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Central Illinois

Albert Semmler
Albert Semmler
Albert K. Semmler, Esq., 72, of Bloomington, died on May 25, 2014, at Heritage Health, Normal, after battling prostate cancer.

His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Bloomington, where visitation will be two hours prior to service at the church. The Rev. Carl LoPresti will officiate, and the Rev. Ric Schneider will celebrate. Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, Normal. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Fellowship of Christian Athletes, St. Jude Midwest Affiliate or a charity of the donor’s choice. 

He was born March 2, 1942, in Cincinnati, Ohio, son of Albert and Hedwig Werle Semmler. He married Carole M. Levo on June 13, 1964, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Surviving are his wife, Carole, Bloomington; three daughters, Heidi (Herb) Todd, Towanda; Tracy (John) Schuler, Chenoa; and Jacquie (David) Crutchley, Bloomington; one son, Alexander (Neysa) Semmler, Panama City Beach, Fla.; eight grandchildren; one sister, Hedwig (Tom) Goetz, Columbus, Ohio; and three brothers, Erich Semmler, Cincinnati, Ohio; Karl Semmler, Virginia Beach, Va.; and Edward (Deb) Semmler, South Bend, Ind.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

In 2006, Al retired after 36 years from Country Companies, where he worked as the director of financial planning.

He was an avid tennis player. Al also enjoyed running marathons, and was very proud to have completed the 100th running of the Boston Marathon.

To express condolences online, please visit

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that the Sixth Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Roger B. Webber as an associate judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Webber received his undergraduate degree in 1980 from Illinois State University in Normal, and his Juris Doctor in 1983 from DePaul University in Chicago.

Mr. Webber is currently affiliated with Beckett & Webber, PC in Urbana and Tuscola.

Gill M. Garman
Gill M. Garman

Gill M. Garman, a prominent Danville attorney and husband of Chief Justice Rita B. Garman of the Supreme Court of Illinois, passed away on Saturday at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. He was 71.

Mr. Garman engaged in the practice of law for more than 45 years and was a senior partner at Kesler Nelson Garman Brougher & Townsley PC. He met his wife when they were both students at the University of Illinois and were married the year before they both graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1968.

A celebration of Mr. Garman's life will be held on Thursday, June 5, 2014, at 11 a.m. at St. James United Methodist Church in Danville with Rev. Randall Robinson officiating. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 from 2 to 8 p.m. at Sunset Funeral Home in Danville.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to St. James United Methodist Church, the Danville Public Library Foundation, the Danville Symphony Orchestra, or any charity of the donor's choosing.

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Join us in Springfieldon June 12th to celebrate Lincoln the Lawyer and earn three hours of Professional responsibility MCLE credit, including 3.0 hours Professional Responsibility credit (subject to approval)! Learn about professional responsibility from one of Illinois’ greatest lawyers, Abraham Lincoln, as you listen to the words of Lincoln and his law partner, William Herndon, through recorded reenactments of their recollections of cases, letters, speeches, and stories. The presentations are based upon historic research provided by John Lupton, Administrative Director of the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission. The historic settings of the re-enactments, the Lincoln-Herndon Law Office and the Old State Capitol in Springfield, were provided courtesy of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. After each recollection, John Lupton discusses the historical context, while our distinguished panel of attorneys and judges examine how the professional responsibility issues are addressed in the 21st century practice of law. The program provides opportunities for you to engage in discussions on the issues in your practice setting.Parking is available under the Old State Capitol and in the parking garage at the corner of 6th and Madison Streets.

Click here for more information and to register.

Marshall Susler
Marshall Susler
Marshall Susler, long time lawyer and civic leader, an upstanding man known for living his principles, died on April 30. He and Wylmarose Miller Susler, his wife of 23 years until her premature death from breast cancer in 1981, were parents to Jan Susler, Julie Susler Blum, Jody Susler Schneeberg, and David Susler. In 1983, he married Eileen Ruski, becoming father to her children Maureen Ruski, Kelly Gonzalez, and Rob Ruski. After 30 years of marriage, Eileen says she loved him even more than she did the day they married. They have seven grandchildren: Aaron and Daniel Blum, Jason Gonzalez, Devon and Malone Ruski Moretti, and Simone and Stella Rose Schneeberg.

Marshall was born in 1930 to Sewell and Marion (nee Appelbaum) Susler, working class people who struggled to ensure that he and his sisters Sharna Blumenfeld and Beverly Susler Parkhurst valued education. Marshall was accepted to Millikin University on academic scholarship, graduated Summa Cum Laude, and attended the University of Chicago School of Law. After serving in the Army in military intelligence, he returned to Decatur to practice law, representing civil and corporate clients and many in the Decatur community whose cases other attorneys would not take.

James Tidwell
James Tidwell
James A. Tidwell, chairman of the Journalism Department at Eastern Illinois University, died Saturday, April 12, following a 19-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 65.

A nationally recognized authority on the First Amendment and the student press, Dr. Tidwell taught communication law to hundreds of students in his 41-year career in higher education, including 27 years at Eastern. He was the author of Media Law in Illinois: A Reporter’s Handbook, among other works on the First Amendment and the press.

Gregarious and outgoing, Dr. Tidwell possessed a keen sense of humor. He was well known and liked at Eastern, where he was a past chairman of the Faculty Senate and the Council on Academic Affairs, and had been a board member of the faculty union, the University Professionals of Illinois Local 4100, and had served on the administration’s collective bargaining negotiating team.

Born July 6, 1948 in Oklahoma City to Ray and Maxine Davis Tidwell, he graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist University. He earned his master’s in journalism from the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a Juris Doctor cum laude from the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville.

He joined the faculty at Eastern in 1987 where he taught every class offered by the journalism department during his tenure and served as legal adviser to student publications.

He served as director of the Eastern Illinois High School Press Association (1988-2005) and as executive secretary of the Illinois Journalism Education Association (1989-2005.)

The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Charles Henry Wittmond Burch to be a Resident Circuit Judge of Calhoun County. This appointment fills the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Richard D. Greenlief. It is effective July 7, 2014 and terminates on Dec. 1, 2014.

Donald Randall Hellyer, age 90, of 3207 Brentwood Drive, Quincy, died Friday, April 25, 2014, at 7:05 pm in Illinois Veterans Home.

Donald Hellyer | Hansen-Spear Funeral Home - Quincy, Illinois
Donald was born March 26, 1924 in Greeley, Colorado, the son of Albert E. and Jennie Randall Hellyer. He married Dorothy Daye July 24, 1948 in Chicago, IL. She survives.

He joined the Navy in 1942, served in World War II in New Guinea and the Philippine Islands. He was discharged in 1945. Donald graduated from Indiana University and went on to get his Law degree from John Marshall Law School in Chicago, IL. He practiced law in Chicago and in Rockford, IL, retiring in 1984. Donald was an active volunteer, delivering Meals on Wheels, walking dogs for the Humane Society, and volunteering at the Veterans’ Home.

Along with his wife, Donald is survived by two children, Denise (Ed) Dutton, of Kenton, TN and David Hellyer of Sarasota, FL; two grandchildren, Ashli (T.J.) Williams of Martin, TN and Adam (Jeni) Kelley of Quincy, and four great grandchildren, Jayden and Ethan Williams and Nicholas and Connor Kelley.

Donald was preceded in death by his parents and a son, Donald Hellyer, Jr.

There will be no services. Donald donated his body to St. Louis University

Memorials: Quincy Humane Society

Chief Justice Rita B. Garman of the Supreme Court of Illinois has begun an application process for a Circuit Court vacancy in the Eighth Judicial Circuit.

Theodore Gebhardt
Theodore Gebhardt
Theodore "Ted" William Gebhardt, age 51, of Dunlap, passed away on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 in Metamora.

Ted was born on December 21, 1962 in Peoria to Richard Lawrence and Sandra Lee (Herman) Gebhardt. He married Carol Rae Walker on September 3, 2011.

Ted is survived by his wife, Carol, of Dunlap, IL; his son, Brock Gebhardt of Springfield, IL; his daughter, Samantha Gebhardt of Dunlap, IL; his step-children, Eddie Elson of East Peoria, IL, Brian Wikoff of West Peoria, IL and Troy Wikoff of Dunlap, IL; his step-grandchild, Anthony Elson; his parents; two brothers, Rick (Maritza) Gebhardt of Dunlap, IL and Randy Gebhardt of East Moline, IL; his sister, Jill (Joel) Dryden of Peoria, IL; and seven nieces and nephews, Meghan Dryden, Micah Dryden, Matthew Dryden, Cassie Gebhardt, Dane Gebhardt, Rachelle Mewshaw, and Katarina Gebhardt.  He was preceded in death by his maternal and paternal grandparents and his aunt, Margie Strand.

Ted graduated with a Bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign in 1985. He also received his law degree from the  U of I. Ted was admitted to the IL Bar Association and practiced law for several years. He was the Operations Director for Central Pool Supply/Pride Manufacturing. He was a member of the TKE fraternity and was a big supporter of the Downs Syndrome Organization, the South Side Mission and of the Washburn Community. He also attended Westminster Presbyterian Church in Peoria.