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

Longtime Cook County Criminal Courts judge Fred Suria Jr. passed away on July 11. Mr. Suria, known to many as "Fair Fred," spent 44 years on the bench - most of those at the 26th and California courthouse. He was also the judge in the trial of U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds, who was imprisoned for having sex with a minor. Click here to read the full Sun-Times story Click here to read the Daily Herald story
Darryl Pratscher, Clerk of the Fourth District Illinois Appellate Court, passed away following a short illness on July 24. Mr. Pratscher, 57, had served in the Fourth District since 1979 and as the Clerk of the Court since 1981. Services for Mr. Pratscher will be private.
Arbitration and mediation expert John W. "Jack" Cooley, a former U.S. magistrate judge, passed away from multiple myeloma on July 21 at his home in Evanston. Mr. Cooley worked for two large private arbitration and mediation firms.
He taught conflict resolution at Northwestern University's law school for the last 12 years and wrote several books, including "The Mediator's Handbook" and "The Arbitrator's Handbook." He later came to believe his cancer was caused by exposure to Agent Orange during the war, and the government accepted his claim earlier this year, his daughter said. Raised in St. Louis, where his father was a barber, Mr. Cooley went to a private military academy before joining the Class of 1965 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He reached the rank of captain, but a tour of duty in Vietnam led him to law school.
Click here to read the full Tribune story.
Evette Zells, 71, passed away earlier this month. Ms. Zells graduated from Roosevelt University and earned a master's degree from Duke University. She received her law degree from Chicago Kent College of Law. Ms. Zells was a former educator, Illinois court child advocate and hearing officer for Cook County Juvenile Court. Click here to read the full Sun-Times story. Click here to read the Tribune story.
Well-known Southern Illinois criminal defense attorney Chris Heid passed away earlier this month at his home in Enfield. Chris graduated from Springfield High School, Western Illinois University and Southern Illinois University School of Law. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army JAG. Click here to read the full story.
Retired judge Charles Covey, 76, of Dunlap, passed away on July 19 in Peoria. Mr. Covey attended Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa., graduating in 1955. He then served in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant until being honorably discharged. He graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1960. After law school, Mr. Covey founded the law firm of Covey and Litterst and also worked as a city attorney for Chillicothe and later served as a judge for Peoria County until he retired in 1995. Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association or to the charity of the donor's choice. Online tributes and condolences may be made at
Former ISBA member Michael Earl Morris passed away earlier this month in Colorado Springs, Colo.  Mr. Morris was born in Peoria and graduated from Bradley University and Kent College of Law. From the Canton Daily Ledger:
He began his career with the Illinois Bar Association, then worked as an attorney with the Fulton County Illinois Public Defender's Office. He also worked for Sebo Law Office. Mike's love of the mountains led him and his family to move to Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1982 where he was employed at the El Paso County District Attorney's Office from 1982-1986. He then entered private practice until he retired in June 2009.
Click here to read the full story.
Longtime ISBA member Homer W. Keller passed away in June at age 91. He was born in Peoria and attended Franklin Elementary School and Peoria High School. Mr. Keller earned his law degree from the University of Illinois in 1943 and practiced with the Westervelt firm for 66 years. Mr. Keller was President of the Peoria County Bar Association in 1971-72. He will long be remembered for his integrity, quick wit and kindness.

From the Peoria County Bar Association's July Newsletter.

Gerald Snyder Jr.
Gerald Snyder Jr.
Waukegan attorney and longtime Illinois State Bar Association member called a tireless advocate for children. He was a partner in the firm of Snyder, Clarke and Fouts.

From the Daily Herald:

Law partner Jim Fouts said Snyder took a personal interest in his clients.

"There were times where a woman wouldn't be able to afford a lawyer and Gerry would pay," Fouts said. "There were times when these people needed a place to stay and Gerry would put them up in a motel. He had an unending compassion for children."

Click here to read the full story
Former ISBA Assembly member Georgia Lee Lipke recently passed away. She was born on May 6, 1925, in Chicago. Ms. Lipke attended Lawrence University and Chicago Kent College of Law. Ms. Lipke was an Assistant States Attorney for Cook County before entering private practice. She was president of the Women's Bar Association, a member of several committees of the Illinois and American Bar associations and the Chicago Bar Association.