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Obituaries

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

Tony Sunderman
Tony Sunderman
William A. Sunderman, age 68 of Charleston, passed away at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center on Thursday, December 25, 2014.

Tony was born January 24, 1946 in Charleston, a son of the late William J. and Norma J. (King) Sunderman. On April 12, 1975, he married Judith Williams, the love of his life. In addition to his wife Judy, Tony is survived by two children, William R. Sunderman of Chicago and Emily Sunderman of Portland, Oregon; a brother, James M. Sunderman of Centralia, Illinois; two sisters, Amanda J. Bell and husband Steve of Champaign, Illinois and Monica J. Sunderman of West Hartford, Connecticut; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a son, Robbie Sunderman.

Tony was a Charleston High School graduate and furthered his education at Eastern Illinois University, receiving his B.S. in 1968 with highest honors; his J.D. in 1972 from the University of Illinois; and was a graduate of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. He was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1972; the U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit; U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois; and the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois. He was currently a legal partner at the Brainard Law Office and has spent the past 42 years practicing law in Charleston.

Stephen Vargo
Stephen Vargo
Stephen G. Vargo, 89, died peacefully December 10, 2014 at his home with his family by his side.

Born in Joliet, of Hungarian parents, and lived his entire life in Joliet, apart from years in the army. He was a decorated WWII U.S. Army Veteran, serving at the rank of Corporal. Stephen was a graduate of the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Class of 1949. He also attended the University of Illinois and was a graduate of Joliet Junior College. He graduated of Joliet Township High School in 1942. He was admitted to practice law and became a member of both the Will County Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association since 1950. With the assistance of his wife Madelene, he maintained a solo law practice for over 55 years. His daughter, Diana, joined him in practice in 1989. At various times in his life, he held the following positions: Will County Sheriff's Police Special Deputy, Certified Civil Defense Director, County Board of Supervisors and Will County Licensed Realtor. He was a member of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church and St. Stephen's Church. He was instrumental in the purchase of a building for the Hungarian Catholic Society of Joliet, which led to the creation of St. Stephen's Church in 1950. He was a member of the following organizations: American Legion Post #1080, International Legal Fraternity of Phi Delta Phi, Ohio Athletic Club, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Will County Old Timers Baseball Association, and Joliet Rivals Club.

James C. Craven
James C. Craven
James C. Craven, 89, of Bellingham, Washington, died early Monday morning, January 12, 2015, in Seattle, Washington, following complications from surgery.

Jim was born August 7, 1925, in Greenfield Tennessee, the son of Arlie and Addie Craven.  The family moved to Chicago in the 1930’s, and Jim graduated from Lakeview High School. He graduated from the University of Illinois, and the University of Illinois Law School, after serving in the Army during and after WWII.

Jim married Gloria Pheney in November 1951, and they started a family in Springfield, Illinois.  Jim and Gloria moved to Ashland, Oregon in 1999, and then to Bellingham, Washington in 2010. He is survived by his wife Gloria at home in Bellingham, along with their four children, William (Terri Tork) of Sacramento CA; Nancy (Jim Claypool) of Portland OR; Don (Denise) of Springfield IL; and Rebecca (Scott Linneman) of Bellingham WA, as well as grandchildren Joseph and David Craven, Anna and Meg Claypool and Charles and Dorothy Linneman.

Bill Haley
Bill Haley
William F. "Bill" Haley, age 67, a resident of Wheaton, for 25 years, formerly of Oak Park died December 5, 2014 at Edward Hospital in Naperville. He was born August 11, 1947 in Elmhurst.

Bill grew up in Oak Park, attended Ascension Grade School and was a graduate of St. Ignatius High School. He received a BA in history from Loyola University in Chicago and later received his law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign. Bill worked as an attorney for many years and enjoyed tutoring and coaching youth baseball, football and softball.

Beloved husband of Margaret Haley, loving father of Katie (Jeff) Philippe of Chicago, Tom (Cathy Hwang) Haley of Palo Alto, CA, Claire Haley of Chicago and Rose Haley of Chicago, proud grandfather of Levon Philippe, devoted son of the late Frank and Mary Haley, dear brother of Mary Haley of Oak Park, Sr. Jeanne Haley, O.Carm. of Naperville, John (Julia) Haley of Oak Park, Dan (Mary) Haley of Oak Park and Jeanne Haley of Park Forest, IL, fond uncle and great-uncle of many.

Services have been held. In lieu of flowers, memorials to: St. Patrick's Residence, 1400 Brookdale Road, Naperville, IL 60563, (630) 416-0783, www.stpatricksresidence.org

John Surman
John Surman
John Kenneth Surman, 70, passed away Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014, at St. John’s Hospice.

He was born in Carlinville, IL on March 25, 1944, to William Kenneth and Virginia (Burr) Surman. He married Donna Jean Grant on Sept. 2, 1967 at Carlinville Methodist Church.

John was an Eagle Scout and a 1962 graduate of Carlinville High School. He attended Blackburn College and received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois Law School. John worked for Horsley Law Firm for 5 years and was part-time counsel for the State of IL Department of Agriculture for two years. He later opened Lott and Surman, P.C. and practiced for 40 years. He was the attorney for Curran Township and a member of the American Bar Association and Illinois State Bar Association. John was a member of the Island Bay Yacht Club for 40 years. He was a member of First United Methodist Church where he was a teacher and member of the TLC class for 33 years. Throughout his life he served on numerous boards and committees. In all areas of his life, he reflected the love of his Lord, Jesus Christ and brought glory to Him.

John is survived by his wife, Donna; daughters, Elizabeth Anne (significant other, Doug Bagg) of Springfield and Catherine Jane (Dan) McCoy of Chicago; 2 grandsons, Ralph Jonathan and Andrew William McCoy; sister, Linda Bailey of Port Charlotte, FL; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins, including Judith (Richard) Lott of Springfield.

Edward A. Matuga Sr. Esq, 93, a longtime resident and attorney in Westchester, passed away on Dec. 4, 2014.

He was a former prosecutor for Westchester, Broadview & Bellwood, founder of Aspire, past president at the Mental Health Commission for Proviso Twp. & West Suburban Bar Assn, member of the Illinois State Bar Association, past-president of the Advocate Society of Chicago and VFW of Lagrange.

Edward was the eloved husband of the late Pearl; Loving father of Edward A. M.D. (Joan) Matuga, Janice (Thomas) O’Hara; Rita (Thomas) Ahearn & the late Michael; dear grandfather of Edward, Carolyn, Todd, Tracy, Timothy, Michael & Christopher; great-grandfather; Tanner, Keenan & Presley with more on the way. And step great grandfather of Leigha; fond brother of Theodore M.D. (Barbara) & the late Mitchell, Helen & Joseph Matuga.

Services have been held. In lieu of flowers. Memorials to Divine Infant Church. Info 800-562-0082 or www.hursen.com

Robert "Bob" Thomson Jr.
Robert "Bob" Thomson Jr.
Robert Bruce "Bob" Thomson Jr., 75, of Ashland, Ill., died Friday, Nov. 29, 2014, at St. John's Hospice in Springfield, Ill.

He was born Dec. 7, 1938, in Jacksonville, Ill., the son of Attorney Robert Bruce Sr. and Isabel Jane Ballow Thomson.

He is survived by four daughters and two sons: Elizabeth (Peter) Cappas of Elgin, Ill., Kathryn (Christopher Lu) Thomson of Arlington, Va., Sarah (Will) Palmer of Landsdowne, Va., Rachel Gray of Memphis, Tenn., Robert Bruce (Erin) Thomson III of Arlington, Va., and Charles Andrew Bowman Thomson of Naples, Fla.; nine grandchildren; and special friend and fiancée, Cynthia Gutmann of Ashland.

He was preceded in death by a daughter at birth, Rebecca Bently Thomson; sister, Marilyn Jane Thomson; and brother, William Lloyd Thomson.

Mr. Thomson graduated from Illinois College in three years, and then obtained his law degree from University of Illinois. He was a practicing attorney for over 50 years, first at Thomson & Thomson, then Robert B. Thomson Law Firm in 1974 followed by Thomson & Strawn for five years. He then had his own practice before being joined by Charles "Chuck" McNeely, and most recently he again had his own practice.

John D. Norcross
John D. Norcross
John D. Norcross passed away on November 9, 2014, in Chicago.

John spent his final days surrounded by the love of his closest friends, pastor, and wife. His last afternoon was filled with harmony and joy as musicians from Sharing Notes played works by Strauss and Brahms, his favorite composers. He passed away peacefully that evening in his sleep.

The dearly beloved husband of Joanna Elin Petroff Norcross, John was also the loving brother of Mary Jane (late John C. Rainey) Norcross, the late Peter Christopher Norcross and the late Richard David Norcross; and the cherished uncle of Cynthia (Jeffrey) Penney and Ginger (T.J. McCall) Tougas.

John was a lifelong resident of Chicago, a city he loved. He was born to Dr. John R. Norcross and Louise M. Ballschmider Norcross. After attending Loyola Academy he majored in economics at Stanford University. A graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law, he was a Founding Partner in the law firm Crane and Norcross. John lived with his wife in the Gold Coast neighborhood, where he co-founded Gibsons Restaurant Group and took a great interest in the original steakhouse, now in its 25th year. Well-known for his investing skills, John began each morning trading for himself, family and friends. John was a man of great faith and devotion to the Catholic Church, a sportsman, traveler, and supporter of the performing arts.

Hon. John T. Keleher
Hon. John T. Keleher
John “Jack” Thomas Keleher - devoted husband, loving father, adoring grandfather, dear brother, uncle, cousin; friend of the less fortunate and oppressed; lover of nature, poetry, and history; compassionate, kind and gentle soul - passed away peacefully in his sleep on November 13, 2014.

Jack was born on October 29, 1923, the son of Irish immigrants Elizabeth J. Sampey and Patrick J. Keleher. He grew up in Chicago and was the oldest of three brothers, Francis, James (Joan), and Patrick (Joan), who predeceased him, and one sister who survives him, Sr. Jean Keleher, CSC. Jack was married to the love of his life, Dorothy Agnes Catalano, for 67 years. They met when both were members of a Catholic youth group focusing on social justice. They married on May 24, 1947, at St. Giles Church in Oak Park.

Jack went to Our Lady Help of Christians grammar school and Quigley Preparatory Seminary. He served as an officer in the Navy during WWII after training at Notre Dame and Harvard. He graduated from Loyola University of Chicago in 1947 and Loyola Law School in 1951. He was a law professor at Loyola and Kent law schools, practiced law for 26 years, and served as a circuit court judge of Cook County for the last 16 years of his career. He helped establish and implement the Mandatory Arbitration Program in the Circuit Court of Cook County, and became its first supervisory judge in 1990.

Frederick Niemi
Frederick Niemi
Frederick Charles Niemi, 76, died in his home Friday, November 7, 2014. Born on October 10, 1938, in Chicago IL, Fred was raised in Berwyn, IL and attended Morton High School where he played trumpet in the jazz band. Fred graduated with a history degree from the University of Illinois Champaign and later from the Chicago Kent College of Law. Fred operated a private law practice in Riverside, IL for over 40 years.

A dedicated steward of his Finnish heritage, Fred served as the Honorary Consul of Finland for 34 years, spanning from 1974 to 2008. During his tenure as the Honorary Finnish Consul, his many years of service and dedication were recognized and he was awarded the decoration of the Commander of the Order of the Lion of Finland. This designation is awarded for civilian and military merit. Fred's strong sense of civic duty was also exemplified by his involvement in local community charities and organizations. Fred served on the boards of the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce and the former Suomi College (now Finlandia University) and was a member of the Nordic Law Club.

His strong desire to help others also led to board positions with the Fillmore Center for Mental Health and the Berwyn Kiwanis Club. Fred was an avid reader of history, an outdoorsman, a lover of music-notably Sibelius, Mahler, Stan Kenton, Coleman Hawkins, and Puccini, and a frequent traveler with journeys that took him to Finland, Russia, China, Sweden, Germany, France, the Czech Republic, the British Isles and Italy.