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

Leonard F. Sacks, 73, of Bourbonnais, passed away Tuesday (May 20, 2014) at his home. He was born April 7, 1941, in Chicago, the son of Israel and Edith (Lichtenstein) Sacks. Leonard married Judith Madill on Aug. 15, 1965, in Cocoa Beach, Fla. He was a longtime area attorney for more than 46 years.

Surviving are his wife, of Bourbonnais; two sons, Eric (Denise) Sacks, of Oak Park, and David (Jennifer) Sacks, of Bourbonnais. He is also survived by one daughter, Rebecca McKinney, of Oak Park, along with grandchildren, Leah, Abigale, Finnegan, Julie Anne, Nathan, Allison, Harper and Lillian.

Leonard was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Joyce Edelstein.

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Albert Semmler
Albert Semmler
Albert K. Semmler, Esq., 72, of Bloomington, died on May 25, 2014, at Heritage Health, Normal, after battling prostate cancer.

His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Bloomington, where visitation will be two hours prior to service at the church. The Rev. Carl LoPresti will officiate, and the Rev. Ric Schneider will celebrate. Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, Normal. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Fellowship of Christian Athletes, St. Jude Midwest Affiliate or a charity of the donor’s choice. 

He was born March 2, 1942, in Cincinnati, Ohio, son of Albert and Hedwig Werle Semmler. He married Carole M. Levo on June 13, 1964, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Surviving are his wife, Carole, Bloomington; three daughters, Heidi (Herb) Todd, Towanda; Tracy (John) Schuler, Chenoa; and Jacquie (David) Crutchley, Bloomington; one son, Alexander (Neysa) Semmler, Panama City Beach, Fla.; eight grandchildren; one sister, Hedwig (Tom) Goetz, Columbus, Ohio; and three brothers, Erich Semmler, Cincinnati, Ohio; Karl Semmler, Virginia Beach, Va.; and Edward (Deb) Semmler, South Bend, Ind.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

In 2006, Al retired after 36 years from Country Companies, where he worked as the director of financial planning.

He was an avid tennis player. Al also enjoyed running marathons, and was very proud to have completed the 100th running of the Boston Marathon.

To express condolences online, please visit

Ashley Haws
Ashley Haws
By Dion Davi

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Ashley M. Haws, a beautiful and brilliant rising star in the legal community. Ashley brought a warm smile and very positive outlook to every situation. She was loved by all that met her. The law profession and the world have lost someone that was destined to do great things. Ashley was a driving force in the initial and continued growth of our law firm. She will be greatly missed by me, our staff, and everyone that she came in contact with. Our sincerest heartfelt thoughts go out to her mother Sharon, father Gary, brother Matt, family and friends.

Gill M. Garman
Gill M. Garman

Gill M. Garman, a prominent Danville attorney and husband of Chief Justice Rita B. Garman of the Supreme Court of Illinois, passed away on Saturday at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. He was 71.

Mr. Garman engaged in the practice of law for more than 45 years and was a senior partner at Kesler Nelson Garman Brougher & Townsley PC. He met his wife when they were both students at the University of Illinois and were married the year before they both graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1968.

A celebration of Mr. Garman's life will be held on Thursday, June 5, 2014, at 11 a.m. at St. James United Methodist Church in Danville with Rev. Randall Robinson officiating. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 from 2 to 8 p.m. at Sunset Funeral Home in Danville.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to St. James United Methodist Church, the Danville Public Library Foundation, the Danville Symphony Orchestra, or any charity of the donor's choosing.

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Retired Lake County Circuit Court Judge David Hall, who also was a devoted supporter of the local YMCA and a member of a rock and roll band, died May 20 surrounded by his family.

He was 61.

David Hall
David Hall
The lifelong Waukegan resident, who in 2011 was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is survived by his wife, Karen, a daughter and three sons.

“Judge David Hall was a man of superb intellect and marvelous wit who never let go of his fascination with history and love of music, particularly rock and roll,” Chief Judge John Phillips said Wednesday.

“In the courtroom he strove to ensure that every litigant, attorney and witness left his courtroom knowing that the judge had truly listened to what they had to say and that his decision was justly based on the law and the evidence that was presented,” Phillips said.

Hall was appointed to the bench as associate judge of the 19th Judicial Circuit in 1989.

Following a contested primary election in 2000, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed Hall as circuit judge to fill the vacancy created by the death of then Circuit Judge Jack Hoogasian. Hall was then successfully elected to two, six-year terms as a circuit judge.

Jordan Jay Hillman
Jordan Jay Hillman
Jordan Jay Hillman, 89, died on April 8, 2014 after an eight-and-a-half-year journey with Alzheimer's. Born in Waukegan in 1924, he was known to friends and colleagues as "Jay." He served during World War II as an Army Air Corps navigator in the Eighth Air Force Unit and liked to reminisce about flying. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Political Science, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago and later received a Doctor of Juridical Science from Northwestern University. 

He was vice-president and general counsel for the Chicago and North Western Railway and joined the law school faculty at Northwestern in 1966. In 1975 he took a temporary leave from teaching and served as general counsel for the U.S. Railway Association. 

He pursued many social causes beyond his chosen profession and served on the Evanston school board as well as the CTA board and various boards related to the arts. He was strongly committed to humanitarian endeavors, expressing his deepest convictions and principles through both philanthropy and service. He was a lover of nature, animals, children, walking, and classical music, played the clarinet, and after retirement, joined a chamber group. 

During the last five years of his life, he lived in Oak Park and was surrounded by his loving family, friends, and caregivers. His book, The Torah and Its God: A Humanist Inquiry was published in 2001 and embodies his deep respect for scholarship, humanism, and Judaic history. 

John J. Siena was born on October 20, 1936 in Chicago to Giovanni and Augusta (nee Pongetti) Siena. He died Saturday, May 10, 2014 at Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter in Arlington Heights.

Mr. Siena retired as an attorney from Sears. Since his retirement, he was a volunteer at the Arlington Heights Senior Center library. John also enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his granddaughters.

John is survived by his wife of 46 years, Gerry (nee Lawson) Siena; his children, Kristin (Ryan) O'Neill, Matthew Siena, and Anne (Jonathan) Ballard; his granddaughters, Kate and Reese O'Neill, and Ellie Ballard; his siblings, Rose Holubiak, Mary Daly and Serio (Tosca) Siena; his sister-in-law, Mary Siena; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, Nano Siena and Seco Siena; and his parents. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter, 2050 Claire Court Glenview, IL 60025.

Former ISBA Counsel Joseph P. Marto passed away on Feb. 28, 2014. He was born on March 18, 1938 in Great Falls, MT. After living in Shelby Montana, he was raised in Oregon and Washington finally settling in Sprague in Lincoln County.

He entered the seminary in 1954, and was ordained a priest for the diocese of Spokane in 1963, receiving his M.Div. Degree. He worked in several parishes until he became Diocesan Director of Religious Education. In 1971, he left the active ministry and married Rosemary Gaffney.

They moved to Chicago, where he attended The John Marshall Law School, receiving his J.D. degree in 1974 in the top 10 of his class. His legal career began in Springfield, IL as house counsel for the Illinois State Bar Association.

From there, he moved to various firms in Chicago, primarily as a trial attorney for insurance defense firms. He obtained a Real Estate Broker 's license in 1976, and owned several apartment buildings. He retired to McHenry IL in 1989, and began an active life of volunteering. He first organized a computer class for Seniors at McHenry Township and then became involved in the AARP Tax Aide Program preparing free taxes for Senior Citizens. He also ran a free legal aide program at Senior Services for several years.

After 15 years in the AARP Tax Aide program, he became ill in January and died on February 28, 2014. A memorial service will be held at the Church of Holy Apostles in McHenry on Thursday, March 6, 2014 with a gathering at the Church Chapel at 10:00 and Mass at 10:30. Joe is survived by Rosemary, his wife of 42 years, several cousins, and many nieces and nephews.

Marshall Susler
Marshall Susler
Marshall Susler, long time lawyer and civic leader, an upstanding man known for living his principles, died on April 30. He and Wylmarose Miller Susler, his wife of 23 years until her premature death from breast cancer in 1981, were parents to Jan Susler, Julie Susler Blum, Jody Susler Schneeberg, and David Susler. In 1983, he married Eileen Ruski, becoming father to her children Maureen Ruski, Kelly Gonzalez, and Rob Ruski. After 30 years of marriage, Eileen says she loved him even more than she did the day they married. They have seven grandchildren: Aaron and Daniel Blum, Jason Gonzalez, Devon and Malone Ruski Moretti, and Simone and Stella Rose Schneeberg.

Marshall was born in 1930 to Sewell and Marion (nee Appelbaum) Susler, working class people who struggled to ensure that he and his sisters Sharna Blumenfeld and Beverly Susler Parkhurst valued education. Marshall was accepted to Millikin University on academic scholarship, graduated Summa Cum Laude, and attended the University of Chicago School of Law. After serving in the Army in military intelligence, he returned to Decatur to practice law, representing civil and corporate clients and many in the Decatur community whose cases other attorneys would not take.

James Tidwell
James Tidwell
James A. Tidwell, chairman of the Journalism Department at Eastern Illinois University, died Saturday, April 12, following a 19-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 65.

A nationally recognized authority on the First Amendment and the student press, Dr. Tidwell taught communication law to hundreds of students in his 41-year career in higher education, including 27 years at Eastern. He was the author of Media Law in Illinois: A Reporter’s Handbook, among other works on the First Amendment and the press.

Gregarious and outgoing, Dr. Tidwell possessed a keen sense of humor. He was well known and liked at Eastern, where he was a past chairman of the Faculty Senate and the Council on Academic Affairs, and had been a board member of the faculty union, the University Professionals of Illinois Local 4100, and had served on the administration’s collective bargaining negotiating team.

Born July 6, 1948 in Oklahoma City to Ray and Maxine Davis Tidwell, he graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist University. He earned his master’s in journalism from the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a Juris Doctor cum laude from the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville.

He joined the faculty at Eastern in 1987 where he taught every class offered by the journalism department during his tenure and served as legal adviser to student publications.

He served as director of the Eastern Illinois High School Press Association (1988-2005) and as executive secretary of the Illinois Journalism Education Association (1989-2005.)