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Obituaries

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

Hon. Maxwell Stewart
Hon. Maxwell Stewart
The Honorable Max B. Stewart, 95, of Galesburg, formerly of Hamilton, died at 7:54 a.m. Friday, June 9, 2017 in Galesburg Cottage Hospital.

He was born Aug. 31, 1921, in Keokuk, Iowa, the son of Robert and Mildred (Foelker) Stewart. He married Dolores R. Dulak in December 1946, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She preceded him in death in October 1983. He later married Martha Schrage Kirchner on May 18, 1985, in Carthage. She preceded him in death April 2, 2013.

Max graduated from Hamilton High School in 1939 and from Carthage College in 1943. In 1941, typical of his generation, he answered the call to service and enlisted in the United States Navy following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. His enlistment was deferred until his graduation from college, at which time he was commissioned an officer. He served until being discharged in 1946. He served with the Amphibious Navy as a skipper on flat bottomed vessels. He and his crew navigated the Pacific Ocean, some 6,000 miles, from Hawaii to Okinawa, Japan.

After the war, he attended Case Western Reserve Law School in Cleveland, Ohio, where he graduated with his Juris Doctorate in 1948. He returned to Illinois and practiced law in Hancock County. He was elected State's Attorney in 1956. He was a career prosecutor until being elected a Circuit Judge in 1974. In 1981, he was elected Chief Judge of the Circuit. He served until retiring in 1988.

Kenneth Vander Leest
Kenneth Vander Leest
Kenneth F. Vander Leest, 89, of Peoria passed away at 4:26 a.m. Monday, May 29, 2017, at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria. Born May 13, 1928, in Mitchellville, Iowa, to Arthur and Marie (de Reus) Vander Leest, he married Sondra D. Matthew on September 10, 1955, in Pekin.

He was a United States Army veteran. A graduate of Iowa Wesleyan in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, he received his law degree from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. He was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
Kenneth was an attorney for Caterpillar, Inc. for over 35 years, working in Switzerland for five years and in Peoria. 

Kenneth enjoyed golfing, playing bridge and hiking in Arizona. He was a fan of the Chicago Cubs and Iowa Hawkeyes.

Daniel A. Weiler, 68, of Elgin, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 3, 2017 after living courageously with ALS for nine years. Dan was born in Oak Park, IL to George and Bernice Weiler on October 19, 1948. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary North High School, graduating in 1966. He went on to attend Niles College Seminary and Loyola University, graduating in 1970. Dan earned his J.D. from John Marshall Law School in 1976, and spent his career as an attorney at Law in Elgin.

He was a forty year member of the Elgin Lions Club, and among his many volunteer works throughout that time were his service as a member of the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Elgin, his service on the City of Elgin Planning and Zoning Commission, and his service as the chairman of the Catholic Foundation for the People of the Diocese of Rockford.

Dan is preceded in death by his Mother, Bernice Weiler; Father, George Weiler; and nephew Stephen Villeneuve. Dan is survived by his wife, Carol Weiler of Elgin; children Michael (Jocelyn) Weiler of Elgin, Sarah (Bob Mullenbach) Weiler of Denver, CO; grandchildren Abe, Grace, Ava, Cole, Emily, Marcus, Levi, and Annie; siblings Martha (Dan) Meyer, Marian (Vic) Villeneuve, Anne (Joe) Koron, Tom (Lynn) Weiler, and Gerry (Ellen) Weiler; several beloved nieces and nephews; and his beloved caregiver Rashana Robertson. 

Jack Kuhlman
Jack Kuhlman
Jack Frank Kuhlman, 77, of Parker, CO, passed away peacefully April 23, 2017 after a valiant battle with cancer. He leaves his loving wife of 56 years, Vera Ann Kuhlman and his devoted children: son, John F. Kuhlman, (Parker, CO) and daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth Ann and Rodolfo Gonzalez (Richardson, TX). He is also survived by three grandchildren: Alejandra Gonzalez, Hayden Kuhlman and Jessica Kuhlman; Sisters-in-law: Laura Collis Antrim, Vicky Collis Benson, Jonnina Collis Benson; Brother-in-law: David E. Antrim; Nieces: Amy McCurry, Jane Tilly; Nephews: Michael Antrim, Ted Antrim, Tom Benson, Andy Benson, John Benson.

Jack was born October 22, 1939 in Saint Louis, MO to parents Frank H. and Edna Postel Kuhlman. He graduated from Southwest High School in St. Louis, and from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri in 1961 with a B.A. in Sociology. A member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, he served as president; president of the IFC; received the Outstanding Senior Award; and Who’s Who Among Students. Jack graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law (IIT), Chicago, IL in 1967 with a Juris doctor degree. He was a member of the Law Review and was president of his senior class.

He was employed by Continental Casualty Company, Chicago, IL, as an organizational analyst (1962-67). Admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois (1967), Federal Court and The Supreme Court of the United States (1972) he was in private practice with Collis and Kuhlman, Hinsdale (1967-2000) concentrating on estates; trusts & wills; real estate; family law; zoning and small business matters.

Patrick J. Kelly, 65, of Riverside, beloved husband of Kimellen Chamberlain; loving father of Sean & Meaghan Kelly; devoted son of Frances & the late Edward; fond brother of Steven (Teri) , Edward (Laura), Michael (Cathy), Gerlyn (James) Delaney & Tim (Carrie) Kelly; uncle of many. Proud SGT USMC & Distinguished Cook County State's Attorney.

Calvin Kirsh, 80, beloved husband of Lois nee Levin for nearly 60 years; loving father of Pamela Kirsh (Maher Lutfallah), Allen (Jodi) Kirsh and Linda (David) Glick; cherished Pa of Erin, Cole, Corey, Kyra and Carli; devoted son of the late Esther and Paul Kirsh; dear brother of the late Sanford (Winnie) Kirsh; fond brother-in-law of Arlene Levin and Sam Levin; adored uncle of many nieces and nephews. Calvin was a prominent Cicero attorney for over 40 years. He will be missed by everyone he touched.

Anthony J. Fornelli
Anthony J. Fornelli
Anthony J. Fornelli passwed away on June 28, 2017. He was the beloved husband of the late Angela (nee Favia) Fornelli, for 59 years.

Fornelli was the past president of the Justinian Society of Lawyers and grandfather of Natalie Petric, Justinian 2nd Vice President. Tony was a founding member and chair of Casa Italia, the Italian American Political Coalition, and the Italian American Veterans Museum. He served as past president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, UNICO National, and publisher of Fra Noi.

Harry Culbertson Armstrong
Harry Culbertson Armstrong
Harry Culbertson Armstrong, 85, passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 29, 2017, at Meridian Village Retirement Community in Glen Carbon, Illinois. He was born on January 19, 1932, in Delavan, Illinois, the son of the late Benjamin Pearl and Marie Armstrong (Meeker).

Harry attended Delavan High School, graduating in 1949. He obtained his B.S. in commerce and law at the University of Illinois in 1953, and thereafter obtained his J.D. from the University of Illinois School of Law in 1955. Harry was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1955. He served his country as a J.A.G. officer in the Air Force in Korea in the late 50's. He then moved to Edwardsville, where he entered into the practice of law with James L. Reed, and became a partner of Reed, Armstrong and Gorman for the rest of his 55-year career. He retired in 2011. He was a member of the American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, a former president of the Madison County Bar Association, and a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. He likely set the record for the most jury trials tried to verdict in Illinois.

Hon. Marjan Staniec, Cook County associate judge, passed away in January 2017. He was a resident of Norridge, Illinois at the time of passing.

Hon. Staniec earned his bachelor of law in 1941, his masters of laws in 1942, and his J.D. in 1957 from Catholic University of American in Washington, D.C.

He worked as an administrator for the U.S. Social Security Administration. Later, he was a columnist for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Your Social Security in Chicago Tribute, and co-producer and host of Social Security Tele-Line. From 1965-1968, he was the assistant regional director of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He was an associate judge for the Illinois Circuit Court, Cook County, from 1968-1976 and an adjunct professor of law at Loyola University from 1986-1987.

Richard Biondi
Richard Biondi
Richard John Biondi, born in Highland Park, IL on February 12, 1948, beloved son of the late Eldo and Laura (Romitti) Biondi. Preceded in death by his older brother, Joseph Molendi (Joyce). Richard is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Linda (Higgins) Biondi, and four children, Daniel (Tara) Biondi; Michael (Amy) Biondi, Elizabeth (Jonathan Steele) and Kathleen (Daniel) Platt. His greatest joys were his four grandchildren: Carlin, Mallory, and Brooke Biondi, and Lennox Platt. He was the dear uncle of many nieces and nephews.

Richard attended Northwestern University as an Evans Scholar, graduating with a degree in history. After serving in the Marine Reserves, he earned his JD from Northwestern Law School and began his legal career with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. Richard enjoyed a long and successful career as an attorney in private practice. He leaves behind many friends, relatives and colleagues who are united by their love and respect. He will be remembered most for his kindness, honor and wonderful sense of humor.

His work with the Lake Forest Counsel of the Knights of Columbus was instrumental in reviving a vibrant philanthropic organization through St. Mary’s parish. Richard will be missed by all who were blessed to know him, to love him, to work with him, and to be helped by him over the years.