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Obituaries

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

Robert Frank Vespa, 91, died on Tuesday, October 13, 2015, in Chicago.

Robert was born on February 10, 1924, in Springfield, the son of Nicola and Teresa Frasco Vespa. He married Irma Pillischafske on April 2, 1965, in Springfield.

Robert received his law degree from St. Louis University and worked as an attorney in Springfield. He proudly served his country in the United States Navy. Robert was a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Elk's Lodge and a past president of the Eagles Club. He was an avid Cubs fan and enjoyed playing cards with friends, and spending time with his grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Marie and Viola; and three brothers, John, Roger and Joseph.

He is survived by his wife, Irma Vespa of Springfield; one son, Craig (wife, Melanie); two grandchildren, Mason and Mackenzie, all of Chicago; two sisters, Edith McCarty and Angela Elder, both of Springfield; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Cremation care was accorded prior to ceremonies.

Duncan Tyree Smith was born the seventh of eight children born to the union of Woodrow Smith, and Mildred Pauline Harris in Chicago, Illinois. 

Duncan loved his family, his Fraternity and his music. He also was a brilliant scholar while attending Meridian High School; completing his under grad degree at Southeast Missouri State University and his Juris Doctorate from Southern Illinois University School of Law. After spending time working at his practice, Duncan also worked with CASA helping disturbed youth. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, Craig Pierre and one sister, Loretta Diane. 

Duncan leaves to cherish his memory his wife Myra Smith, daughter, Admire Miracle both of Tamms, Illinois, two sons; William Cole of Tamms, Illinois and Javon Davis of Antioch, Tennessee. Three brothers, two sisters; Woodrow, Jr.(Betsy) of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Clareon (Larry) Crider of Aurora, Illinois, Cheri (Willie) Johnson of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Desmond (Terry) Smith of Chicago, Illinois and Dwight (Sandra) of Flossmore, Illinois and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, in‐laws, other relatives and friends. 

Services have been held.

Joseph Tryner
Joseph Tryner
Joseph J. Tryner, 81, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully with his family by his side, Saturday (Oct. 3, 2015) at Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee.

He was born on July 5, 1934, in Wilmington, the son of John and Bessie Mary (nee Morey) Tryner. His parents preceded him in death.

Joseph graduated from Wilmington High School with the Class of 1952. He then graduated from Northwestern University School of Law in 1958. In 1958, he established his first solo practice in Joliet. In 1960, he moved his practice to Wilmington where it is known today as Tryner Law Firm. He was proud to have had his son, John, join the firm in 1999. Joseph eventually retired in 2012 and his son continues his legacy at the firm.

Mr. Tryner was the city attorney for Wilmington from 1969 to 1993. He served as alderman on the Wilmington City Council from 1995 to 1999. He also served as attorney for Wilmington Township, Braidwood, Diamond, Wilmington Fire Protection District, and Wilmington Park District. He was a former director at the First National Bank in Wilmington for many years, past president of the Wilmington Rotary and served on the board for Trinity Services Foundation. Joseph was a member of the Island City Baptist Church in Wilmington and the Masonic Lodge 208 in Wilmington. Other than enjoying his life as an attorney, he loved to hunt with his father and his son, and he enjoyed photography.

John Daly
John Daly
John Patrick Daly, 66, of Champaign passed away at 2:39 p.m. Friday (Oct. 16, 2015) at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

A memorial Mass will be at 11 a. m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, at St. Mary's Church, 612 E. Park St, Champaign. A luncheon will be held after the service. Visitation will be from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, at Renner-Wikoff Chapel, 1900 S. Philo Road, Urbana. A private burial will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery.

John was born in Evergreen Park on Dec. 17, 1948, to parents William James and Jean Elizabeth (Carlson) Daly. On Aug. 24, 1973, John married Barbara Jones in Champaign. She survives. Also surviving is his mother, Jean of Champaign; son, Christopher Daly (Charlene Wahl) of Carbondale; brothers, William J. Daly Jr. (Diane) of Savoy and Timothy C. Daly (Kay) of Champaign; his sister, Carla M. Zych (Rob) of Champaign; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

His father, William, preceded him in death.

John was a graduate of Thornridge High School in Cook County. After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. After being honorably discharged from the Air Force, he attended Illinois State University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. John was a Champaign police officer for 10 years. He returned to school in 1983 receiving a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois in 1985. He served as an assistant state's attorney for Champaign County for 15 years, retiring in 2001. John was a member of the Champaign County Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association.

Joseph R. Tybor
Joseph R. Tybor
Joseph Tybor, the longtime Chicago journalist and press secretary for the Illinois Supreme Court, died Saturday at his home in Countryside. He was 68.

Tybor’s 30-year journalism career included comprehensive coverage of a broad array of subjects, including the Vietnam War, Notre Dame football and his must-read “On the Law” column that ran weekly in the Chicago Tribune.

For the past decade and a half he was a diligent advocate for the Illinois Supreme Court and spearheaded key changes to the Open Meetings Act, which allowed cameras into Illinois courtrooms for the first time.

"My colleagues and I are deeply saddened by Joe’s passing. He was truly dedicated to his role as the voice of the Illinois Supreme Court, and we watched in awe as he continued to carry out his duties even as he fought his illness," Chief Justice Rita B. Garman said. "He was an example to us all of courage and strength. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, in which he took such great pride. We will miss his professionalism, his optimism, and his cheerful demeanor."

“His relationships with reporters and his love and passion for the law made him such an absolute great fit at the Supreme Court,” Tybor’s son, Adam Tybor, said. “He was amazing at his job - he fought for his beliefs."

Edwin (Ted) Henning Conger
Edwin (Ted) Henning Conger
Edwin (Ted) Henning Conger was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan to parents Julia Lathrop Henning and Ralph Gilbert Conger, the youngest of four brothers. He grew up there, developing a life-long love of reading and a flair for Ping-Pong. At Ann Arbor, he earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science and an MBA from the University of Michigan in 1955 and, further east, received his L.L.B/J.D., cum laude from the Harvard Law School.

Back in the Midwest, he joined the Chicago firm of Tenney and Bentley in 1957. Later, a partner, he continued to practice law there, his "first job out school", for the rest of his life. Not much of one for job swapping, nor the retirement scene by the golf course, he believed in keeping active and engaged. A good example set.

He met Elizabeth Silvers in Chicago and continued his courtship when she moved with her family to Portugal. Annual summer trips successful, they were married in Gibraltar on July 27, 1960.

A longtime resident of Hyde Park, he was a member of The Savoyards, the local Gilbert & Sullivan company, providing choral as well as business acumen. He served as a board member of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, and of the University of Chicago Hospitals.

Mary "Molly" Margaret Lien
Mary "Molly" Margaret Lien
Molly Warner Lien, age 67, died on September 11, 2015, at the Meijer Heart Center in Grand Rapids as a result of cardiomyopathy and complications of heart surgery. She was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 26, 1948, the only child of the late Cornelius and Donna (Dora M.) Beukema. She grew up in Homewood, Illinois, and she attended the Interlochen Arts Camp, and finished her last two years of high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy, graduating in 1966 with a major in voice. She won the concerto competition twice at the Arts Camp and again during her senior year at the Arts Academy. She also played the leads in several productions, including those by Gilbert & Sullivan, and the high school musical. 

After attending the University of Michigan her freshman year, she graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in music. She sang numerous operatic roles, but ultimately was drawn to a career in law. She graduated with honors from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta in 1978 where she was President of the Women’s Law Student Association, Articles Editor of the Law Review, a member of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honorary Society, and a member of the Order of the Coif. She was also voted the Wall Street Journal Award by the Faculty for Outstanding Academic Achievement in the field of law. 

James Cummings
James Cummings
James Allen Cummings, age 84, of Peoria passed away at 10:22 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, surrounded by his family.

Born April 22, 1931, in LaSalle-Peru, Ill., he was the son of Florence Herberger-Lindner. On Sept. 6, 1952, James married the love of his life, Gail Mary Michael, at St. Mark's Catholic Church in Peoria.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Management, as well as his Juris Doctorate, from the University of Illinois.

James served on the Peoria Park District board for more than 40 years was an active member and past president of the Peoria Republican Party and was head of the Peoria Diocese Council of Catholic Men. James also was a member of the Knights of Columbus St. Jude Council 4333, past president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and past president of the Downtown Kiwanis Club. He was head of the U of I Newman Club, head of the U of I Ethics Committee and founder of the Lincoln Statue Committee and the Lincoln Award Committee.

James was a brilliant attorney and an avid and excellent bridge player who enjoyed golfing, fishing, antiquing and auctions. He will be remembered for his love of dogs, enjoying long Sunday drives and being an Abraham Lincoln expert.

A memorial session honoring the memory of the late Honorable Richard D.Cudahy, Senior Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, will be held on Monday, November 30, in the Ceremonial Courtroom on the 25th Floor of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse at 219 South Dearborn Street in Chicago.

Judge Cudahy was appointed to the court in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter and continued to serve until his death on September 22, 2015. He is survived by his widow Janet, seven adult children, and thirteen grandchildren. Served by 83 law clerks and two secretaries during his 36 years on the bench, he set a high standard for all to follow and is greatly missed.

William R. Stanczak
William R. Stanczak
William R. Stanczak of Waukegan, died Tuesday, September 8 after a short illness. He was 78. Born January 10, 1937 to Celia (née Svedo) & Bruno W. Stanczak, Bill graduated from Holy Rosary Grade School, Waukegan High School and Marquette University Law School. 

A practicing attorney in Lake County since 1960, Bill was a long-time member of Glen Flora Country Club, City Club, The Lake County Bar Association and Marquette's "M" Club for former athletes. He was also a member of the Wilmot Mountain Ski School Bill loved skiing, golf, basketball, hunting and playing with his dogs. Friends and family will miss his twinkling eyes and mischievous smile.

Survived by his wife of 25 years Lynn Stanczak (née Murray) and five children: Lisa Stanczak (Skip Lemon) of Bloomfield Village, MI; Heidi Dyer (Timothy) of Mequon, WI; Kristine Stanczak of Libertyville, IL; Suzanne Stanczak of Gurnee, IL; Bill Stanczak (Jessica, née Olive) of Evanston, IL; and one step-son, Joshua Neuwirth (Marylu, née Pajente) of Waukegan, IL. Bill will be missed by ten grandchildren: Christian Lemon, Heidi Lemon, Gretchen Lemon, Neal Dyer, Phoebe Dyer, Gillian Dyer, Julia Elsmo, Sophie Elsmo, Olivia Stanczak and Emily Stanczak; and two step-grandchildren: Caleb Neuwirth and Cylla Neuwirth.

Bill is also survived by his brother Dr. Ronald (Patricia) Stanczak of Gurnee, IL and a sister, Susan (the late David) Everett of Canon City, CO and brother-in-law, Steve Murray, numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, golf buddies, former law partners, business associates and three very spoiled dogs: Joe Black, Maxine and Tootchie.