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Edward Heissler

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Edward Heissler, 89, of Hampshire, Ill., passed away peacefully early Monday morning, Nov. 10, 2014, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family.

Ed was born April 27, 1925, to proud parents Joseph and Marie Heissler. He was raised in the High Lake subdivision in West Chicago, Ill.

Ed attended local schools in West Chicago, finishing his studies at West Chicago Community High School with the Class of 1944.

Edward had a good friend by the name Ted Risch, and it was through him that he met the love of his life, Adele Risch. They were united in marriage on March 26, 1949, at St. Marys Church in West Chicago. Ed and Adele spent 65 beautiful years together. They were blessed with three sons, Edward Jr., Gary and Richard.

The couple spent their first 10 years in West Chicago before selling their pretty home and following Eddie’s dream of owning a farm. They bought a farm on McDonald Road in Burlington Township, Ill., where he lived out the rest of his years.

Ed was a member of the Local 150 Union of Operating Engineers for 69 years. He worked in Chicago during the day, and pursued his love of farming by night.

Ed was a member of many clubs, from the Knights of Columbus to the Northern Illinois Steam Power Club, Will County Threshermans Association, and National Rifle Association, but most dear to his heart was being a member of Saint’s Peter and Paul Catholic Church of Virgil for over 50 years.

In 1955, Ed was at work when he was severely injured in a terrible accident. He was in the hospital for over four months, all while Adele was pregnant with Edward Jr. The accident was so severe that it took Ed Sr. over a year to be able to walk again. But through strength and determination, he did walk again, learning alongside his baby son, Edward Jr.

In 1982, Ed put down his tools and farm equipment to retire. He and Adele bought a place in Osteen, Fla., to spend their winters. While in Florida, Ed continued using his hands, but this time he surprised his family by becoming quite a wood carving artist. His favorite to carve were western characters.

Ed was a lover of music, particularly country western and big band. After retirement, Ed and Adele bought a camper and took many road trips to steam shows.

Ed’s favorite thing were his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He made up for his lack of free time as a young man by doing all he could with his grandkids. He had special nicknames for each one, and enjoyed taking them to for ice cream in Sycamore. He loved to teach them to drive on the golf cart, and in the Model T on special occasions. He would sit through any Disney movie and cartoon just to spend time with them. You could even catch Ed watching a cartoon by himself. Ed is gone from this Earth, but he will never be forgotten.

Ed is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Adele; his two sons, Gary (Lori) and Richard (Cheryl); four grandchildren, Shannon (Matt) Mellin, Lauren (Liberato) Cascone, Erica and Ryan Heissler; five great-grandchildren; a sister, Jeanette Durant; three sisters-in-law, Millie Miller, Linda Grant and Marion Grant; many cousins, nieces and nephews; and a countryside of friends.

He is preceded in death by his son, Edward Jr.; his parents, Joseph and Marie Heissler; his sisters, Loraine Evans and Catherine Perkis; his brother, Joseph Heissler Jr.; and his great friend, Ted Risch.

A visitation will take place from 3 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 13, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce, Elburn. A funeral Mass to celebrate Ed’s life will take place on Friday, Nov. 14, at 10:30 a.m., following a brief visitation from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m., at Saint’s Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 5N939 Meredith Road, Virgil. Burial will follow mass at S.S. Peter and Paul Cemetery in Virgil.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Edwards’s name. Checks may be made to the “S.S. Peter and Paul Catholic Church ” for the stain glass window project, 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

Mary Clare Zielinski

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Mary Clare Zielinski, 63, of St. Charles, passed away unexpectedly at home Saturday Nov. 8, 2014, surrounded by the love and prayers of her family.

Mary was born on Sept. 4, 1951, in West Allis, Wis., to proud parents Mary Jane and Frank Gerlach.
Mary attended local schools in West Allis until fifth grade, when the family moved to Addison, Ill. Mary graduated from Addison Trail High School in 1969 and continued her studies at Elmhurst College, graduating with a bachelors in education in 1973.

Mary met the love of her life, Gregory Zielinski, while roaming the halls of Addison Trail. They were united in marriage in 1973 in the Chapel of Elmhurst College. Mary and Greg started their life together in Lombard before moving to Glendale Heights, where they were blessed with eight beautiful children, Christopher, Matthew, Elizabeth, Timothy, Jonathan, Mary Chris, Sarah and Joanna. They packed up the kids and moved a couple more times, from Virgil to Elburn, before finally settling in St. Charles.

When it came to work, Mary was a jack of all trades. Her love of children started her out as a teacher before she became a daycare provider. Mary moved on to become a bookkeeper for Nestle and continuing at Shearer and Agrella Law Firm. She was also a devoted member of St. Gall Catholic Church in Elburn for many years.

Mary was a homebody, but she liked to travel for family visits when she had a chance, spending time in Jamaica for a wedding just last year. One of her kid’s favorite trips with mom was driving to Florida to visit grandma and grandpa.

Mary loved the outdoors. In the spring, her green thumb ruled, and Mary could be found in her garden. She loved to plant vegetables; her favorite to grow was pumpkin, and she made sure to grow one pumpkin for each grandchild.

She enjoyed the simple things in life, watching birds, taking long walks and enjoying the company of others. The most important thing in Mary’s life was children. She first gave all her time and energy to her own children before finding the joy and love that her grandchildren provided her. She was blessed with nine grandchildren with whom she laughed and loved to joke.

Doing arts and crafts was a favorite pastime she spent doing with the grandkids. Mary had very special relationships with each and every one of her nine grandchildren, making sure each one felt special when they were around her. She always kept nine treats in her purse just in case all the grandkids would be around. She loved her family with all she had. She is gone now, but she will never be forgotten.

Mary is survived by her husband, Greg; children, Matthew (Stephanie), Elizabeth (Steve) Mencel, Timothy (Anne), Jonathan, Mary Chris (Bill) Lamb, Sarah (Joel Bogosh) Zielinski and Joanna (Harry Vyhnanek) Zielinski; nine grandchildren, Evelyn, Clare, Jude, Joseph Zielinski, Nathan and Cameron Mencel, Henry Zielinski, and Ethan and Lindsey Lamb; her mother, Mary Jane Gerlach; six siblings, Patrick (Leah) Gerlach, Sue Grudecki, Paul (Mary Beth) Gerlach, Joseph (Cathi) Gerlach, Frank (Val) Gerlach, Ann (Sean) McGreal; her mother-in-law, Alice Zielinski; many cousins; and a countryside of friends.

She is preceded in death by her infant son, Christopher; father, Frank Gerlach; father-in-law, Raymond Zielinski; and brother-in-law, Gary Grudecki.

A visitation was held Wednesday at Conley Funeral Home. A funeral Mass will take place Thursday, Nov. 13, with visitation from 9 to 9:45 a.m., and a Mass at 10 a.m. Private cremation will follow the funeral.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Mary’s name. Checks may be made to the “Mary Zielinski 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

Delores M. Jarka

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Delores M. Jarka (nee Gahlbeck), 80, of Geneva, died at home on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, following a long illness.

She was born on Dec. 17, 1933, the daughter of Harry and Laura (nee Vogel) Gahlbeck. She was raised in Burlington, Ill., and graduated with the Burlington High School Class of 1951.

She started working early in life, detasseling corn in the nearby fields. She went on to work at the Elgin Watch Factory and eventually went to work at Warwick Publishing Company in St. Charles, where she remained for 28 years before retiring.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 40 years, Robert F. Jarka, and her only brother, Clifford Gahlbeck.

She is survived by her loving children, David of Buffalo, N.Y., Kathleen (William Duerr) of Batavia, Donald (Tammie) of Geneva and Edward (Karyn) of Maple Park. She also had six grandchildren she was very proud of: Will and Joseph Duerr, Brad and Adam Jarka, and Rachel and Kyle Jarka.

Visitation and service were held Sunday at Moss-Norris Funeral Home, 100 S. Third St., St. Charles.

Interment was held privately at Union Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army, 1710 S. Seventh Ave., St. Charles, or at

For additional information contact Moss-Norris Funeral Home at (630) 584-2000 or

Denis L. Bowron

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Denis L. Bowron died Thursday, Oct. 30, at Greenfields of Geneva. He was born on July 26, 1937, to Clarice and Lyman “Red” Bowron on Church Street on the east side of Batavia.

His early years were spent hanging out on the Fox River with his dog Choppy, pedaling his Aurora Beacon paper route or helping with his father’s small trucking company, “Bowron Motor Service.” As a teen, he set pins at Batavia Bowl, and spent after-school hours with friends pumping gas at Spuhler’s “Pure Oil” station on Batavia Avenue.

After high school, he entered the Navy, where he learned the boiler trade in the engine room of a destroyer.

Upon his return, he married a west side girl, Nancy Wiberg, and they went on to have four children, Denise Schubkegel, Laura Kapala, Craig and Larry Bowron, and eventually 27 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

After stints at Argonne National Laboratory and Mercy Hospital, he had a 30-year career as a facility operations supervisor at Fermi Lab. He was intelligent and curious, and wondered how things worked.

He was an avid fisherman, loved music—particularly gospel music—and enjoyed refurbishing old mechanical antiques like Challenger pumps. He made bluebird houses and replanted oak savannas. He was a big man with a big heart and a fast wit, and he had an easy way with people. Denis was loved as a dad, grandpa, farfar.

A memorial service will take place at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 6, at Bethany Lutheran Church, 8 S. Lincoln St., Batavia.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Fermilab Natural Areas at

For additional information, contact Moss Family Funeral Homes at (630) 879-7900 or

Richard “Rich” Herra

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Richard “Rich” Herra, 73, of Elburn, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family. A big man with an even bigger heart, he leaves this world without a chance to say goodbye, but leaves a legacy of memories to balm our grieving hearts.

He was born May 1, 1941, the son of George and Mary (Kessel) Herra, in Geneva.

Rich grew up in Elburn and attended local schools while helping out at the family grocer on Main Street in Elburn. He was “hired out” on occasion to local farmers, helping them in the fields, season after season. He was so popular, farmers would put in their reservations for “the tall son” when he was busy. He was one of the first classes to attend Kaneland High School. Before he graduated with the class of 1961, Rich was a captain of the football team, inspiring all the “gridiron greats” to follow in his footsteps generations later.

Aug. 3, 1964, was a day to live in infamy–at least for Rich–as that was the fateful day he was introduced to Mary Fulk. They soon fell in love, and the rest was history. Their two hearts became one on Nov. 21, 1965. They began their new life together in Aurora for a time before coming back home to Elburn in 1968, where they raised a growing family. They were blessed with two children, Richard and Rhonda. Almost 49 years of marriage brought millions of both laughter and tears. But one thing was for sure: they were unforgettable.

Rich had a history of working in and for his community. He worked as a part time police officer for ten years and spent 36 years as a volunteer fireman. H & L Altepeter operated in Lily Lake, but Rich and his brother Jack had the opportunity to buy the business, and they renamed it J & R Herra Inc. After a lifetime filled with a work ethic that was second to none, Rich put down his tools and retired in 2009.

He was a lifetime member of the St. Charles Sportsman’s Club, and a faithful member of the Fox Valley Christian Church. Rich was also a proud member of the N.R.A.

Rich’s strength was legendary, and more importantly, true. He would hold the end of a 16-pound sledgehammer with one hand, and gently scratch the end of his nose as easy as holding a pencil. He also was an accomplished marksman who loved to shoot and make new friends at every club.

As a dedicated member of the Elburn Fire Department, Rich felt privileged each and every time he was able to drive the antique Model A fire truck in the Elburn Days Parade and other festive occasions. He was also a practical man, picking the date of his marriage to coincide with deer hunting season.

Although Rich had a look that could stop you in your tracks, there was no one who enjoyed a practical joke or shared an easy laugh like Rich. He once tied the shoes of a whole volleyball team together in intricate knots while they were playing a game, only to return to the bench to see Rich’s handiwork. He also was a favorite dinner companion every Friday night, taking out friends and neighbors. It was only coincidence that most of them were of the female persuasion, jokingly referred to as his “harem.” Some of his favorite spots were as far as 100 miles away.

Rich was a family man through and through, prizing them above all else. But he always had a special place in his heart for his grandson R.J. No one can Rich’s shoes, nor live up to the man who lived his life as a “gentle giant,” but we can admire the footsteps he left for us to follow and never forget the memories he left behind.

He is survived by his loving wife, Mary; two children, Richard (Kandy) Herra and their son R.J., and Rhonda (Mike Fung) Herra; four siblings, D. Larry (Maxine) Herra, Leroy (Carol) Herra, Dean Herra and Darlene (Terry) Terrill; one brother-in-law, Glenn (Margie) Fulk; two sisters-in-law, Janet Herra and Ruth Fulk; several nieces, nephews, a host of “shooting buddies” and a countryside filled with friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, George and Mary; two sisters, Marie Fraunberg and Janet, the latter of which passed away in infancy; brother, Jack Herra; two brothers-in law, Jim Fraunberg and Howard Fulk; and last but never least, his favorite hunting dogs, Lady and Diamond, who were faithful hunting buddies till the end.

Visitation will take place Monday, Nov. 3, from 3 to 8 p.m., at Fox Valley Christian Church, 40W150 Main St. Road, Batavia. A funeral to celebrate his life will take place at 10 a.m., with a time of visitation from 9 to 9:45 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 4, also at the church. Pastors Dan Fields and Josh LaGrange will officiate, with interment to follow at Blackberry Township Cemetery, Elburn.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Rich’s name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Rich Herra 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

In honor of Rich and his “timeless” sense of fashion, all are welcome to attend both visitation and funeral in casual dress and/or their best camouflage wear.

Gwen H. McKee

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Gwen McKee Picture

Gwen H. McKee, 77, of Sugar Grove, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. She was born Feb. 13, 1937, in Chicago, the second daughter of Arthur and Mildred Hughes.

Gwen graduated from Hirsch High School in Chicago. She then attended Beloit College in Wisconsin, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics. It was there that Gwen met her husband John. They both graduated in 1958 and were married in 1959.

Gwen was employed as a systems analyst for IBM following college. Along with raising a family, she became a consummate homemaker who arranged every detail of the homes in which she and her husband lived.

Gwen was perhaps best known as “The Quilter,” having produced innumerable quilts over 30 years for her own homes, for family and friends, and for several charity auctions. She enjoyed traveling adventures, visiting with family in many locations, and especially delighting in her summer home in Harbert, Mich.

Gwen is survived by her husband of 55 years, John; three children, Scott, Sue (Sam) Erwin and Steve (Wendy); nine grandchildren; and her sister, Joan (Wayne) Hughes.

Visitation will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7, at The Healy Chapel, 370 Division Drive, Sugar Grove. A memorial service will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8, at New England Congregational Church, 406 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora.

Memorials should be directed to the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, 111 West Downer Place, Suite 312, Aurora, IL 60506, for the benefit of the New England Congregational Church Designated Endowment Fund.

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

Gwen’s family wishes to thank Vitas Hospice and Visiting Angels of the Fox Valley for their extraordinary care and support during the past five months.

Winona M. Mitcheltree

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Winona Mitcheltree Picture

Winona M. Mitcheltree (nee Moroney), 82, of Aurora, and recently of Batavia, passed away peacefully and went to be with her Lord on Oct. 20.

She was born Oct.19, 1932, in Aurora, to Thornton and Hermina (nee Scholl) Moroney.

Winona attended Mary A. Todd Grade School, graduated with West Aurora High School Class of 1950, and attended Ritchie Secretarial School and Aurora College. She was a legal secretary for two years, and then an executive secretary for three years with Thor Power Tool Company and 11 years with Northern Illinois Gas Company, retiring when blessed with her first child.

On Sept. 23, 1961, she was united in marriage to Albert R. Mitcheltree at Our Savior Lutheran Church, Aurora. They were married over 41 years until Albert went to be with his Lord in 2003. He has now welcomed his loving wife into Heaven.

Winona was a lifelong member of Our Savior, from a little girl attending church in The Healy Chapel—while the church building was completed—through baptism, confirmation, marriage and raising her family in the same church. Winona was an active member of Our Savior, where she enjoyed friendships and fellowship, and served as a trustee, Bible School teacher and choir member. She will be remembered for her love of her family and her saving faith and love in Jesus Christ as her Savior.

She always gave her all and best to her family and friends, and with anything with which she was involved. Winona gave her time and talents to many and served in organizations such as Aurora Business & Professional Women’s Club, Fox Valley Christian Women’s Club, YMCA-YWCA Adult Programs, Parent Teacher Associations and the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts. In addition to the church choir, her beautiful soprano voice was heard for many years with Aurora Festival Chorus. She also was active with the Fox Valley Hiking Club for well over 40 years.

Winona is survived by God’s gift of four loving children, David (Laurie Benton) Mitcheltree and grandson Jack and granddaughter Kate of Issaquah, Wa., Laura Mitcheltree of North Aurora, Mark Mitcheltree of Haines, Ark., and Brad (Jennifer) Mitcheltree and grandsons Stuart and Larkin of Fort Collins, Colo. Many dear family members and so many dear friends, all of whom have brightened her earthly life, also survive her.

She was preceded in death by many family members and friends, and has now met them again in Heaven.

A funeral service celebrating her life and faith was held Saturday at Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church, Aurora. Rev. Jeff Mikyska officiated. Interment took place in Lincoln Memorial Park.

The family received friends on Friday at The Healy Chapel, Aurora, and prior to the funeral service on Saturday. Contributions in Winona Mitcheltree’s memory may be directed to Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

For further information, call (630) 897-9291 or visit to leave an online condolence.

Winona was always there for her family and friends, and will be greatly missed. The family’s love, prayers and memories will always be with them until they meet again in Heaven.

Clara M. Olson Hardt Stonecipher

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Clara Olson Hardt Stonecipher, 98, of Elburn passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014.

She was born in 1916 in Chicago to Swedish immigrant parents, who later moved to the Virgil area.

A lifelong member of Grace Lutheran Church, Lily Lake, she graduated from Elburn High School in 1934 and from Sherman Hospital’s School of Nursing in 1937.

She married Richard Hardt in 1939, and they had three children, Marilyn, Bill and Marlene. They purchased the home at 241 Shannon St., Elburn, in 1945.

Rich passed away suddenly in 1953. Clara married widower Virgil Stonecipher in November 1954, and his children, Tom and Debbie, joined the family.

Clara was well-known in the community serving as village health nurse, and helped Virg run their service station. She later worked at Elburn Northern Farm Service.

Virgil passed away in 1990.

Clara served as a member of the Kane County Mental Health Association Board, receiving its Lyle Oncken Community Service Award in 1994. She was a member of the Elburn Fireman’s Auxiliary and American Legion Auxiliary, and later she worked tirelessly for the Elburn and Countryside Community Center and Elburn Food Bank. She was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship for Humanitarian Services by the Elburn Lions Club in 1994, and was honored as an Illinois Woman of Achievement in 2000 at Springfield, which was sponsored by the Illinois League of Women Voters and the Illinois Municipal League.

Those passing before her include her parents, Swan and Margaret Olson; husband, Richard Hardt; husband, Virgil Stonecipher; son, Richard Thomas Stonecipher; grandson, John Paul Dorneden; brothers, Carl Einar Olson and Kenneth Olson; sisters-in-law, Adeline Olson, Ramona Olson and Shirley Hardt; and brother-in-law, Bill Barrett.

Surviving Clara are her children, Marilyn (Chuck) Hardt Walters Shanholtzer, William (Marilyn) Hardt, Marlene (Curt) Hardt Zanardi and Debbie Stonecipher Dorneden; daughter-in-law, Dianne Stonecipher; niece, Diana Ohme White; sister-in-law, Evelyn Barrett; and brother-in-law, Robert Hardt. She’s also survived by 12 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren, 14 nieces and nephews, as well as numerous cousins in the U.S. and Sweden, and many friends in Elburn and surrounding communities.

Funeral arrangements are being made at Conley, Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St. Elburn.

Harvest Drawdown

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MAPLE PARK—St. Mary’s of the Assumption in Maple Park will host its Harvest Drawdown on Saturday, Nov. 1.

Dinner, including pork chops, fried chicken, sides and homemade desserts, will be served from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in St. Mary’s Novak Center, County Line Road, Maple Park. The drawdown will begin at 6 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person and include entry into the drawdown and all food and beverages for the evening. A $3,000 grand prize will be awarded to the last remaining ticket. In addition, cash prizes will be given to every 10th ticket drawn, as well as the first, 100th and 200th tickets drawn.

With meat raffles, 50/50 raffles and balloon raffles taking place all evening, you will have plenty of chances to take home a prize. A silent auction will take place, as well, with baskets containing everything from homemade goodies to sporting event tickets.

One ticket per person is required for entry, and only 300 tickets will be sold. Tickets are available after every Mass at St. Mary’s, and are also available at Bootleggers Pizza, Grill and Bar in Maple Park, or by calling (815) 286-7940 or (815) 901-5547.

Caregivers support group at Community Congregational Church

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ELBURN—Are you or someone you know caring for a family member or friend who can no longer take care of themselves—perhaps someone with physical or mental impairment?

While such caregiving is a labor of love, it can result in enormous physical, emotional and financial impact. Caregivers can find themselves feeling alone and not knowing where to turn for support.

A caregiver support group meets at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month at Community Congregational Church, 100 E. Shannon St., Elburn, to provide emotional, educational and social support for caregivers. The group will be led by staff from Rachel’s Place, which is part of Fox Valley Older Adult Services, a licensed adult day care service provider.

There is no fee to attend the group, but registration is requested. For more information or to register, call Andrea McNeal at (708) 363-5425 or Pastor Ben at (630) 360-0040.

Patricia LeBaron Bergman

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Bergman photo

Patricia LeBaron Bergman, 79, passed away Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, in her home in Sugar Grove, where she lived since 1991.

She was born Dec. 14, 1934, in Waukegan, Ill., the daughter of the late Patricia Helene (Lingus) and Alexander Gross.

She lived in Waukegan until June 10, 1956, when she married Robert Scribner Bergman and moved to Palo Alto, Calif., until 1961, when the couple relocated to Aurora.

Patricia graduated as a registered nurse from Saint Luke’s Hospital in Chicago and worked in nursing. She enjoyed design and mechanics and took a position drafting at Arrow Welding and was a purchasing agent. She later became COO at Lektro-Vend in Aurora.

Her family cheered her 2008 graduation (magna cum laude) as she received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Northern Illinois University.

Always exceedingly generous with her talents to her political causes and many charitable causes, she worked for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, and as chair for SLC Illinois for AARP. She volunteered for the Visiting Nurses Association in Aurora. She also served on the Consumer Relations Board of Ford Motor Company.

Her love for the north woods of Wisconsin grew from the many summers she spent in Hazlehurst, Wis., in her youth, and later at her family cabin near Minocqua, Wis. She especially enjoyed cross country skiing in the winters. She competed in the American Birkebeiner five times, and in cross country ski races in Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Italy.

Patricia enjoyed her role as grandmother, indulging her grandchildren with fun-filled trips to Chicago and across the globe to Disneyland, Disneyworld, Colorado, Washington, D.C., New Zealand and Africa

She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Robert S. Bergman; son, David C. Bergman and his wife, Amy, children, Wyatt and Hannah, and her children, Keaton and Ariella, of Duluth, Ga.; daughter, Lynne Bergman Potter and her husband, Jeffrey; their children, Mallory and Matthew; son, Joseph R. Bergman, and his wife, Lisa, and their children, Michael and Daniel; sisters, Joyce Johnson, Rosemary LeBaron, Diane Shaughnessy, Barbara Flynn and Pamela “Suzy” LeBaron; and brother, Richard LeBaron.

In addition to her parents, Patricia was preceded in death by her brother, Michael LeBaron.

A memorial service will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1, at The Healy Chapel, 370 Division Drive, Sugar Grove, with Rev. Gary McCann officiating. The family will greet friends from 10 a.m. until the start of the service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to USO, Department WS, P.O. Box 96860, Washington, D.C. 20090 are appreciated.

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

Local athlete on Central College football team

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PELLA, IOWA—Kaneland graduate and wide receiver Zack Martinelli is a member of the Central College football team.

Central has captured a record 30 Iowa Conference championships with 20 NCAA Division III playoff berths, including 17 in the past 27 years. The Dutch have not had a losing season since 1960. Central is 2-1 heading into Iowa Conference play. Coach Jeff McMartin has an 81-28 (.743) record, and is in his 11th season for Central.

Siebert named CCIW Defensive Player of the Week

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Photo submitted by Dave Wrath of Augustana Athletics to

ROCK ISLAND, Ill.—Augustana junior libero and Kaneland graduate Kylie Siebert was recently selected as the “Defensive Player of the Week” in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin in volleyball. Siebert is the first Viking this season to win the honor.

The Sugar Grove native had a tremendous week for first-year head coach Kelly Bethke’s Vikings, and it started with a great effort in Augustana’s opening match in the CCIW. The Vikings came from behind to defeat Illinois Wesleyan 3-2 (25-23; 22-25; 23-25; 25-20; 15-9) at the Carver Center on Sept. 24. In that match, Siebert had a game-high 41 digs and added two assists and one service ace.

Over the weekend, Augustana went 2-2 in the University of Chicago’s Gargoyle Classic, and Siebert piled up a total of 48 digs, 16 setting assists and six service aces. The Vikings beat Concordia-Chicago 3-0 (27-25; 25-14; 25-12) and lost to the University of Chicago 0-3 (15-25; 17-25; 21-25) on Friday, Sept. 26. The next day, Augustana beat Kalamazoo 3-1 (25-12; 25-14; 21-25; 25-15) before falling to Cornell 1-3 (21-25; 26-24; 21-25; 24-26).

For the week, Siebert totaled 89 digs (4.94 per game), seven service aces and 18 setting assists. She has been a force all season from her libero position, and she leads the team with 287 digs in 53 games for a 5.42 average. She also has 16 service aces.

Richard ‘Dozer’ Pitstick

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Richard “Dozer” Pitstick, 77, of Elburn, passed away on Sunday evening, Sept. 28, 2014, after a long battle with cancer, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family.

He was born Dec. 26, 1936, in Rockwell City, Iowa, the son of Clarence and Catherine (Moore) Pitstick.

He grew up in Rockwell City and attended local schools. He graduated from Rockwell City High School with the class of 1955.

Richard furthered his education by attending Iowa State College, and although he paid attention to his studies, he studied a certain girl even more. Mary Lee Fidler was introduced to Richard through a college roommate, and the rest was history.

Richard was united in marriage to Mary on Oct. 12, 1957, at S.S. Peter & Paul Church in Virgil. They began their new life together in Virgil for a time before moving to a farm north of Sugar Grove. Later, it was Troxel they called home, before settling back in Virgil for the next 35 years. In 1992, they found a home in Elburn and filled it with love and memories for the last 22 years.

Richard dedicated his life to farming and tilled his land with care, passing on his vast knowledge and “know-how” to the next generation.

Richard was a member of the FFA in high school, and the DeKalb County Farm Bureau. He was a founding member of the Kane County Corn Growers, a member of the DeKalb – Kane Pork and Cattle Producers, and past member of the Elburn Lions Club. Richard also was a faithful member of the S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Church.

Richard was never shy about his love of coffee, and was a patron of many places over the years. The only thing more important than his coffee were the friends he sat with around the table. He was fond of the phrase, “I guarantee you one thing,” often followed by a bit of wisdom he was more than happy to share, sometimes more than once. “Anyway, anyhow” would be a transition phrase that could lead anywhere, and often did. His advice was given freely and received sometimes begrudgingly.

Although his hands were made for farming, he often thought about learning to play the piano. His annual Commodity Classic corn grower conventions were looked forward to with palpable anticipation. In later years, Mary Lee and Richard spent winters in The Villages, a community full of friends.

This Week In Agribusiness, with Max Armstrong and Orion Samuelson, was a Saturday morning destination, but each weekday at noon was the aptly named “Noon Show,” always preceded with a “ssshhh” to quiet the house.

He was a John Deere enthusiast who proudly wore his green and yellow suspenders with pride. Even after all his associations, conventions, meetings and shows, Richard lived for his fields, rising early and working well past sunset planting and harvesting his crops. For the last 13 years, Richard had battled cancer with distinction and with a strength rarely found. Always fighting for each day, Richard never wavered, and will be remembered for his dignity and the character he displayed until the last day.

He is survived by his loving wife of almost 57 years, Mary Lee Pitstick; seven children, Steve Pitstick, Michael (Melissa) Pitstick, David (Lisa) Pitstick, John (Melisa Ekstrom) Pitstick, Laura (Richard “Rusty”) Hall, Debbie Pitstick and Bryan (Tiffany) Pitstick; 18 grandchildren, Scott (Kasey) Pitstick and children Kaisley and Hudson, Dale Pitstick, Traci (Joe Kingdon) Pitstick,
Justine Pitstick and her son Gavin, Brianna (Bart) Gruber and children Owen, Hunter and Noah, Abbi (Chris) Ruiz and children Kolin, Emma and Madeline, Eric Theisen, Kristin Pitstick, Kari Pitstick, Cody Pitstick, Jenna Pitstick,
Jayci Pitstick, Carson Hall, Keegan Hall, Thomas Pitstick, Nicole Pitstick, Vincent Pitstick and Allyson Pitstick; one sister, JoAnn (Ron) Hendricks; brother, Larry Pitstick; two brothers-in-law, James (Sandi) Fidler and Dan (Connie) Fidler; many nieces, nephews, cousins and a countryside of good friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Catherine; mother and father-in-law, Joseph and Margaret Fidler; step-mother, Charlotte Pitstick-Howard; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Visitation will take place from 3 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 2, at S.S. Peter & Paul Parish Center, Virgil. A mass to celebrate his faith will begin at 10 a.m., with a visitation from 9 to 9:45 a.m., on Friday, Oct. 3, at S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Church. Fr. Perfecto Vasquez, pastor of the church, will officiate, with interment to follow at S. S. Peter & Paul Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Richard’s name to benefit his favorite charities, including the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Checks may be made to the “Richard Pitstick 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

Randall ‘Randy’ Long

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Randall “Randy” Long, 36, of Hinckley, left this world too early, leaving a legacy of memories that will be treasured forever, when he died unexpectedly Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014.

He was born June 29, 1978, in St. Charles, the son of Marilyn (Wilkison) and Clyde Long.

He grew up in Sugar Grove and attended local schools. He graduated from Oswego High School with the Class of 1996.

Randy was united in marriage to Melissa Gatza in 2002, and they were blessed with a daughter, Madison. Peyton, Melissa’s son, made the family of four complete. Randy and Melissa’s paths would separate in later years, but Peyton and Madison never left Randy’s heart. A few years later, Randy would enter the lives of Jennifer Carlino, and her daughters, Becca and Sami, who fit perfectly in his heart alongside Madison and Peyton.

Randy was an outdoorsman and loved hunting and fishing. When he wasn’t casting a line or walking through the woods, Randy enjoyed coaching the kids in a variety of sports. NASCAR ruled his television universe, especially when Dale Earnhardt Jr. was at the wheel. The only thing that could eclipse NASCAR was his beloved Green Bay Packers. His cheering was loud and proud and without apology.

The love Randy had for others shone bright his entire life. It was reflected back to him in the eyes of all who knew and loved him. The time he spent on this earth will be treasured and held dear for all time.

He is survived by his daughter, Madison; his parents, Marilyn Long and Clyde (Janet) Long; one sister, Missi Lewis; two half-siblings, Greg Long and Rebecca Price; one niece, Brittany Price; a nephew, Andrew Price; several aunts, uncles, and cousins; and a special “sister,” Mandy Doy and her two sons, Jordan and C.J.

He is preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Earl and Ella Wilkison; paternal grandparents, Bear and Bue Long; uncle, Lewis Long; cousin, Earl Grant Wilkison, Jr.; and his aunt, Linda Kay Long.

Visitation and a funeral service were held Monday at Conley Funeral Home, Elburn. Private family burial will follow at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Randy’s name. Checks may be made to the “Randall Long 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

Joan Carson

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Joan Carson passed away Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. She was born July 14, 1933, the daughter of Carl and Nellie (Bass) Carson.

She is survived by her daughter, Joni (White) Ryan, and son-in-law, Phillip Ryan; sisters, Gloria Miller and Sue (Bob) Ackley; brothers, Dan (Orva) Carson and James (Kay) Carson; and 18 nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents; sister, Bonnie (Bebe) Penrod; and nephew, Rick Hall.

She was a graduate of Maple Park High School and Northern Illinois University (NIU). With much sacrifice and hard work, she graduated with the highest of honors with a bachelor’s degree in geology from NIU.

She went on to teach eighth grade Earth Science at Plano Middle School for many years. She loved teaching because it was in the classroom that she could convey her love for science and her ability to inspire. She took her students on camping trips, entered them into science fairs and fully encouraged them to participate in her classroom. She set high expectations for her students, and the lucky ones accepted her challenge.

In 1984, she and her daughter moved to California. After spending several years working with adults with developmental disabilities, she opened her own adult residential care facility in February 1993. A few years later, she opened a second care facility. Each home had six adult clients who became her extended family, and she became theirs, with over half of her clients living with her over 15 years.

As with everything she did, she poured her heart and soul into her job. Each summer, with the help of the other house mom, she would travel with her clients on fun-filled vacations to the mountains of Wyoming, the sandy beaches of Hawaii, the balloon festival in New Mexico, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and many other California landmarks and national parks. She also shared her love of baseball with them, and they became season-ticket holders of the San Diego Padres. She had a passion for what she did, and it was infectious. Family members who made the trip to California soon came to appreciate and value the time they spent with each of them.

She also had a deep love of nature and the great outdoors. Her favorite vacation spot was camping along the Snake River in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Weekends in California she spent hiking in the mountains, deserts and beaches with her family. She loved to watch birds, especially the California quail. She appreciated the natural world and loved wildflowers and weeds better than any planned flower garden. But her most treasured thing on Earth was her rock collection that she had been adding to for over 40 years.

She loved to debate politics, and one of her favorite accomplishments was switching the political views of her Boston-born son-in-law. She had a deep love of country, past and present, and she was always grateful for all the opportunity her country gave her. She was a true patriot, and kept a copy of the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution by her bedside.

But what was more important to her than anything else in this world was her strong love of family. To her daughter, she was more than just a mother—she was her best friend and mentor. And they had so much mutual love and respect for each other. To her son-in-law, she was the cavalry, always making sure he toed the line. For all of her family, she was a rock, always there for them, offering strength and security during tough times, and love and laughter in good times.

She had a gift for conversation and an ability to make you see the silver lining behind each dark cloud. She was a risk-taker and fearless, but she also had a softer side that was thoughtful and generous beyond compare. Her goal in life was to make the world a kinder place, and in that she was truly successful.

She enjoyed California, but never lost her love for Illinois, and always considered it home.

Private service will be held at Gardner Cemetery in Maple Park.

Julie Marie Nelson

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Julie Marie Nelson, 56, of Maple Park, fought a long and valiant battle with cancer before it broke her body, but never her spirit. She claimed the promise of her Savior, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, surrounded by the love and prayers of her family.

She was born March 5, 1958, in Elgin, Ill., the daughter of George and Grace (Dougherty) Wisdom.

Julie grew up in Elgin and attended local schools. She attended St. Edwards High School where she made new friends at every turn, participated in track, and graduated with the class of 1976.

Julie went on to attend Elgin Community College, earning an associate’s degree before enrolling in Southern Illinois University.

Julie was an outgoing person with plenty of charisma to spare, which lent itself well when it came to the variety jobs and positions she held during her working career. Julie worked in the childcare industry for a time, working with Kindercare, but eventually found her home in the hospitality industry. Working as a waitress at Johnny Walkers Bakery gave her a foundation in serving others, which led to Fisherman’s Inn, a stint with Avon Cosmetics, and eventually a position at some of the most exclusive clubs in the area. Her passion was people, and it showed. In charge of numerous banquets and training personnel, it wasn’t long before everyone was asking for Julie.

Julie was proud of her Catholic faith, as well as her membership at various local churches. Most recently, she was a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Batavia, where she served her Lord and Savior as she did her community: with all her heart. Baking for mission trip fundraisers, writing cards for the elderly living in nursing homes through the Enriching Lives Ministry, as well as developing a personal passion for the Rosary are only a few of the ways Julie dedicated herself to her church.

Julie had waited most of her life for the right man to come along, and when she found Ken Nelson, she knew he was the one. Two hearts became one when they were united in marriage in 2004.

Julie enjoyed the outdoors, where she indulged taking long walks, went jogging and bicycling. Her favorite vacation spot was close by in Wisconsin, where she loved to spend time as a child, and later as an adult with her family.

Just like her mother, cards and letters were often sent on various occasions, just like making sure that everyone felt special.

If you were furry and had four legs, there was always room for you—not only in Julie’s home, but her heart. Julie adopted many cats and dogs over the years, each one becoming a full-fledged member of her family. Though Julie longed to stay, her memories will serve as her legacy, and will continue to be treasured forever.

She is survived by her loving husband of 10 years, Ken Nelson; two step-children, Dan (Trina) Nelson and Kathy (Ryan) Gibbs; five step-grandchildren, Katlyn Nelson, Alyssa Nelson, Tyler Crowell, Trinity Howard and Andrew Gibbs; one step-great-grandson, Kyran Smith; her parents, George and Grace Wisdom; six siblings, Mike (Barb) Wisdom, John (Roxanne) Wisdom, Peter (Janet) Wisdom, Paul (Mary) Wisdom, Steve (Kim) Wisdom and Angie (Bruce) Stastny; many nieces and nephews; and a family of friends.

She is preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Richard and Irene Dougherty; paternal grandparents, Harry and Angela Wisdom; and one nephew, Brooks Wisdom.

Visitation will take place from 4 to 8 p.m., with a wake service to commence at 7:30 p.m., on Monday, Sept. 8, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 2300 Main St. Road, Batavia. Fr. Timothy Draper, an associate pastor of the church, will officiate, with interment to follow at Blackberry Township Cemetery, Elburn.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be mailed direct to Holy Cross Catholic Church, 2300 Main St. Road, Batavia, IL 60510, or Journeycare Hospice, 405 Lake Zurich Road, Barrington, IL 60010. Tributes may be forwarded on the web at

The family would like to extend their most heartfelt thank you to the wonderful staff at Journeycare Hospice, especially nurses Beth and Melissa, as well as Deacon Michael Monteleone.

Laila Marti

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Laila Marti, 89, of St. Charles, formerly of Aurora, passed away peacefully Sept. 7, 2014, at her home, surrounded by her family and loving caregivers at Inspirations.

She was born Jan. 14, 1925, in Chicago, the daughter of the late Oscar and Laina (Waltonen) Johnson.

Laila graduated from Copley School of Nursing in 1946. She worked as a nurse for 51 years prior to retiring. She worked at Copley Hospital in the OB department and was an office nurse for nine years. She stopped working to raise her three daughters, but did return when her youngest daughter entered kindergarten. She worked 32 years for Drs. James and John Marks and Fox Valley Medical Associates.

Laila was a member of Rejoice Lutheran Church in Geneva, the Child Welfare Society, the Copley Nursing Alumni Association and the White Cross Auxiliary. She was active in the PTA and was a Girl Scout leader when her children were in school. Laila was an avid supporter of her grandchildren’s activities: dance, sports and music.

Survivors include her daughters, Nila (William) Saloga, Karin (Michael) Mayes and Jani Marti; brother, Richard (Linda) Johnson; sister-in-law, Judy Marti; grandchildren, April (David) Hanson, Bill (Julie) Saloga, Charlie Saloga and A.J. Saloga; as well as four great grandchildren, five nieces and two nephews.

Laila was preceded in death by her husband, Richard F. Marti; her parents, Oscar and Laina Johnson; brother-in-law, David Marti; and nephew, Jeff Johnson.

Visitation will be held on Friday, Sept. 12, from 4 to 8 p.m. at The Healy Chapel, 370 Division Drive, Sugar Grove. Her funeral service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 13, at 10 a.m., also at The Healy Chapel. Interment will take place at Lincoln Memorial Park.

Memorials may be directed to Elderday Center, 328 W. Wilson, Batavia, IL 60510.

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

Ray A. Pulford

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Ray A. Pulford, 65, of Elburn, passed away at his home, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family following a brief but fierce struggle with cancer, on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014. If love could have saved him, he never would have left, but his legacy lives on in the hearts of his family and friends.

He was born May 16, 1949, in Chicago, the son of Robert and Helen (Hoagland) Pulford.

Ray spent most of his growing up years in Medinah, Ill., where he attended local schools. During his years at Lake Park High School, Ray excelled at football, track and field, and gymnastics. He graduated with the class of 1967.

Ray met the love of his life while roaming the halls of Lake Park High School. Cheryl Edelmann caught not only his eye, but his heart, as well. They were married a year after Cheryl graduated, on Sept. 27, 1969, at St. Walter’s Catholic Church in Roselle, Ill.

Soon after they returned from their honeymoon, Ray answered the call of his country. He proudly served with the United States Army in the ranks of the Military Police. After being honorably discharged in 1971, Ray returned to civilian life, not to mention his loving wife, settling in Bloomingdale, Ill. In 1978, they built a new house in Elburn, where they have since made their home, filling it with more love and memories with each passing year.

Ray was man who could build anything with his hands, and he proved it when he built himself two homes over the years. It began when he was 13 and started working for a family friend’s construction company by sweeping the floor. He worked hard enough to buy his first car, which helped take him to various other companies over the years. He spent the last 12 years at A.J. Maggio Construction, where he was superintendent. Ray eventually retired and invested his time into “ripping apart” his house, much to his wife’s chagrin.

Ray was a proud member of the Carpenters Union Local #558 for 40 years.

Ray was a dedicated coach, teaching little kids to hit and field in Little League for 10 years, and pass and catch the football for six.

During his retirement years, Ray made sure his “workshop” churned out dining room tables and chairs for all his kids. Ray rarely put down his tools, but when he did, Ray was just as apt to pick up weeds in his garden filled with every vegetable imaginable. He and Cheryl loved to travel, cruising the Caribbean, but Aruba was hands down their favorite destination. As alluring as the sandy beaches were, there was no place Ray would rather be than surrounded by his family, especially his grandchildren.

He is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Cheryl Pulford; three children, Michael (Joanna Olech) Pulford, Tina (Dan) Parrilli and Ray (Lindsey) Pulford Jr.; six grandchildren, Anthony Pulford, Torin Pulford, Olivia Parrilli, Owen Parrilli, Devin Pulford and Graycen Pulford; his mother- and father-in-law, Theresa and Gabriel Edelmann; sisters and brother-in-law, Gwen and Lester Gutz, and Ann and Michael Goldstein; several nieces and nephews; many cousins and a countryside of friends.

He is preceded by his parents, Robert Pulford and Helen Hoagland; and one brother, Robert “Bobby” Pulford.

Visitation will take place from 3 to 6:30 p.m., with a Remembrance Service to follow at 7 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 6, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. Family and friends will be invited to share their favorite music and memories of Ray. Private family interment will follow cremation at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Ray’s name. Checks may be made to the “Ray Pulford 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

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