Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership


Illinois Lawyer Now lists obituaries for ISBA members. Please send information, including local newspaper links, to

Mary J. McNichols, 57, of Downers Grove, lost her brave battle with cancer on April 6, 2014. Beloved wife of Patrick Tallon; loving mother of John Tallon; cherished daughter of John and the late Lois Jeane McNichols. Treasured sister of John Patrick (Michelle) McNichols and Megan (David, M.D.) Mahon; dear sister-in-law of Joan (Robert) Swigon. Special aunt and cousin of many.

Mary graduated from York High School in Elmhurst and earned a degree in vocal performance from Illinois Wesleyan University. She earned her J.D. from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. Mary was an accomplished lawyer and a talented singer, director and teacher. She combined her love of music and law as a soloist and director of the Chicago Bar Association Christmas Spirits production for many years.

More recently, she opened the McNichols Studio and shared her musical gifts with young students and created a performance venue, Mama Mac’s Cabaret, in Downers Grove. Loving, wise, creative and kind, Mary touched many lives and will be dearly missed.

Donations to the American Cancer Society appreciated. For funeral info: 630-852-3595.

RoxAnne RochesterRoxAnne L. Rochester passed away on Saturday, April 12, in Florida after valiantly battling cancer. There will be burial services in Florida and a memorial service in Chicago, details are below.

She was a staff attorney in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Law Division, where she was responsible for reviewing, analyzing and recommending the appropriate disposition of contested pre-trial motions in legal disputes involving personal injury, contracts, business torts and construction litigation.

Before joining the Circuit Court of Cook County, Ms. Rochester worked for 17 years in the private practice of law. Ms. Rochester was the founder and principal of the Law Offices of RoxAnne L. Rochester, a firm she spearheaded for over a decade.

Prior to her work in the private sector, Ms. Rochester served as a legal extern with the United States District Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, and as a Law Clerk to Judge Richard L. Curry in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division.

Beloved Richard Harbinger of Brentwood, Calif., passed away January 17 in Santa Monica. The family interred him at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Hollywood Hills.

He was born in Los Angeles in 1923 to Louis and Anne. He was married to his loving and lovely wife Annette Wong Harbinger.

He was a graduate of Fairfax High, UCLA, Princeton University and Notre Dame Law School. Richard was a member of the American Bar Association, the California Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association and the Beverly Hills Bar Association. He also served on the board of the Beverly Hills Bar Foundation and the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists. A mentor and teacher of the Chinese students and scholars at UCLA, he taught at law schools in China.

Richard Parsons
Richard Parsons
Richard H. Parsons, 77, of Peoria died on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at UnityPoint–Proctor.

Richard was born June 9, 1936, in McAlester, OK, to Alfred Richard and Veronica Cecilia Parsons. He married Catherine Logan on August 9, 1958, in Peoria. She preceded him in death in 2011.

He is survived by is children, Karen Voss, Anne Muren, and A. Richard Parsons II; and eight grandchildren.

Both his sisters, Helen Murphy and MaryAnn Caster, preceded him in death.

Mr. Parsons graduated from Taylorville High School in Taylorville, IL, in 1954, where he participated on many athletic teams including football, basketball, baseball, and track and field. However, he was most proud of the fact that he was elected captain of the first Taylorville High School Varsity Tennis team.

Tennis continued to play an important part of his life. He played well into his 60s when spinal problems forced him to quit playing the sport he loved the most. After high school, he played tennis for Bradley University for two years. After graduation, he continued to play and own Club and Bar Association mixed and men’s doubles tournaments, including championships at Mt. Hawley Country Club, the Peoria Tennis Association, the Peoria County Bar association, and the Racquet Club of Peoria. Additionally, he was a three-time winner of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Tournament. His home and office were festooned with dozens of tennis and golf trophies.

James R. Brumund
James R. Brumund
James R. Brumund, 65, entered eternal life on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 with his loving family by his side.

Jim attended Arizona State University on a baseball scholarship, and was an Augustana College graduate. He graduated from Northern Illinois University Law School. He started his practice of law with his father and brother. Jim was a member of the Will County Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Joliet Exchange Club, and former member and President of the Joliet Park District Foundation.

He created and coached the successful Joliet J’s girls softball team for numerous years. He was an assistant softball coach at Joliet Township where he helped coach the 2000 girls state softball championship team. He was presently an assistant coach for the varsity softball team at Joliet West. He was a mentor to his son, Danny, in baseball, football, and wrestling. He coached St. Joe’s Baseball, the Joliet Lightning, and the Channahon Excavators. He presently played senior softball throughout the country and Joliet Park District softball. Jim was part owner of Aux Sable Farms (The Property) where he spent many enjoyable hours hunting, fishing, and relaxing time with his family. Jim was a diehard Sox and Bears fan.

Jim was a loving and devoted husband, father, son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, attorney, coach, and friend. Although law was his livelihood, sports was his passion.

Rodney Pitts
Rodney Pitts
Rodney Joseph Pitts, 65, of Lake Tapawingo, Mo., passed away Feb. 27, 2014 at his home.

He was born May 15, 1948 in Litchfield, Il to Bill and Lola (Fensterman) Pitts. Rodney was a graduate of St. Louis University with a Juris Doctorate. He was an Attorney at Law in the Law Office of Rodney J. Pitts in Wood River, IL. He was an Assistant State Attorney in Madison County from (1973-1982). State of Illinois Special Attorney General (1976-1982), attorney for the St. Louis Regional Airport, Bethalto, IL, City Attorney for Village of East Alton, IL (1976-2004), Wood River Township Attorney (1991-2004), Adjunct Professor, Criminal Law, Lewis and Clark Community College, Godfrey, IL (1974-1977). He served as an Alderman in the City of Lake Tapawingo. On December 1, 1982 he was united in marriage to Nicole Kileen. Rodney was a Presbyterian by faith. He enjoyed fishing, guns, target shooting, and spending time with family and friends. Rodney was a tissue donor and encourages others to do likewise. He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant sister, Mary Gaye Pitts.

In addition to his wife Nicole, he is survived by his son, Jason Walter Pitts of Maryland Heights MO; daughter, Alaina Marie Pitts of Wood River IL; grandchild, Haley Marie Monroe, brother, Gregory William Pitts of Lake Tapawingo, MO; sister, Barbara Ann Smith and husband Craig of Brighton, IL; one nephew Craig Smith II, his wife Michelle, and great niece Addyson.

William C. Bates, Jr. 87, of Lincoln passed away on March 10, 2014 at Christian Village, Lincoln.

Bill was born April 13, 1926 in Chicago, the son of William C. and Annette Blinn Bates.

He served in the U.S. Army during WW II being discharged as a Second Lieutenant. Following the war, Bill entered the University of Miami, where he graduated from Law School in 1950 with a J.D. Degree cum laude. In 1947, he married Mary Evelyn Lowe, a native Floridian and a direct descendant of the Hendry family, pioneers and early settler in South Florida. After his graduation, he and his wife moved to Lincoln where he began the practice of law. He practiced alone until 1972 when he joined with Robert J. Woods and Dick H. Woods, Jr. until he retired January 1, 1985. From 1952 to 1964 he served as Master of Chancery of the Circuit Court. He is a member of the Illinois, Florida and Logan County Bar Associations.

Bates served as a member of the Illinois Board of Banks and Trust Companies, and he served four years on the Lincoln District 27 School Board. He also served as a member of the Logan County Board of School Trustees, was a director of the Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Lincoln Methodist Church Board, and he was a member of the Board of Kickapoo Parks and Trails Foundation.

Family business and farming interests were also an ongoing part of his life, as was his interest in Lincoln College. Mr. Bates was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1957 to 1985, serving as President of the Board from 1963-1965. Bill retired in 1985 and moved to Naples, FL with his wife. He was the president of Quail Creek Country Club in 1988 where they were members for 31 years.

ISBA Laureate Keith E. Roberts Sr., 85, passed away on March 15, 2014.  An ardent though frustrated Cubs fan, and a trial lawyer who gave generously of his time and talents to train other lawyers in the fine art of gentlemanly advocacy in the courtroom. Recipient of the Laureate award from the ISBA Academy of Illinois Lawyers in 2004. The tribute from his induction is below.

Beloved husband of the late Marthan Roberts (nee Dusch); loving father of Chuck (Linda) Roberts; dear grandfather of Beth, Rick and Sara.

Visitation Thursday, March 20, from 3:30 to 8 p.m. at Williams-Kampp Funeral Home, 430 E. Roosevelt Road (one block east of Naperville Road), Wheaton. Funeral Service Friday, March 21, 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Interment private. Information at or 630-668-0016. In lieu of flowers, donations appreciated to DuPage County Bar Foundation.

Hon. Michael J. Howlett Jr.
Hon. Michael J. Howlett Jr.
Hon. Michael J. Howlett, Jr., 65, passed away on March 16. Beloved husband of Kathleen Howlett nee Fitzgerald; loving father of Elizabeth (Jon, Jr.) Bogie, Melissa Howlett (Sean Kelly) and Catherine Howlett; dear grandfather of Lily Rose and Elloway Bogie and Michael Howlett Kelly; devoted son of Helen nee Geary and the late Secretary of State Michael J. Howlett, Sr.; fond brother of Robert (Karen) and Edward Howlett, Catherine (Albert) Childress, Mary Christine Howlett and Helen Cashman; many nieces and nephews & great nieces and nephews.

Visitation is Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Funeral will be Thursday, March 20, 2014, 9:15 a.m. from Donnellan Family Funeral Home, 10045 Skokie Blvd. at Old Orchard Road, Skokie, IL 60077 to SS. Faith, Hope & Charity Church, 191 Linden Avenue, Winnetka, IL 60093, Mass 10 a.m. Interment Sacred Heart Cemetery, Northbrook.

In lieu of flowers memorials to, Rush University Medical Center, c/o Dr. Nina Paleologos Neuro Oncology Fund, 1700 West Van Buren, Suite 250, Chicago, IL 60612, would be appreciated. Info: or 847-675-1990.

C. Joseph Cavanagh, 81, of Springfield, died at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at Bruns House in Alamo, CA.

Joe was born on September 24, 1932 in Jacksonville, IL, the son of Thomas Edward and Agnes Kane Cavanagh.  He married Sandy Spenceley on September 3, 1959 in Washington, DC.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, William K. Cavanagh, Sr. and Thomas Edward Cavanagh.

Joe attended Blessed Sacrament Grade School and Springfield High School.  He was a graduate of Georgetown University College in 1955 and Law School in 1960, in Washington, D.C. Joe served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957, and was a special agent of the Army counter intelligence corps. He was a member of the Illinois State and Sangamon County Bar Associations and Knights of Columbus Council #364.  Joe practiced law as an assistant State’s Attorney and Public Defender.  As a private practioner, he officed with his brother William K. Cavanagh, ran and was elected Sangamon County State’s Attorney and served two terms.  He was elected and proudly served as a Resident Circuit Judge for Sangamon County, serving for a time as Chief Judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit.