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Obituaries

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

Joseph Lowery
Joseph Lowery
Joseph R. Lowery, 90, born Wednesday, May 28, 1924, in Belleville, Ill., died Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, at Cedarhurst in Shiloh, Ill.

Joseph was a graduate of Belleville Township High School Class of 1942. He attended Milliken University and was later called to duty in February 1943, assigned to the Army Air Corp, and later to the 362nd Fighter Group. He served in several battles in Europe including Normandy and received silver and bronze battle stars, a Good Conduct Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge, and Silver Oak Leaf Cluster.

Joseph graduated from the University of Illinois College of Commerce with a degree in accountancy and a minor in economics in 1947 and from the University of Illinois Law School in 1950.

He practiced law for 60 years at three law firms during his career: Pope and Driemeyer, Thompson Coburn, and Greensfelder Hemker & Gale.

In addition to his law career, he served as the director for the following for-profit corporations: Illinois State Trust Company, Magna Group, Marsh Company, JMJ Industries, Inc., Illinois Electric Works, Inc., Missouri Electric Sales & Services, Inc., Rapid Sales & Service, Inc., Wise Communications, Inc., Eckert Companies, Peerless Enamel Products Company, East St. Louis Castings Co., and First National Bank of Belleville.

Charles Couri
Charles Couri
Charles Couri, 58, of Peoria passed away at 1:38 p.m. on Friday, December 19, 2014, at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

Charles was born on January 30, 1956, in Peoria to Anthony and Maureen (Williams) Couri. He married Jeni Abraham on July 15, 1984, in Peoria. She survives.

Also surviving is his mother of Brimfield; one son, Christopher of Peoria; one daughter, Allison, of Peoria; five brothers, Thomas (Angie) Couri of Washington, Dr. Gene (Gretta) Couri of Peoria, Anthony Jr. (Mary Beth) Couri of Decatur, Kenneth (Ilda) Couri of Maple Grove, Minn., and Michael (Theresa) Couri of Hamel, Minn.; two sisters, Mary (Gary) Burton of Pekin and Margaret (John) Zdanowski of Morton.

He was preceded in death by his father.

Charles graduated from Spalding Institute in 1974, received his B.S. in accounting from Illinois State University and received his Juris Doctorate from Southern Illinois University School of Law. Chuck was a partner in the law firm of Westervelt, Johnson, Nicoll & Keller, in Peoria. Chuck loved golf, cars and woodworking.

He was a member of St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Church in Peoria.

A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, December 22,2014, at his church, with Chorbishop Faouzi Elia and Father Bechara Awada officiating. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, December 21, 2014, at St. Sharbel Church, with Rosary scripture services at 8:00 p.m. An additional visitation will be one hour prior to the Mass at the church. Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery in West Peoria following Mass.

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.