Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership

Obituaries

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

Stephen B. Luzbetak
Stephen B. Luzbetak
Stephen B. Luzbetak "Steve", age 79, of Lockport, passed away suddenly Friday, January 13, 2017 at Silver Cross Hospital. 

He was born in Joliet and was a lifelong Joliet-Lockport resident. An active Partner with Luzbetak and Caneva Law Firm in Lockport, which in 2016, celebrated 50 years of practice in Lockport. Member of the Will County and State Bar Associations; formerly was the Attorney for Ludwig, Kelvin Grove, Fairmont, Chaney-Monge school districts, the Lockport Fire District, the Fire District Foundation and the Channahon Park District and is presently the Attorney for the Lockport Park District. 

Steve started his career at Legal Aid in Chicago; was active in politics, served as Democratic Committeeman and Joliet Township Supervisor, served on the Will County Board for 10 years, first from Joliet, then from Lockport, losing by 1 vote in the battle for Chairman of the Will County Board in the 101 ballot vote; he ran for Will County Recorder of Deeds and Judge of the Circuit Court; was member and past president of both the Lockport Rotary Club and Lockport Chamber of Commerce, served 25 years on the Lockport Old Canal Days Committee and served on the boards of the Will County Historical Society, American Cancer Society and the United Way. 

Walter Gerald Nelson, 87, of Bloomington, distinguished attorney, enthusiastic but inexpert golfer and outstanding citizen of the world, died January 6, 2017 at St. Joseph Medical Center surrounded by his family.

Walter was born January 2, 1930 in Peoria, IL, the only son of Walter and Hazel Nelson. He married Mary Ann Olberding on January 28, 1952. She preceded him in death. He married Mary Jo Sunderland on April 6, 1991 in Peoria, IL.

He is survived by his seven children: Ann (Mike) Larkin, Leland, NC; Mike (Pat) Nelson, Bloomington; Sue (Jay) Boor, Springfield, Pat (Lori) Nelson; Mackinaw, Tom (Tracey) Nelson, O’Fallon, MO; Tim (Lorraine) Nelson, Canton, MA; and Molly (Dave) Edwards, Bloomington; 19 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren as well as Mary Jo's children: Steve (Mary) Sunderland, Kevin (Tamie) Sunderland, Tom (Judy) Sunderland, Colleen (Chuck) Hubert, Maureen (Bob) Grubbs, and Teresa (George) Girardi, 19 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Mary Ann, daughter-in-law Robbin Nelson, and great-granddaughter Emily Nelson.

Walter graduated from St. Bernard’s Grade School and Spalding High School in Peoria, where he participated in football, baseball, and basketball. He captained Nelson’s Nine Nasty Nosepickers to the softball league championship.

He completed his pre-law education at St. Benedict’s College in Atchison, KA and Bradley University in Peoria, where he was a cheerleader senior year. He received his Juris Doctorate from Creighton University in Omaha, NE.

Justice John J. Stamos
Justice John J. Stamos
Justice John J. Stamos, who served as an Illinois Supreme Court Justice from 1988 to 1990, passed away on Saturday, January 28, in Northbrook. He was 92.

“On behalf of the Illinois Supreme Court, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family, friends and former colleagues of Justice John J. Stamos," Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier said. "Justice Stamos was an outstanding lawyer and judge who distinguished himself both on the appellate court and as a member of the Supreme Court of Illinois.

"Justice Stamos is perhaps best known as the author of In re Himmel,  125 Ill.2d 531(1989).  Decided in the wake of Operation Greylord, In re Himmel affirmed that all members of the Illinois bar are under an obligation to report lawyer misconduct or the misconduct of others directly observed in the practice of law or the administration of justice. The case has been cited hundreds of times in the legal literature and has had a profound and positive impact on how lawyers conduct themselves in Illinois and throughout the United States. The people of our State owe him a debt of gratitude for his unwavering commitment to the highest principles of justice. He will be missed."

Valjean Rhule SmithValjean Rhule Smith, 88, of Springfield, passed away at 4:35 p.m. on Monday, December 26, 2016 at Memorial Medical Center. 

Valjean was born on February 16, 1928 in Springfield, the son of George and Tressa Rhule Smith. He married Connie Lee Riley on August 9, 1969 in Beardstown; she preceded him in death on August 13, 2012. 

Valjean earned his juris doctorate from Springfield College. He served as a public defender and worked for several private practice firms before retiring from the State of IL, Division of Aeronautics. He was a member of the Jacksonville Country Club and enjoyed golfing, fishing, reading, traveling, cooking and spending time with his family. 

Gregory Freerksen was a civil rights and labor union attorney for about 40 years. He was also a Blues radio DJ for 20 years, and he was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame during its first year. He loved music, dogs, being outdoors, science, and creating things, whether in the garden, the kitchen, or artistically. His family was very important to him.

Robert M. "Cub" Culbertson Jr.Robert M. "Cub" Culbertson Jr., 84, of Delavan passed away Friday, December 30, 2016, at the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria, Illinois.

Born August 14, 1932, in Bloomington, Illinois, to Robert M. and Jeanette Read Culbertson, he lived his entire life in Delavan. His mother passed away when he was 12 and he fondly remembered his Aunt Helen and Uncle John Culbertson who helped him grow up. He married Joyce E. Winkler on August 15, 1953, in Peoria, Illinois.
He was preceded in death by one son, Scott L. Culbertson.

Survivors include his wife, Joyce W. Culbertson; a daughter, Carol (and Ron) Ernst of Fishers, Indiana; a daughter, Jean (and Dana) Sutton of Ona, West Virginia; a son, Hal Robert (and Rhonda) of South Bend, Indiana; five grandsons; one granddaughter; and two great-grandsons. 

Marvin GreenMarvin Green, 91, of Chicago, born 1925 in Lansford, PA, died peacefully on Dec. 28. Beloved husband of Anne Jentry, loving father of Bobbie (Hank) Scheff, Amy (Allen) Oseroff, David Lanier and Kate Samuels, and grandfather of Julian, Matt (deceased), Jack, and Andy Scheff, and Dan and Tom Oseroff. WWII Army veteran, University of Chicago College and Law School graduate, practicing attorney for 65 years, prolific writer (readmarvin.com), Renaissance Man.

John T. Bullington
John T. Bullington
John T. Bullington, 98, of Hillsboro died Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 at 1:34 a.m. at Memorial Medical Center, Springfield.

He was born on July 3, 1918 in Hillsboro, the son of the late Josiah T. and Mary Theresa (Thompson) Bullington. A graduate of Hillsboro High School and University of Illinois Law School, he served with the Army during World War II at the Battle of the Bulge and then as a JAG during the Korean Conflict.

Peter J. Nordigian
Peter J. Nordigian
Attorney Peter J. Nordigian, 85, of Waukegan, passed away Dec. 20, 2016 at home with his family. He was born March 27, 1931 in Waukegan.

Pete saw active duty during the Korean War, was appointed Brigadier General in the Illinois Guard list of retirees effective Aug. 12, 1980, and received Honors from the Army Reserves and the Illinois National Guard. He was a practicing attorney for 58 years, spending 35 years as the Village Attorney for Lake Bluff. Pete was generous to a fault, and basically took care of all his friends and family in legal and personal matters. He was an avid roller skater and numastesion; his passion was art, lladros, and Swarovski Crystal.

George Warren Kenney
George Warren Kenney
George Warren Kenney, 79, of Springfield, died at 11:03 p.m. on Friday, December 16, 2016 at Memorial Medical Center.

George was born June 4, 1937 in Springfield, the son of Charles Marshall and Alberta Mae Hillyard Kenney.
George graduated from Springfield High School in 1955, where he played basketball, football and baseball. George fondly remembered playing in the State Basketball Tournament. He earned his bachelor's degree from Millikin University in Decatur, where he played basketball and was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.