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Obituaries

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

Michael J. Merlie
Michael J. Merlie
Michael J. Merlie, 63, of Danville, passed away on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, at Presence United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville.

He was born July 18, 1949, in Danville to Donald and Eleanor (Dowiatt) Merlie.

He married Nancy J. Fadale on June 17, 1972, in Westville. She survives.

Michael was a 1967 graduate of Westville High School and went on to earn his undergraduate at the University of Illinois before attending law school at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He then ran Merlie Law Office, which he began with his father. He was a member of the Vermilion County Bar Association, State of Illinois Bar Association and was the former attorney for the Village of Westville.

Michael was an avid golfer at Turtle Run and loved to read.

Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his family.

Also surviving are two sons, Tony (Katie) Merlie of Indianapolis and Jim (Tina) Merlie, also of Indianapolis; parents, Don and Eleanor Merlie of Westville; three sisters, Melissa Merli of Urbana, Carol (Mike) Hatfield of Champaign, and Patty Merlie of Leawood, Kan.; three grandsons, Kyle, Joe and Max Merlie; four nieces and a nephew. He was preceded in death by his grandparents.

Services have been held. Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association. Please join Michael’s family in sharing memories, photos, and video of his life through his tribute wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com.

William James Wimbiscus Jr., 86, passed away Tuesday, May 14, 2013.

Born Aug. 29, 1926, to Judge William J. and Mae (Walsh) Wimbiscus of Spring Valley, he married Eleanor Bruder Sept. 24, 1955. She survives.

He was a 1944 graduate of St. Bede Academy and then served in the U.S. Army during World War II. After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1949 with a bachelor of science degree in law, he then earned a juris doctor in law from DePaul University College of Law in 1951, passing the Illinois State Bar exam while still a student. He was admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois in 1951, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972 and the U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit in 1981.

He joined his father, Judge William J. Wimbiscus Sr., at the Wimbiscus Law Firm in 1951. The firm was established in 1917 and continues to this day. He also served as Spring Valley City Attorney from 1965 to 1981 and DePue Village Attorney from 1975 to 2010.

He was a member of Illinois State Bar Association, past president and member of Bureau County Bar Association and a member of LaSalle-Peru-Oglesby Bar Association. He was a member and past president of St. Margaret’s Hospital Board of Directors, as well as a member of Hall Township High School Education Foundation, Prairieland Home Care Advisory Committee and Dominic O’Berto Post 182 of the American Legion. He donated legal services to many community and civic organizations.

Also surviving are six children, John (SangHui), Sarah, Bill (Sara), Tom (Maureen), Neal and Mary (Phillip) Telfer; one brother, Judge James (Jude) Wimbiscus; one sister, Jane Johnson; 11 grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Norma Reyes
Norma Reyes
Norma Ida Reyes, age 56, died suddenly in her sleep of a massive stroke on Monday, May 6th, 2013.

Norma was born in Chicago and raised in the Humboldt Park area. Her mother, Clara Luz Reyes, raised seven children on her own. Both of Norma's foster parents, Paddy and Barry McNamara were attorneys and she followed in their footsteps by becoming an attorney.

Norma earned her Bachelors and Juris Doctorate degrees from the University of Notre Dame. She began her legal career working in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office and rose through the ranks, eventually attaining the title of Supervisor of the Juvenile Division.

In 1990, Mayor Richard M. Daley hired Ms. Reyes as Senior Counsel in the Law Department where she eventually became Deputy Corporation Counsel. She also served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety, Buildings Commissioner, and Commissioner of Consumer Services/Business Affairs and Consumer Protection before retiring in June 2011. Norma then became Senior Executive Vice President for Taxi Affiliation Services, LLC.

Norma was respected for her political acumen, administrative abilities and fearless determination. She was a favorite of many Aldermen for her fair approach to constituents' services. During her tenure as Commissioner of Consumer Services, she was a strong advocate in the taxicab industry for the accessibility of persons with disabilities.

Doug Dreghorn
Doug Dreghorn
Douglas J. “Doug” Dreghorn, age 72, a longtime resident of Naperville, IL, formerly of Port Washington and Buffalo, NY died Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at Edward Hospital in Naperville. He was born January 3, 1941 in Brooklyn, NY.

Doug grew up in Port Washington, NY and was a graduate of Paul D. Schreiber High School, Class of 1958. He graduated from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY in 1962 with a B.A. in History and attended St. John’s University Law School in New York City. Doug served with the U.S. Army stationed in Wurzburg, Germany from 1964-1966, leaving as a 1st lieutenant.

Doug was employed in sales management and marketing/training development for many years in the paper industry, starting at West Virginia Pulp & Paper (now Westvaco), in New York, Buffalo, NY, and Chicago, IL, where he worked for 29 years. He later worked for Weyerhaeuser Co., then Gaylord Container from 1996-2005 and completed his career with Temple-Inland, where he retired in 2006.

He was a member of Knox Presbyterian Church in Naperville and enjoyed playing golf and landscaping his home.

Beloved husband of Susan Lea (nee Vosseller) Dreghorn, whom he married August 8, 1964, loving father of Kathryn D. “Katie” (William Jr.) Linden of Bronxville, NY and David (Liza Melecio) Dreghorn of Chicago, adored grandfather of Finn Andrew Dreghorn, devoted son of the late James E. and Marion F. (nee Lawson) Dreghorn, dear brother of Patricia M. (the late Stephen) Walter of Topsail Beach, NC, loving brother-in-law of Geoffrey (Jane) Vosseller of East Aurora, NY, fond uncle of many.

James S. Smith III, attorney at law, 49, of Vernon Hills, passed away on April 30, 2013 at Advocate Condell Medical Center Libertyville.

He was born Feb 22, 1964 in Gary, IN and lived in Vernon Hills for 14 years. James graduated from Marquette University at John Marshall Law School. Jim was an avid golfer and an all-around sports enthusiast. He was a member of the St. Mary of Vernon Parish, Indian Creek and the Lake County Bar Association.

Devoted husband of Susan, nee Evans Messner; proud father of Paige and Tyler; beloved son of James S. (Mary Lou nee Patterson) Smith Jr.; loving brother of Margaret (John) Keough.

Funeral Service will take place at 10:15 a.m. Saturday, May 4, at McMurrough Funeral Chapel, 101 Park Place, Libertyville (Rt. 176, 1 block East of Milwaukee Ave.). Private entombment at Ascension Cemetery, Libertyville. Visitation will be held Friday, May 3, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the funeral chapel.

If desired memorial donations may be made to CVS Research Childrens Hospital of Wisconsin, PO Box 1997 Milwaukee, WI, 53201-1997, would be greatly appreciated.

Funeral info: 847-362-2626, sign guestbook at libertyvillefuneralhome.com.

Owen L. Doss, Lt Col. U.S. Air Force Reserve Retired, born in Morris, IL. on Feb. 25, 1923, deceased April 28, 2013 after a brief illness.

He was married to Dolores Carol (nee Harder) for 50 years who passed away on March 30, 1999. He was a resident of Inverness, IL for many years.

Mr. Doss graduated from Harlem High School in 1942, and enlisted in the U.S. Army in Dec. of 1942 as a private. He transferred to cadet pilot training, graduated and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. Released from active duty in Feb. 1946, Mr. Doss began college at North Park College in Chicago and graduated from the College of Law, University of Illinois, Champagne on June 18, 1950. He was admitted to the Practice of Law in Illinois on June 19, 1950. Mr. Doss was also admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Supreme Court and the Court of Military Appeals.

He was recalled to serve in the Air Force during the Korean War in March, 1951. Mr. Doss was released from active duty in Nov., 1953 and remained in the active reserves until retirement as a Lt. Col. Mr. Doss began civilian law practice in Jan., 1954 in Chicago, was a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Chairman of the Matrimonial Law and Professional Fees Committees, and a member of the Illinois State and American Bar Associations.

Mr. Doss was a founder and first President of the Illinois Chapter, and Past National President of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Darline L. Petersen, 69, Elmhurst, Ill., died March 21, 2013, after an extended hospitalization. She was born in Elgin, Ill., to the late Russell and Leona Petersen of Burlington, and spent the majority of her school years on a dairy farm near Burlington. There she was valedictorian of the high school class of 1961.

She held degrees from the University of Wisconsin and The John Marshall Law School and entered the Illinois Bar in 1970. After practicing law in Wheaton, Ill., for nearly 20 years, she made a career change to follow her favorite pastime, cooking. After graduating from College of DuPage and until her retirement in 2008, she worked as a chef and food service manager, as well as a teacher of Restaurant and Hotel Law.

She and her husband Gene were avid sailors on Lake Michigan, and enjoyed traveling, hiking in the Grand Canyon and taking cooking lessons in Europe. She was an active and longtime member of the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale. As she approached retirement, she began exploring her artistic side, honing her skills in quilting, drawing, and painting. During the past decade, she also spent much time working with her brother to renovate and revitalize their parent’s farm where they grew up.

Survivors include her husband of 40 years, Eugene E. Parvin; brother, Ralph (Helen Horn) Petersen, Madison; niece and nephew, Katrina (Martin Perez) Petersen, San Diego, and Ryan (Becky) Petersen, Cottage Grove. She was further preceded in death by sister-in-law, Elizabeth Petersen.

 There will be a private interment. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale Endowment Fund are suggested. Ahlgrim Funeral Home, Elmhurst, is serving the family. Well-wishers can visit  www.ahlgrim.com.

Robert R. Nelson, 82, of Elmhurst, passed away on April 19, 2013.

Raised in Chicago (Andersonville), attended Amundsen H.S. Graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana (B.S. '53, J.D. '58).

Captain USAF Reserve (Ret). Life Member DuPage County Bar Association, former member ISBA and ABA. Life Member Elmhurst Lodge #941 AF&A, Medinah Temple, Scottish Rite, DuPage Shrine Club. Former Alderman (7th Ward), City of Elmhurst, Precinct Committeeman, Member and Chairman DuPage County Sheriff's Merit Commission and President, Illinois Board of Sheriffs Merit Commissions. Member Elmhurst Presbyterian Church, former member St. Peter's U.C.C.

A loving father active in all manner of sports (Boy's Football, Little League) and youth activities (Indian Guides, Boy Scouts). A life long Illini fan and member of the U of I Foundation President's Council. Avid Packer Backer (and shareholder), fisherman, and bridge player. In summation before the Highest Court, a long life well led. May he rest his case in eternal peace.

Beloved husband for 59 years of Doreen (nee Soukup), proud father of Ronald (Elizabeth) and Kenneth (Julia), grandfather of Heidi, Alicia, and Trevor.

Chris Kanis, 41, of Savoy, IL died on March 21, 2013 of a heart attack while on a cruise with his wife of 9 years, Laura Steigmann Kanis.

Chris was an assistant states attorney for Champaign County since 2005. Prior to that he worked for the law firms Thomas Mamer & Haughey of Champaign and Wildman, Harold, Allen & Dixon in Chicago. He also clerked for IL Supreme Court Justice Judge James Heiple. Chris was a graduate of Palatine High School '90, Notre Dame University '94 and DePaul University Law School '97.

Chris is survived by his parents Michael (Ellie) Kanis of Palatine, Michelle (Bill) Hudson of Elgin, his sister Kathleen (Luke) Williams and their children King, Patrick, Matthew and Isabel of Madison, WI. Step-brothers: COL William (Mae) Hibner of Belleville, IL, Michael (Maryanne) Hibner of San Clemente, CA, Daniel Hibner of Phoenix, AZ and Mark (Kori) Hibner of Lake Zurich, Great-aunts Patricia Gasparo and Dorothy Kanis, many cousins, friends, colleagues and his in-laws Judge Robert and Sherry Steigmann of Urbana.

Memorial services were held on March 29th at Mt. Hope Cemetery Mausoleum Chapel in Champaign, IL. A Celebration of Life Mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 27th at St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 1201 East Anderson Dr., Palatine, IL 60074, 847-358-6999. Please omit flowers.

George F. Dvorak
George F. Dvorak
George F. Dvorak of Indian Head Park, born February 21, 1924, passed away May 15, 2013. Beloved wife of Billye, nee Williams. Loving father of Randall Dvorak and Carol (Bill) Dvorak-Mola. Cherished grandfather of Brandon and Lauren.

Mr. Dvorak was born in Chicago and raised in Cicero. Graduate of Morton High School, Electrical Engineer Program at Northwestern University, and The John Marshall Law School. Served in the US Navy Pacific Theater WWII and was commissioned from the US Naval Academy, Annapolis. He was a Patent Attorney for 53 years, 47 year member of the Union League Club, member of the Illinois State Bar Association and Bohemian Lawyers Association, and a Village of Westchester Police and Fire Commissioner for 18 years.

Memorial services will be held at a later date. Entombment was in the Woodlawn Mausoleum, Forest Park. Arrangemnts by Woodlawn Funeral Home, Forest Park. Info. 708 442-8500 or www.woodlawnchicago.com.