomatoes. Country music made his heart smile, while the sight of a horse brought a smile to his face. Allan didn’t know much about technology, but it never kept him from buying the latest toy, even though he rarely knew how to use it. He did, however, know how to shuffle a deck and play a mean game of cards. Allan was an extremely hard worker who gave everything to every task at hand. Whether it was big or small, at work or at home, Allan gave his all. He had a lot of love to share, was a friend to many and was often generous to a fault; but above all, he loved his family the most. The legacy he leaves are the memories he made. Allan was one-of-a-kind and will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

He is survived by his loving wife, Barbara; three children, Chad (Aalia) Scott of Brookfield, Ill.; Amy Scott and her son, Ayden of Elburn, and Megan Scott, also of Elburn; two brothers, David (Susan) Scott of Maquoketa, Iowa, and Kerry Scott of Baldwin, Iowa; two sisters, Suzanne Scott of Beloit, Wis., and Patricia (Terry) Cahill of Delmar, Iowa; several nieces, nephews and a family of friends. He is preceded in death by his father, mother and older sister, Judy Putman.

Visitation was Saturday, Aug. 13, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. A funeral service to celebrate Allan’s life began at 4:30 p.m. Rev. Michael Deblois, pastor of the Plano Bible Church officiated. Private family interment will follow cremation at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Allan Scott Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at

Thomas A. Varetoni

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Thomas A. “Tom” Varetoni, 79, of St. Charles, formerly of New Jersey, passed away Friday, Aug.12, 2011, at Delnor Hospital in Geneva, following a valiant struggle with cancer that eventually took his body but never his spirit.

He was born Oct. 14, 1931, in Clifton, N.J., the son of Thomas and Mary (Menagus) Varetoni. Tragedy struck early, as his mother didn’t survive his birth. Love came calling quickly, as his father married Olga, the mother he would know for the rest of his life.

Tom grew up in Clifton among a neighborhood of family. He attended local schools and graduated high school in 1949. A few years later, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1951 and served on the USS Wisconsin BB64 in Korea from 1951-1954, after which he did a Mediterranean tour on the USS Juneau Claa-119.

Initially, Tom began in the radar group, but an opportunity to attend Electronic Technician School presented itself. Not knowing it at the time, this opportunity would help to shape the rest of his life. He studied at the Great Lakes Naval Base in Great Lakes, Ill., and upon his honorable discharge, Tom returned to civilian life in Clifton, where he attended Newark College of Engineering, graduating in 1959. Tom began working at Illinois Bell and later at AT&T, concentrating on both telecommunications and teaching, the latter a passion that resurfaced in later years. While working at Illinois Bell, he studied at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he received his masters degree.

Tom had his heart stolen at a USO dance while learning radar at the Great Lakes Naval Base, and he couldn’t have been happier. Eileen Seymour spent no time giving hers in return, and soon a relationship bloomed into marriage as they were wed on Sept. 11, 1954, in Dundee, Ill.

They began their new life together back in Clifton, N.J., living with his parents until he returned from the service. When he returned, they continued to live in Clifton while Tom finished his schooling. The next many years were full of cross-country moves between New Jersey and Illinois, with memories made with each move and mile.

They began a family while living in Carpentersville, Ill. The family grew to include four children: Kathleen, Carole, Michael and Robert. Eventually, they settled in St. Charles and watched their children grow and have children of their own.

After a career in telecommunications, Tom was offered early retirement. It was an offer he accepted, but he never lived up to the traditional definition of the word. Instead, Tom did private consulting work for a time before he began teaching at Elgin Community College, where he helped to develop their electronics technician program. His defiance of the word “retirement” continued when he accepted a teaching position at The Devry Institute and loved every semester of it until his “final retirement” in 2008.

Tom was a member and president of IEEE. He also was a member of the Dundee Lions Club.

Tom was a man whose heart matched his stature, and his effortless wit matched his grace on the dance floor. He and Eileen kicked up their heels at many ballrooms over the years, including the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Big band music and Broadway shows were a favorite, but musicals were his favorite form of cinema, especially any featuring Frank Sinatra or Gene Kelly. His appreciation for “Anchors Aweigh,” “Singin’ In The Rain,” “Oliver” and “Annie” were passed on to his children and grandchildren.

When the children were young, Tom took pride in taking his family all across the country, showing them nearly every national park, monument or historical sight in 40 states. He did this with the patience of a saint, traveling with a pop-up camper, his wife, four children and a dog.

In later years, after the children were grown, Tom and Eileen traveled the world, visiting England, Scotland, Austria, Switzerland, France and especially Cortina, Italy, where his family originated.

Tom loved to garden and see his vegetables grace the table after each harvest, especially his famous tomatoes and pickled cucumbers. His prized Japanese Peony, with exquisite huge pink flowers, was also a source of pride, often giving its blooms to his granddaughters. It was often said that Tom was “the sweetest man I know,” and the proof could be found in the countless friends he made over the years, bridging both geographical and generational gaps.

Tom knew how to tell a story. He loved to regale friends and family with tales of his youth, his years in the Navy, early years with Eileen and his travels that brought smiles and laughter to both the young and the old. Tom was larger than life, and the mark he left on the hearts of all he knew will never fill in the void left by his absence. He will be missed and never forgotten.

He is survived by his wife, Eileen; four children, Kathleen (Chris) Varetoni-Turk of Maple Park, Carole Varetoni of South Elgin, Ill., Michael Varetoni of Florida and Robert (Beth) Varetoni of Cave Creek, Ariz.; four grandchildren, Collin, Lyndsey, Sedona Rose and Selah Rae; one brother, Jim Varetoni of New Jersey; many nieces, nephews, a special cousin, Mary Lou Weaver, and a brotherhood of friends made and kept through his years in the service, including Mike “Ziggy” Marzigliano.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Thomas, Mary and Olga.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m., with a wake service at 7 p.m. at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL, Thursday, Aug. 18. A Mass to celebrate his life will be held Friday, Aug. 19, at 11 a.m., at S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Virgil. Father Perfecto Vasquez, pastor of the church, will officiate, and interment will follow at Ohio Grove Cemetery.

A memorial has been established in his name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Thomas Varetoni Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at where you can find his full life story.

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