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Obituaries

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

Paul Scoma
Paul Scoma
Paul M. Scoma, 60, of Princeton passed away Monday, March 11, 2013, at his home.

Paul was born Nov. 14, 1952, in LaSalle to Charles and Anne (Kump) Scoma. He married Nancy Forgus May 5, 1979, in the Kent State University Newman Center Chapel in Kent, Ohio. She survives.

Paul graduated from LaSalle-Peru High School in 1970 and continued his education at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, graduating in 1974. He was subsequently hired by Union Oil Co. of California in marketing and worked there for five years until 1979 when he enrolled in law school. Paul received his Juris Doctorate from Loyola University School of Law in Chicago in May 1982. He elected to begin his law career near his hometown with the Princeton law firm now known as Russell, English, Scoma and Beneke, PC, where he became a partner and practiced for 28 years until his retirement at the end of 2010.

He was an active member of St. Louis Catholic Church where he served as a Trustee and lector. He was a Trustee and Board President for the Adeline E. Prouty Charitable Trust (Greenfield Retirement Home). Paul also served as Director and Board Chairman for the Perry Memorial Hospital. He was a member of the Illinois State and Bureau County Bar Associations as well as the Knights of Columbus.

Charles William Fechtig
Charles William Fechtig
Charles William Fechtig, 81, of Evansville, Ind. and formerly of Carmi, died Monday, Feb. 18, at Hamilton Memorial Hospital in McLeansboro. He was born February 3, 1932, in Carmi, to William (Willie) and Nell Fechtig. He married Frances Ruth (Winter) Fechtig on Dec. 28, 1952, in Carmi, who preceded him in death on February 19, 2012.

Bill was educated in White county rural schools and graduated from Carmi High School in 1948 and the University of Illinois in 1952. He served as an officer in the United State Marine Corps from 1953-1957 and later returned to the University of Illinois graduating from its School of Law in 1960 earning membership in The Order of the Coif and serving as Editor-in-Chief of its law review.

Following his admission to practice, Bill was a general practitioner in Carmi for 27 years with an emphasis in real estate and mineral law, contracts and appellate law. In 1987, he became In-House Counsel for Marathon Oil Company in Robinson. After retirement from Marathon in 2000, he and Frances relocated to Evansville, Ind. where he returned to private law practice.

Bill also was a Licensed Pastor of the United Methodist Church and served as Pastor of three White County churches - Big Prairie, Concord and Maunie – from 1987 until 2012.

He is survived by: brothers, Norman (Margie) Fechtig of Carmi and Allen (Mary Ruth) Fechtig of Albany, Ore.; three daughters, Amy (David) Wood, of Allen, Tx., Mary (Elizabeth Estes) of Chicago and Martha (Jeff) Ahlers of Evansville, Ind.; a grandson, Nick Ahlers; and several nieces and nephews.

Joe Christ
Joe Christ
The Honorable Joseph Donald Christ, devoted husband, loving father, caring son, dedicated brother, and loyal friend, passed away March 10, 2013. Joe graduated from Lebanon High School with the class of ’82, received his bachelor’s from ISU in ’86, and received his law degree from Thomas Cooley in ’93. He worked as a prosecuting attorney for 18 years in St. Clair County before he was recently sworn in as a judge for the same county. Joe was sincere in his efforts to help others, and he was loved and respected by all. He will be deeply missed.

He was preceded in death by his father Donald Jule Christ; paternal grandparents Oliver J. And Amelia (Lebert) Christ; and maternal grandparents John and Mary (Muck) Fohne.

He is survived by wife Tari (Soehlke) and six children of O'Fallon, Il: five daughters Amelia, Natalena “Lena”, Josephine “Josy”, Mary, Louisa, and one son, August “Gus”; his mother Elizabeth “Betty”(Fohne) Christ; father and mother-in-law Jim and Pat Soehlke; sisters Mary Jo (John) Pehle of Manhattan, IL, Donna Christ Seipp of O'Fallon, Il, brothers Steven Christ, Mark (Carrie) Christ, and John (Terri) Christ, all of Lebanon, IL; sisters- and brothers-in-law Tami Hudson of O’Fallon, IL, Timi (Brad) McMillin, Jim (Laura) Soehlke, all of O’Fallon, IL, and Traci (Dave) Olmstead of Brentwood, TN; and 11 nieces, 12 nephews, 6 great nieces, and 9 great nephews.

Memorials can be made to the “Christ Children Education Fund” at Carrollton Bank, 1911 Frank Scott Parkway Suite 4, O’Fallon, IL 62269. (618) 624-3034 Memorial Masses may be offered at St. Francis De Sales 2653 Ohio Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118.

E. Michael O'Brien
E. Michael O'Brien
Judge E. Michael O'Brien, 82, of Peoria passed away Friday, March 1, 2013 at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.

Eugene Michael O'Brien was born in St. Joseph, Mo., on Nov. 22, 1930, to Evelyn (Hitt) and Eugene O'Brien. He married Terry Reynolds on July 28, 1979. She survives.

He also is survived by his children, Mary (Rich) Washelesky of Northbrook, Ill., Michelle (Charlie) Middleton of San Diego, Calif., Erin (Tom) Maloney of Peoria, Conor O'Brien of Chicago, Ill., Michael O'Brien of Springfield, Ill., Matt (Jennifer) O'Brien of Springfield, Ill., Dr. Amy O'Brien-Ladner of Kansas, Kathryn O'Brien of Kansas, Bridget Moreland of Kansas and Mary Adams of California; and 25 grandchildren. He also is survived by his mother- and father-in-law, Victor and Lucille Reynolds.

He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant sister.

In 1953, he entered the U.S. Navy flight training program and served as an aviator until 1958, attaining the rank of lieutenant commander, and then entered the U.S. Navy Reserve flying program at U.S. NAS Glenview, Ill. He served as LTJG of Patrol Squadron Six, VP-6 Blue Sharks during the Korean War. During his military service he received Navy Commendation, the China Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

He graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1961.

He worked as assistant attorney general for the state of Illinois from 1961 until 1964. He was with the U.S. District Attorney's office until 1966 and then was an assistant state's attorney for the state of Illinois from 1966 until 1969.

Robert B. Baal, 66, former partner with Baal & O'Connor Law Firm in Chicago. Bob was an alumnus of Leo H.S. (1964), Xavier U. (1968) and DePaul U. School of Law (1973).

He was the beloved husband of Patricia (nee Cooke) for 43 years. Loving father of Anne (Joe) Linnen, Kathryn Baal and Mary Beth (Matt) O'Mara. Proud grandpa of Liam Patrick and Colin Robert. Dear brother of Jane (Dan) McWeeny. Fond brother-in-law of Maureen (Mike) Schmidt, Dr. William Cooke and Mary Jo (Nolan) Small. Uncle of many nieces and nephews.

Memorials to Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center/Kidney Research Northwestern University Office of Development 750 N. Lake Shore Dr./9th Floor Chicago, IL 60611 or Christ the King School Foundation are most appreciated. 708-636-5500 or heeneyfh.com.

Roger W. Eichmeier
Roger W. Eichmeier
Former ISBA Board member the Hon. Roger William Eichmeier passed away in Chandler, AZ, on March 2, 2013. He was born on May 15, 1932, in Freeport, IL, to Charles Simon and Lee Nampel Eichmeier. 

He graduated cum laude from Depauw University, Greencastle, IN. He was the president of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Northwestern Law School, Chicago and wrote for the Law Review.

In 1957, Roger and his family moved to Aurora, IL. He joined the law firm of Matthews, Jordan, Dean, and Peterson where he practiced law for many years. He was appointed an associate judge of the Kane County 16th Judiciary Circuit in 1987 until his retirement in 2000. He loved the law and was on the Board of Governors for the Illinois State Bar Association.

He was active in Aurora as an elder of Westminster Presbyterian Church and as a member of the Lion's Club. He spent hours on swimming pool decks refereeing his children's competitive swimming meets.

Roger retired to Galena, IL, where he enjoyed horseback riding and his dogs. He served as president of the Galena Territory HOA and chaired the legal and bylaws committee.

Daniel Jamieson Schifeling
Daniel Jamieson Schifeling
Daniel Jamieson Schifeling died Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, in his home with family. Dan was born Feb. 16, 1923, to Lois Jean and Walter Schifeling in Peoria.

After Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Army and became a B-24 Pilot. He married Anna Lee Leech May 21, 1944. They had hoped to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary next year.

When the war concluded, Dan and Anna Lee returned to Illinois, where Dan completed his education, graduating from the University of Illinois Law School in 1949. Dan and Anna Lee then settled in St. Charles to create a solo practice of law and raise three sons. During this time, Dan was the first chair trumpet player and an active supporter of the Aurora American Legion Band. He also developed a love of photography. For years he taught an adult Bible study class at the Congregational United Church of Christ.

Hon. Jerome T. Burke
Hon. Jerome T. Burke
Hon. Jerome T. Burke (Ret.) passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 27, 2013.

Jerry Burke grew up on Chicago's North Side in the Rogers Park neighborhood where he attended Hardy Prep and Loyola Academy. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1958 and received his law degree from Chicago Kent College of Law in 1964.

He was an attorney with the law firm Arvey, Hodes before going on the bench in 1973. He served as a Cook County Circuit Court judge until he retired in 1998. After leaving the bench, Jerry Burke was of counsel to McGuireWoods and a member of Resolute Systems.

Jerry Burke was a devoted father, husband, and grandfather. His passions included following Notre Dame football, the Chicago Cubs, and the Kansas City Chiefs. He was an avid history buff, with a special interest in electric interurban railroads. He loved bicycling, as well as spending time with his grandchildren.

He performed countless weddings for many couples over the years. Jerry Burke was a published author and proud of his book "Black Point" which was set in Lake Geneva, WI, where he spent his boyhood summers.

Jerry Burke was a former Barrington resident and lived for the last 25 years in Elgin. He will be missed by his many friends and family who were touched by his compassion, generosity, humor, and love. 

Roger Reno
Roger Reno
Roger Reno, 88, of Rockford, a local attorney and former chairman of AMCORE financial died on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, in his home with his family by his side.

Born May 16, 1924, in Rockford; the son of Guy B. and Hazel (Kinnear) Reno, longtime Rockford residents. His father practiced law for 55 years and in 1923 founded the firm now known as Reno & Zahm.

Roger attended Rockford schools, Garrison, Roosevelt, and West, which are all now closed. Roger stated that he'd seen many changes in his lifetime, and "I've been against every one of them." This decision did not include his marriage on May 17, 1952, to Janice Marie Odelius, nor the birth of their children, Susan, Sheri (David) Rudolph, and Michael.

Following his graduation from West High, he started college at Carleton College (Minn.) where he spent one term, and then in January 1943, volunteered in the Air Force, being discharged as a First Lieutenant in March 1946, in order to re-enter Carelton where he graduated in 1947. During his service he spent one year at Kenyon College (Ohio) as a cadet in the meteorology program, and when that was dismantled, was assigned to the electrical communications school at Yale University (Conn.) There he received his commission and was assigned to engage in installation of instrument landing equipment.

James R. Fabrizio
James R. Fabrizio
James Rocco Fabrizio, 63, was laid to rest Sunday, February 17, 2013 at Emeritus Courtyard of Joliet. Born in Chicago to the late Vincent and Eileen (nee Doyle) Fabrizio, living in Joliet since 1977.

Mr. Fabrizio was partner of Fabrizio, Hanson, Peyla and Kawinski Law Firm for the past 30 plus years. Graduate of the University of Illinois and Chicago-Kent College of Law. Member of the Will County Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, American Bar Association, Illinois Defense Counsel, Defense Research and Trial Lawyers Association. He was an avid Chicago White Sox fan.

Surviving are his loving wife of 10 years, Leslie (nee Maxwell) Fabrizio of Shorewood; three children, Vincent (Erin) Fabrizio of Lombard, Dana (Chris) Patera of Chicago and Michael Fabrizio of Joliet; his grandson, Julius James Fabrizio; one sister, Judith (Charles) Hamilton of Batavia; one brother, Robert (Shelley) Fabrizio of Wilmette; his brother-in-law, James Norka of Homer Glen; and numerous nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Jean Norka.