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Thomas O’Neal Cooper

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Thomas O’Neal Cooper, 63, of Sugar Grove, passed away on June 29, 2015. He was born May 19, 1952.

Thomas is survived by his wife, Clara; sons, Christopher and Alec Cooper; and three sisters, Ann (Dave) Taper, Mary (Dick) Prow and Nancy (Joe) Imherr.

Thomas is preceded in death by his daughter, Katherine; and parents, Martha and Peter.

He was loved in this life and will be in the next.

Edward J. Kurtz Jr.

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Edward J. Kurtz Jr., 75, of St. Charles, passed away at his home in the early hours of Monday, June 29, 2015. Surrounded by his loving family, Edward peacefully made the last steps of his journey “home.”

He was born Nov. 4, 1939, to parents Edward and Johanna Kurtz in Bay Shore, Long Island, N.Y. Edward grew up on Long Island and attended local schools, graduating from Babylon High School.

He attended Cornell University until he was drafted into the Air Force in 1961. He served four years stationed in Denver; Atwater, Calif.; and Guam. Following his military service, he earned an engineering degree from Hofstra University and a master’s degree from CW Post University.

Ed met the love of his life, Elizabeth Zweyer, in 1958. They were united in marriage in 1962 during his service with the Air Force. After his discharge, they returned to Long Island, where their children were born: daughter, Elizabeth (Beth) in 1967 and son Edward John Kurtz III in 1969. The family moved to St Charles in 1989, where they resided for the rest of his years.

Edward spent his career as an electrical engineer working for Amperex on Long Island and Richardson Electronics in La Fox. He retired in 2005, but continued to work as a consultant for Richardson until his death.

Edward is survived by his wife, Elizabeth “Betty” Kurtz; his two children, Elizabeth “Beth” (Bryan) Jack and Edward John (Allison) Kurtz III; four grandchildren, Emily and Sarah Jack, and Bryn and John Kurtz; his sister, Joanne (Thomas) Barraga; two nieces; and a countryside of friends.

Edward is preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Johanna Kurtz.

A visitation will be held Thursday, July 2, 4 to 8 p.m. at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce, Elburn. A funeral service will follow on Friday, July 3, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 43W301 Plank Road, Hampshire, Ill. A brief visitation at 9 a.m. will precede the funeral service at 10 a.m. Pastor Rev. Gerhard Mau will officiate. Interment will follow the funeral at Whitney Cemetery, Campton Hills.

A memorial has been established in Edward’s name to benefit St. Peter’s Lutheran Church and Vitas Hospice. Checks may be made to “St. Peter’s Lutheran Church” or “Vitas Hospice” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at

Community Congregational Church of Elburn announces scholarship winner

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ELBURN—Community Congregational Church (CCC) of Elburn is proud to announce that Jeremy Fairve is the winner of its scholarship, awarded on June 14. The scholarship is open to youth who have been active in the church and have graduated from high school within the past two years.

The scholarship was formerly known as the Bob Miller Scholarship. Bob loved Elburn, the church and children. He believed that the education of every child—be it spiritual, intellectual or social—is the responsibility of every adult, whether they are the child’s parent or not. Because of these loves and beliefs, Bob Miller gave as much time to the community, church, School District and children as his busy career allowed. The Elburn congregation will carry on the mission of the Bob Miller Scholarship by re-establishing it for the benefit of its youth.

Fairve is a Kaneland High School graduate who currently attends Waubonsee Community College. He has been very active in the church, especially working with the youth group. He has been invaluable in keeping contact with CCC youth and aiding in the youth group ministry. The church prays that he will continue in his journey of faith at the church, and wishes him many blessings and success in his future endeavors.

McMullen named to Dominican University dean’s list

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RIVER FOREST, ILL.—Madeline McMullen of Elburn was recently named to the Dominican University dean’s list for the spring 2015 semester.

McMullen, a Kaneland High School graduate, is majoring in biology at the university.

To qualify for the prestigious dean’s list, students must achieve a semester grade point average of 3.8 (on a 4.0 scale), based on a full-time enrollment of 12 credit hours.

Ivanka Stevanovich Vreuls Grabarek

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Ivanka Stevanovich Vreuls Grabarek, 74, passed away on June 16, 2015, surrounded by her family. She went peacefully into the Lord’s arms after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease and lung cancer.

Ivanka was born Nov. 16, 1940, in Slovenia, Yugoslavia, where her father, Radomir, an officer in the King’s Army, was stationed. When the war came in April 1941, her father was captured and sent to a P.O.W. camp in Germany, and Ivanka and her mother, Ruzica (Popovic), moved back to Belgrade to live with her grandparents until Marshall Tito gained control of Yugoslavia. Ruzica was unable to find employment in Belgrade, but did secure a position as a music teacher in Kralejo. In 1955, Ivanka’s father was able to bring her and her mother to the United States after a 14-year absence.

Ivanka was a graduate of Northern Illinois University and earned two master’s degrees from Loyola University. She taught Spanish at Glenbrook South High School for several years before being hired at Adlai Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill. At Stevenson, she rose from Spanish teacher to the director of Humanities, overseeing Stevenson’s illustrious foreign language, music and history departments. She was president of the Illinois Foreign Language Teachers Association and was instrumental in transforming Stevenson High School into one of the top performing schools in Illinois. In 1991, her achievements were acknowledged when the U.S. Department of Education awarded Adlai Stevenson High School the coveted Excellence in Education Award.

Ivanka leaves behind her husband, Bill; her son, Grant (Molly) Vreuls, and granddaughter, Corinne; Bill’s children, Scott, Heidi (Kevin) Kopp, Svea Patrick and Paul (Agnes); along with Bill’s eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild, to whom she was their “Baka”; as well as a cousin, Darko (Svetlana) Popovic, of Greenbelt, Mary.; her ex-husband, Robert Vreuls; and a large family of cousins in Serbia, especially Predrag Stevanovic.

Visitation will take place Friday, June 26, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A memorial service will take place on Saturday, June 27, at 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home. Interment will follow at Blackberry Township Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in her honor may be given to the Friends of the Town & Country Public Library; CNS Home Health & Hospice, c/o Cadence Health Foundation; or your favorite charity

Joseph Eugene Turk

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Joseph Turk, 85, passed away peacefully, June 17, 2015, at Bethany Health Care in DeKalb. He was born Oct. 30, 1929, in Virgil to Francis and Barbara (Hardt) Turk.

Joe was a graduate of Maple Park High School’s Class of 1947. In September 1949, he married Marjorie Ann Johnson. Together they lovingly raised eight children. In addition to sharing in all the activities of their children, they took time to travel with their best friends, Ronnie and Perudy Peterson. Shortly after celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary, Marge passed away suddenly.

In February 1994, Joe married Dolores (Bannister) Hart, who had also recently lost her husband of 38 years. Joe and Dolores enjoyed traveling and attending many of the grandchildren’s sporting and school events until Dolores’ passing in March 2011.

For almost 40 years, Joe worked in the grain business at Schuh, Inc., in Virgil. After selling the grain elevator, he and Marge moved to Sycamore. Joe worked for 10 years at Elmer L. Larson quarry, where he ran the cement batch plant. He was a Maple Park volunteer firefighter, Virgil Township trustee, Virgil Open Golf Classic Commissioner and founding father of the Maple Park Little League program.

He is survived by his eight children, James (Rose) Turk of Waukegan Ill., Pamela (Philip) Burke of Sycamore, Barbara (Carson) Landis of Maple Park, Charles Turk of Sycamore, David (Linda) Turk of Maple Park, Kathleen (Kevin) Claesson of Elburn, Diane (Scott) Buzzard of Sycamore and Rosalie (Mike) Miller of Maple Park; 24 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his wives, Marjorie (Johnson) Turk and Dolores (Bannister) Hart Turk; his parents; and his five siblings.

Visitation was held at Butala Funeral Home and Crematory in Sycamore on Friday. A funeral Mass was held at the St Mary Catholic Church in Maple Park on Saturday. Burial was held at Sts. Peter & Paul Cemetery in Virgil following the Mass, with a funeral luncheon at the St. Mary Parish Center following burial.

In lieu of flowers, memorials for Joe can be made to KishHealth Systems Hospice in care of the Butala Funeral Home and Crematory, 1405 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore, IL. 60178. For info or to sign the online guest book, go to or call (815) 895-2833.

Local students named to Bradley University dean’s list

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PEORIA, ILL.—The following local students were recently named to the Bradley University dean’s list for the spring 2014-15 semester: Bradley Johnson, Ashley Kainrath, Matthew Limbrunner and Alexandra Vickery, all of Sugar Grove; and John Goodrich of Maple Park.

To be eligible for the dean’s list, a student must achieve a minimum 3.5 gradepoint average for the semester on a 4.0 scale.

Nolte graduates from University of Iowa

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IOWA CITY, IOWA—Zachary Nolte of Elburn on May 15 graduated from the University of Iowa College of Engineering, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering.

Zachary has been accepted to the College of Engineering graduate program and will pursue a master’s degree with thesis in engineering.

Zachary is the son of Jim and Lisa Nolte of Elburn.

Lucas Perada Walsh

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Lucas Perada Walsh

Matt and Fern Walsh of Crystal Lake, Ill., announce the birth of their son, Lucas Perada, who was born June 14, 2015, at Centegra Hospital in McHenry, Ill. He weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces, and was 20 inches long.

The maternal grandparents are Pracha and Prapaporn Kasiwong of Phatthalung, Thailand. The paternal grandparents are Robert and Bette Walsh of Lindenwood, Ill.

Matt is a Kaneland High School Class of 1994 graduate.

Penelope Reed Conway (Glisson)

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Penny Conway obit photo

Penelope “Penny” Reed Conway (Glisson), 71, of Oswego, Ill., and formerly of Big Rock, went to Heaven on Friday, June 19, 2015, at Willow Crest Nursing Home in Sandwich. She was born July 5, 1943, in Springfield, the daughter of the late Silas Nease and Dorothy Reed Glisson.

Penny graduated from Springfield High School in 1961, Millikin nursing school in 1963 and psychiatric nursing school in 1964. She then met and married Leo Mark Conway on June 29, 1968, and they later moved to Big Rock in 1973.

Penny is survived by her loving children, Steve (Lori) Conway and Shawn Conway; brothers, Silas (Mary) Glisson and William (Evelyn) Glisson; and grandchildren, Logan, Alexa, Aidan and Ellie.

Along with her parents, Penny is preceded in death by her younger brother, Gil Nelson Glisson; and beloved husband, Leo Mark Conway, whom she now enjoys being with in Heaven.

Visitation will take place Friday, June 26, from 4 to 8 p.m. at The Healy Chapel, 370 Division Drive, Sugar Grove. A funeral service will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 27, at the chapel, with burial to follow at West Big Rock Cemetery.

For further information, call (630) 466-1330 or to sign the online guestbook.

Robert ‘Bob’ Finley

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Robert “Bob” Finley, 79, of St. Charles, Minn., died with integrity and courage in a sunlit room at Mayo Clinic Hospital, St. Mary’s Campus, on Sunday afternoon, June 14, 2015. A self-proclaimed optimist, he was seen off by loving family members on what he described as a brand-new adventure.

Bob was born Nov. 13, 1935, in Genoa, Ill., the son of Richard and Anne (Kramer) Finley, who, in 1943, moved to Maple Park, Ill., to a farm at the edge of town “where the sidewalk ends.”

Early on, Bob exhibited a talent for farming. A member of both 4-H and the Illinois Foundation Future Farmers of America (FFA), he obtained one of the highest yields with corn entered in the Pioneer Hi-Yield Corn Growing Contest in 1950, and earned awards for farm safety and being an outstanding member. As an established farmer, he was elected as an FFA Honorary Chapter Farmer.

At school in Maple Park, Bob revealed his extensive knowledge of government and politics, which would become a lifelong affinity, by winning the Political Quiz Contest sponsored by the Quill and Scroll society. As No. 10 on the Maple Park Parkers basketball team, he perfected his technique for the “granny shot” (a skill he would later gladly demonstrate to his children and grandchildren during games of H-O-R-S-E in the machine shed).

Bob graduated from Maple Park High School in 1953, remaining close to his classmates even as his life’s journey took him away from Illinois.

During a two-year stint in the United States Navy, Bob satisfied some of his desire to explore the world. In the grade of Aviation Structural Mechanic Third Class (AM3) aboard the “USS Yorktown,” nicknamed the “Fighting Lady,” Bob visited the west coast, Hawaii, Japan and other destinations in the Pacific, traveling 35,270 engine miles over 170 days in one cruise alone.

After the expiration of active obligated service, Bob returned to Maple Park to help his father farm and court Patsy Jo “Pat” Broadhurst, whom he met through mutual friends. He claimed she wasn’t too impressed with him at first, but he was able to win her over, and the pair married in 1960 at St. Mary’s Church in Maple Park.

They settled on a farm there to have and raise eight children, but in 1973 moved to a larger farm in St. Charles, Minn., where Bob established himself in the farming community, particularly with enthusiasts of old machinery, and as a regular at the coffee shop. He also became a civic leader and advocate for public education, serving on the school board of District 858 for 12 years, as well as board member and secretary of the Hiawatha Valley Education District.

Bob retired from active farming over a decade ago to spend winters with Pat in the Florida Keys, but continued to grow his highly prized sweet corn in the summers, reputed to be the best in the county.

Bob will be greatly missed by his children, Judy (Steve Hammes), Joe (Lynette Kerce), Mike (Kassie Madden), Steve (Joann), Jeanne (Alex Wilson), Trish, David (Angela) and Beck (Mike Ireland); grandchildren, Aimee, Cole (Melanie), Andy, Bridget, Brendan, Brynn, Leo, Beau, Aidan, Conner, Thea and Zane; Navajo daughter, Shelley (Tim Doyle) and her children, Alex, Ethan and Timara; sisters, Rosemary Kennedy and Charlotte (Jack) Mosher; and many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.

He joins his parents, Richard and Anne; and adored wife Pat, who passed away in 2013; in this next venture, on which he will, no doubt, continue to make friends of everyone he meets.

Join the Finley family in a celebration of Bob’s varied and inspirational life on Sunday, June 21, at Hoff Funeral Service, 519 St. Martin Ave., St. Charles. Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m., with the memorial services beginning at 4 p.m., during which family and friends are welcome to say a few words or share a story about Bob.

Memorials to help further Bob’s vision of “making school a place where kids want to be” may be sent to the St. Charles Foundation for Academic Excellence, c/o St. Charles High School, 600 Highway 14 East, St. Charles, MN 55972.

Share a memory of Bob and sign his online guestbook at

Joan R. O’Connor

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Joan R. O’Connor, 76, of Sugar Grove, formerly a longtime resident of West Chicago, Ill., passed away on Sunday, June 7, 2015. She was born March 2, 1939, in Chicago, the daughter of the late Gerald E. and Lucille Flood.

Joan was a loving mother and grandmother, and was a very devoted wife and homemaker. She held a great love of animals—especially dogs, of which she had many. Joan was also a generous supporter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Joan is survived by her five children, Denise (David) Richerson, Hugh (Alycia) O’Connor, Michael (Marie) O’Connor, Mary (Chris) VerHagen and Peter (Anne-Marie) O’Connor; eight grandchildren; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Joan is preceded in death by her parents; husband of 31 years, Deacon James J. O’Connor; brother, Jack Flood; and sister, Geraldine Flood.

Visitation will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 11, at The Healy Chapel, 370 Division Drive, Sugar Grove. A funeral mass will take place Friday, June 12, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Katherine Drexel Catholic Church, 8S055 Dugan Road, Sugar Grove. Fr. Bob Jones will officiate. Interment will follow at Assumption Cemetery, Wheaton, Ill.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 1 North LaSalle St., Suite 1200, Chicago, IL 60606 (

For further information, call (630) 466-1330, or visit to leave an online condolence.

Archibald named to The Webb School honor roll

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BELL BUCKLE, TENN.—Grace Archibald of Elburn, an 11th-grader at The Webb School, was recently named to the school’s B honor roll for the fourth quarter of the 2014-15 school year An independent college preparatory day/boarding school for grades six through 12, The Webb School is the oldest continuously operating school of its kind in the south. The school has a dual emphasis on academic excellence and character development.

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