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Obituaries

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

Anthony Novak
Anthony Novak
Anthony "Tony" Novak of Urbana passed away Saturday (Feb. 8, 2014) at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago after losing his battle with cancer. He was 63.

Tony is survived by his wife, Amy Fuller; his son, Henry; his mother, Anna Novak-Heller; his brother, Rick; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

A devoted criminal defense attorney, Tony worked to ensure the justice system delivered on its promise of a fair trial.

He was active in the Jewish community, and was a past president of Sinai Temple and the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation.

He was passionate about tennis, skiing, bowling, boating, water-skiing and his friends.

He picked up friends across the spectrum and around the country; he collected people, art, funky furniture, toys and experiences.

He loved a good meal at a dive; pie; his mother's cooking; a good ski trip; a long story.

If an argument broke out, or someone voiced a harsh opinion of someone else, Tony's booming voice would interrupt with the solution that pleased the most parties, or made the most sense. He was a mediator of conflicts large and small, and he relied on a strong sense of justice to mete out his decisions.

His house represents him to his friends and family. It's independent, like Tony - outside of town, out of the way. It's colorful, filled with the quirky furniture and art that he collected over the years. It's filled with the memories that show his life was full, even if it ended too soon.

The house, and the woods behind it - the neighbors and family and friends who frequently visited both can go there to remember him.

William Morrison
William Morrison
William Leo Morrison lost his long and valiant battle with cancer on the evening of Dec. 4, 2013. William Leo Morrison died peacefully in the home he had made for 59 years with his loving and beloved wife, Kate.

The immediate cause of death may be linked to the crushing defeat of the Chicago Bears the Sunday before, which he weathered with his son.

Bill was born January 19, 1931, in Nampa, Idaho, and raised in the (then) small town of Aberdeen, SD, by James and May Morrison. He played high school football, worked in his father's grocery store, fished with his brother and father, but avoided hunting. He forged friendships and memories that sustained him to his final days.

He left Aberdeen to attend Harvard College, where he encountered Kate, close friends, and a world of literature - all of which, he felt, shaped the man that he became. After law school, he and Kate moved to Chicago, where they raised their family and he practiced law at the firm of Gardner, Carton and Douglas.

He was a man of great intelligence, integrity, and humor. He was generous in the extreme. He was a voracious reader - fiction, non-fiction, history, mystery and the news of the day. On the table beside his bed at the time of his death were the collected short stories of William Trevor, Alice Munro's "Dear Life", and "Bloodlands" by Timothy Snyder. His stoicism as a 50-year supporter of the Bears approached the quiet hope and resignation of a private religion. He loved advice columns, Scrabble and the Word of the Week.

Hon. Vincent E. Bentivenga
Hon. Vincent E. Bentivenga
The Hon. Vincent E. Bentivenga, Jr., 77, passed away on January 2, 2014. He was a graduate of St. Thomas the Apostle grammar school, Mt. Carmel High School, Loyola University, and DePaul Law School. Highly respected Judge of the Cook County Criminal Court for more than 20 years.

Beloved father of Mark (Rachelle - deceased) Bentivenga and Scott (Barbara) Bentivenga; loving grandfather ("Papa Vince") to Rachel, Rick, Jake and Rocco Bentivenga; dear brother of Guy (Bobbie) Bentivenga; loving uncle to Michael, Jimmy, Karen and Steve Bentivenga.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Paul of the Cross Church, 320 S. Washington Street, Park Ridge, Illinois 60068 or Mt. Carmel High School, 6410 S. Dante Ave., Chicago, IL 60637. Visit Vincent's memorial at www.smithcorcoran.com.

Lorri Mott
Lorri Mott
Lorri A. Mott (Compton), 48, of Smithton, Ill., born Jan. 9, 1965, in Keokuk, Iowa, died Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Belleville, Ill.

Lorri was a well-known and well-respected attorney for the past 22 years, practicing in Belleville, Ill. She specialized in adoptions, GAL (Guardian Ad Litem), and all facets of family law. She served on the Children's First Foundation board of directors, and worked on the continuing legal education program for the St. Clair County Bar Association. She served as the secretary for the Ledgestone Estates Homeowners Association in Smithton, Ill., and was treasurer of the St. Louis Barbie Club. She enjoyed jazz music, traveling, arts and crafts, and creating Barbie doll accessories.

She was preceded in death her father, Leo Mott; and her father-in-law, David Compton Jr.

Surviving are her husband of 22 years, Timothy P. Compton, whom she married on May 17, 1991; her mother, Lois, nee Young, Mott of Quincy, Ill.; three brothers, Randy (Barbara) Mott of Poland, Rick Mott of Washington, D.C., and John (Chris) Mott of Venice, Fla.; a sister, Nancy Barry of Quincy, Ill.; her mother-in-law, Frances L., nee Goodwin, Compton; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Gerald F. Tuite, Sr.
Gerald F. Tuite, Sr.
Gerald F. Tuite, Sr., 85, died Tuesday, December 31, 2013 in Naples, Fla. He was a former long time Rockford resident.

Gerald was a combat infantry leader as well as a chief photographer for the US Army Signal Corp in Japan during the Korean War. After the Army, he attended Rockford College and Georgetown University. He then attended Chicago-Kent College of Law, graduating with Honors and a Juris Doctor degree in 1958. During law school, he worked as a claims adjuster for Travelers Insurance Company.

In 1958, he opened his law office in Rockford, Illinois. His law firm of Gerald Tuite & Associates specialized in Labor Law, Workers' Compensation Law and Personal Injury Law. He was the Senior Partner of the firm, where he handled and litigated cases for injured workers. His son, Gregory Tuite, began practicing in his father's law firm and has taken over the firm, which is now known as Greg Tuite & Associates.

Jerry Wolfson
Jerry Wolfson
Jerome F. "Jerry" Wolfson, 94, passed away Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 at the Regency.

He was born July 24, 1919 in Springfield the son of Henry and Bessie Rich Wolfson. He married Muriel Levy in Chicago in 1943. He and his bride had been married almost 70 years at the time of her death in 2012, despite her mother saying it would never last. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents, a sister; Dorothy Wolfson and two brothers; Milton and Lee Wolfson.

Upon graduating from University of Illinois law school, the country entered into World War II and so did he. After being discharged at the end of the war, he entered the family-owned Wolfson Furniture Company He practiced law in the office of Senator George Drach until he went into his own private practice.

Jerome was a life member of Temple B'rith Sholom. A member of B'nai Brith, the Illinois State Bar Association and the Sangamon county Bar Association, and the Saturday Night Dance club. Jerome and Muriel had been dancing together since college and they were great fun to watch. They danced like Fred and Ginger. He also painted, welded small metal statues and if something needed fixing, he was the guy you called.

Jerome had a wonderful sense of humor. Up until the end, Muriel thought he was funny.

William P. Laird
William P. Laird
William P. Laird, 64, of Moline, died peacefully Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, at Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House, Bettendorf, with his family surrounding him.

William was born July 14, 1949, in Moline, son of Lester Neal and Margaret Elizabeth VanderBeke Laird. He graduated from United Township High School in 1967 where he was elected senior class president. He received his bachelor's and juris doctorate degrees from Drake University, where he was elected president of his beloved fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha. He married Susan Kelly at St. Anne's Catholic Church on Aug. 13, 1971.

William was an attorney for 38 years, working the last three years at Katz, Huntoon and Fieweger. He was an active member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, where he served on the Parish Council. He also was a member of the Iowa and Illinois State Bar Associations, the Scott County and Rock Island County Bar Associations, the Rock Island County Public Building Commission, the Rock Island County Jail Commission and the Iowa Inns of Court. Bill also appeared regularly on WQAD's Good Morning Quad-Cities for many years as a weekly legal guest speaker. He was also one of the original organizers of the Moline DARE Program.

William enjoyed golf, fishing, traveling, cheering on the Cubs, attending Iowa Hawkeye football games, but most of all, spending time with his family, friends and grandson, Liam.

Margaret O'Donnell Coffin
Margaret O'Donnell Coffin
Margaret "Peg" O'Donnell Coffin, 88, longtime resident of Oak Brook and Hinsdale, former judge, prosecutor, civic leader, wife, mother and grandmother, passed away peacefully on December 21, 2013.

She graduated first in her class in 1949 and was a member of the Law Review at St. John's University (NY) School of Law. Legal and business positions included: Circuit Court Judge of DuPage County; Assistant State's Attorney of DuPage County (Criminal Division); Executive Development Program graduate and Manager at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. in New York City. Extensive civic leadership included: Member, Hinsdale District 86 Board of Education; President, St. Isaac Jogues Board of Education; Founding Member, first President and Director of the DuPage Association of Women Lawyers; Member and Acting Chairman, Zoning Board of Appeals for the Village of Oak Brook; Chairman, Zoning & Annexation Committee for Oak Brook Civic Association in rewriting controversial proposed zoning ordinances and leading negotiations with developers over 1,500 acres in Oak Brook's early days; President, Director and Co-Founder of the Fullersburg Woods Area Association; and Executive Board Member, Education Advisory Committee for the Catholic Diocese of Joliet. 

Always a woman of diverse interests, her passions ranged from being a private plane pilot, including aerobatic flying, to her behind-the-scenes efforts in local political campaigns and initiatives. 

William H. Powell, 94, passed away peacefully while surrounded by his family on Dec. 10.

William was a proud veteran of the US Navy during WWII from 1941-1945. He was a member of the Chicago Society, the Advocates Society and the Illinois State Bar Association.

He was the beloved husband of the late Mildred nee Tomchek. Loving Father of Janet M. (the late Richard) Griesenauer, William P., Thomas J., James L. (Kathy) and Mary Grace. Cherished Grandfather of Bill (Lisa), Jeffrey (Kelly), Daniel (Joan), Michael, Donna, Autumn Malia, Parker, Erin, Stephanie (Aleks), Jacqueline and Great Grandfather of Diane, Michael, Katie, Bradley, Ryan, Cara, Danielle, Justine, Ryne and Astrid.

Memorials to Avenues to Independence 515 Busse Highway Park Ridge, IL 60068 appreciated.

Carroll W. Dukes passed away on Nov. 13, 2013, after his courageous 14-month battle with cancer.

Carroll was born on Sept. 9, 1930, near Collison, the son of William J. and Lily (Hess) Dukes.

Carroll is survived by his wife, Mary (Denzer), whom he married on Jan. 1, 1982. He is also survived by his sons, Steven W. Dukes (Irma) of San Antonio, Texas, and William B. Dukes of Orlando, Fla.; as well as his stepchildren, Daryn Denzer (Julie) of Champaign, Daryl Denzer (Tonia) of LaPorte, Texas, and Shannon Schneider (Nick) of Mahomet. In addition, he is survived by nine grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Martha; his brother, William J. Dukes, who was killed in World War II; and sisters, Norma Miller, Mabre Seymour and Laverna (June) LaMar.

Carroll graduated from Rossville High School in 1948 and entered the Air Force, where he spent 30 months stationed in Japan prior to his discharge in 1952. Upon discharge, he attended and graduated from Eastern Illinois University and continued on to Dickson School of Law, an adjunct of Penn State University, where he graduated in 1958.

He became an associate with the law firm of Sebat, Swanson, Banks and Jones in Danville and shortly thereafter became a partner. In 1967, he opened CW Dukes law offices with an associate William Frivogel. In 1969, he was joined by John O'Rourke, and the firm of Dukes, O'Rourke, Stewart, Martin, and Ryan grew another eight attorneys. He retired in 2000 at age 70 from the firm currently known as Dukes, Ryan, Meyer & Freed.