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Central Illinois

Joseph Z. Sudow, a community leader and noted attorney with more than seven decades of legal experience, formerly of Peoria, died Sept. 9. He was 98.

Born April 15, 1914, in Sioux City, Iowa, to Sam and Sarah Sudow, Joe was raised in Aberdeen, S.D. Joe graduated from the University of Michigan in 1935 before going on to earn his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1938.

After practicing law in Chicago, Joe became the Peoria District rationing attorney in 1943, where he worked to help provide government rations of gasoline and fuel oil during World War II. In 1945 he opened his own law practice in Peoria, and in 1950, served as supervisor of the U.S. Census for the 10th Congressional District in Illinois. Joe joined the law firm of Kavanagh, Scully, Sudow, White and Frederick LLP as a partner in 1958 and retired as Of Counsel in 2011 after his 97th birthday, when he and his wife Shirley moved to Washington, D.C.

Walter Scott Clifton Jr.
Walter Scott Clifton Jr.
Walter Scott Clifton, 60, of Urbana, died of complications from Multiple Sclerosis on Sept. 13 at the Veteran’s Administration Illiana Healthcare System in Danville, surrounded by family.

Mr. Clifton was born May 29, 1952, in Chicago, to Anne and Walter Clifton Sr. along with four sisters including Jennifer, Pamela, Gail, and Norma. Coming from humble beginnings, Mr. Clifton was a shining example of the American Dream. He went to the military and later worked his way through undergraduate school. He graduated from The University of Illinois Law School in 1980, and subsequently served as an attorney.

Walter Clifton married Dora A. Pope and had 4 children: Rodedrick, Dionne, Vernon and Justin.

Mr. Clifton spent his entire life in service, tirelessly serving God, his country, his family, and his community. Mr. Clifton accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and served as a member of Greater Holy Temple Church. He was truly an extraordinary human being and he will be forever loved and missed.

Services have been held.

The family asks that donations of time and volunteer work be made to Veteran organizations in Mr. Clifton's memory. Condolences may be sent to

Gary L. Brown
Gary L. Brown
Gary L. Brown, 64, of Chicago, formerly of Kankakee, died Tuesday (Aug. 28, 2012). A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 6 p.m. today at Maternity BVM Catholic Church in Bourbonnais. Clancy-Gernon Funeral Home, Bourbonnais, is in charge of arrangements.

He was born Feb. 9, 1948, in Donovan, the son of Dorothy Anderson and Delmar Brown. He spent his childhood in Beaverville working on the family farm, attending school and playing sports. He especially enjoyed playing baseball.

After graduation from high school, Gary attended Indiana University, where he played basketball and baseball for the university. Since baseball was his passion, he decided to play professionally for the Montreal Expos minor league team from 1969 to 1971. He graduated from The John Marshall Law School in 1976 and chose to practice in Kankakee. His legal career included work as an assistant states attorney, a private practice with the law firm of Butz, Mortell, Jaffe, Smith, O'Connor and Brown, and the city attorney under former Mayor Russell Johnson for eight years.

After more than 20 years in law, Gary switched careers to work for a not-for-profit agency, Howard Area Community Center. At the resource center, Gary structured and organized the computer literacy program.

Gary will be remembered by his family as the dad who taught his son to pitch like a pro and play chess like a master; by his daughter, Jessica, as the dad who celebrated even the smallest achievement; and by his daughter, Chrissy, as the dad who encouraged her to strive for excellence and embrace each individual along the way.

Samuel S. Blane
Samuel S. Blane
Samuel S. Blane of Petersburg died on Saturday, September 8, 2012 at Kindred Hospital in Springfield at the age of 92 years.

Mr. Blane, a native of Petersburg, was born January 30, 1920, a son of Frank E. and Floss (Shepherd) Blane. He graduated from Knox College immediately prior to World War II and after the war attended and graduated from the University of Illinois Law School. He practiced law in Petersburg for more than 60 years; from 1948 forward.

After law school, he was admitted to the Bar in 1948 and thereafter became the 3rd generation of his family of lawyers to practice in Petersburg. It started with his grandfather, Captain H.S. Blane, whose career commenced in 1867 until 1902; then his father, Frank E. Blane, whose law practice started in 1892 until 1941.

He received the Chicago Tribune Award for Military Proficiency in 1942. A veteran of the Pacific Theatre from World War II, he was commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force with a rank of Major when discharged in 1946. A lifetime member of VFW Post #6871 and a life member of American Legion Post #198 from which in 2007 he achieved 60 years status.

In 1949 in Petersburg he married Greta Schoone, a local resident, and they had one son and two daughters.

Active in many civic and community affairs, he also served his church, Petersburg First Christian Church, as both Elder and Trustee.

ISBA President John E. Thies is greeted by (from left) Illinois Judges Association (IJA) Immediate Past President, Illinois Appellate Court Justice Carol Pope, and IJA President, Judge Rita M. Novak, of Chicago, at a kickoff Wednesday announcing “Project 225” at the Illinois Supreme Court building in Springfield. This project is a special program starting the week of September 17 whereby scores of state judges will deliver 225 classroom presentations at high school civics classes statewide to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride, other Supreme Court justices, government officials, and bar leaders joined Judge Novak, and members of the association, in a ceremony to explain the program and its objectives, emphasizing the Constitution’s history and contemporary relevance.

Guy Lahr III
Guy Lahr III
Guy McDowell Lahr, III, 67, of Springfield, passed away at 7:04 p.m.

Perplexed by the Juvenile Court setting? Get the information you need to oversee a juvenile delinquency case with this full-day seminar!

The procedures surrounding the offenses committed by a juvenile living in Illinois differ from that of a traditional adult criminal case – making it imperative that attorneys working with children understand the inner functions of the juvenile court setting. Join us in East Peoria on September 28th for this full-day seminar for an in-depth look at the juvenile delinquency process. Family law attorneys, child law lawyers, and general practitioners who occasionally represent minors will benefit from the information presented by gaining a better understanding of: the issues that affect delinquency; what will likely happen to a minor charged with an offense; detention hearings and alternative sentencing options; the adjudication hearing process; the services available through DCFS and DJJ; juvenile probation; the policies and procedures for expungement; and much more!

The program is presented by the ISBA Child Law Section and qualifies for 7.25 hours MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register.

Bill Snyder
Bill Snyder
Dee Runnels
Dee Runnels
William J. Snyder and Dee A. Runnels have joined Bozeman, Neighbour, Patton and Noe, LLP as Of Counsel attorneys.

Snyder earned both his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Iowa, graduating from law school with distinction. He has 45 years of experience and was most recently President of a Rock Island law firm.

Runnels is a magna cum laude graduate of Luther College and graduated with distinction from the University of Iowa Law School.

Both of these attorneys concentrate in the fields of business transactions, estate planning, probate and real estate.

The firm’s principal office is in Moline and can be reached at (309) 797 0850.

Warren Peters
Warren Peters
Warren Peters, 82, of Lincoln died at 12:30 A.M. Sunday, July 22, 2012 at the Christian Nursing Home in Lincoln.

Warren was born on August 10, 1929 in New Holland, IL to Andrew Thomas and Mary Jane Gallagher Peters. He married Jean Fults on March 7, 1961. She survives. Jean and Warren recently celebrated 51 years of marriage together.

Also surviving are six daughters, Mary (Ron) Harmsen of Emden, IL, Jane (Greg) Fox of Atlanta, GA, Gail (Don) Vitek of Elmhurst, IL, Anne (Dan) Conrady of Lincoln, IL, Ruth Brackney of Kansas City, MO, and Amy (Steve) DiLullo of Long Grove, IL, one sister, Edith Ellen Warn of San Diego, CA and fifteen grandchildren, Amanda, John and Katelyn Harmsen, Rachel, Jill and Robert Fox, Andrew, Grace, Gretchen and Robert Vitek, Benjamin, William and Adam Conrady, and Jackson and Lauren Brackney.

He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters Ruth Marie Peters and Jane Strien and one brother Thomas Peters.

The Illinois Supreme Court announced Tuesday the appointment of Wm. Hugh Finson, a longtime Monticello attorney and public servant as a resident circuit judge in the Sixth Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Finson was appointed to fill the Circuit Court vacancy created by the death of longtime Piatt County Chief Judge John P. Shonkwiler. The appointment is effective September 4, 2012 and will expire December 1, 2014.