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Don R. Lucas passed away Nov. 6, 2017. Born, raised, provided, prospered, and now passed, Don Lucas’s life story began, thrived, and ended in West Frankfort. A loving patriarch to his family, a devoted friend and attorney to his community, and a passionate defender of small town governance and the sheer joy in the natural bounty of Southern Illinois.

Don was a gifted athlete and multiple sports fueled his youth at F.C.H.S. achieving honorable mention to the 1952 Illinois All State Basketball Team. He attended SIU on a track scholarship where academic pursuits led him to both bachelor of science and master of science degrees while teaching government at SIU on a resident teaching fellowship.

After graduating from SIU in 1959, he taught history and coached basketball at Murphysboro and West Frankfort High Schools. Don’s only extended leave from Southern Illinois was to pursue a law degree and teach legal writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating with a Juris Doctor of Law in 1963.

Distinguished Counsellors Class of 1967
Distinguished Counsellors Class of 1967
The annual Distinguished Counsellors Luncheon honoring ISBA members who have been admitted to the bar for a period of 50 years was held yesterday, Thursday, Nov. 16, at the Union League Club in Chicago. Justice John B. Simon, appellate judge for the First District, spoke on behalf of the Class of 1967. In total, there were 168 honorees. 

Honorees in attendance were joined by family, friends, and ISBA leadership. One by one, the Class of 1967 was invited to the stage to be presented with a certificate of recognition by Hon. Russell W. Hartigan, ISBA president, to show our respect and admiration for those who have dedicated their lives to the profession and serve as living examples of the profession's highest ideals. James McCluskey, ISBA president-elect, and David Sosin, ISBA second vice president, joined Hartigan in presenting the awards. 

The tradition of conferring the title of "Distinguished Counsellor" dates back to 1940, when ISBA held its first ceremony at the Sangamon County Circuit Court. 

Congratulations to the 1967 Class of Distinguished Counsellors:

Robert (Bob) Richard Kenski, 89 of New Carlisle, Indiana, passed away peacefully with family at his side on Monday Oct. 2, 2017. Born in St. Louis on Nov.18,1927, and married on Nov. 21, 1952 to the late June Carol Poertner. He proudly served in the U.S Army in 1946-1947 in Tokyo Japan. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a J.D. in 1952. He worked for 30 years for Ryerson Steel as a credit manager and later assistant general counsel. He joined Rockwell International in 1972 as associate general counsel until 1986. He served as a board member and president of School District 68 in Woodridge from 1968 through 1972. He also served as a board member of the Dupage County Council Girls Scouts of America from 1969 through 1972. A consummate bridge player, lover of fine food, and traveling. He was also an avid photographer and loved books. Innately curious he took up weaving in retirement until his vision failed. But above all else he loved his wife and family and took great joy in their accomplishments.

Helmut Strauss, 94, devoted husband of the late Irma; loving father of Jonathan (Leslie) and Jeremy (Mary Ann) Strauss; cherished grandfather of Benjamin (Samantha) and Rebecca Strauss; dear brother of Margot (the late Herbert) Garon and other extended family. Mr. Strauss was born and raised in Germany and emigrated to the United States with his family in 1937. He was a CPA and a tax attorney for over 40 years. He was a long time member and former president of KAM-ISAIAH ISRAEL Synagogue in Hyde Park. 

George E. Bullwinkel
George E. Bullwinkel
George E. Bullwinkel passed away on October 16 of colon cancer a month short of his 81st birthday. Born in Chicago, George grew up in Mount Prospect, IL, earned a BME from Cornell University (1959) and then worked a short term as an engineer for Rocketdyne in California prior to pursuing a law degree from Harvard (1964).

After graduating Harvard, George moved back to Chicago and then Hinsdale to raise a family with his wife, Madelaine. For over 50 years, George specialized in patents and intellectual property, practicing at several Chicago firms, before forming his own firm, Bullwinkel Partners, Ltd. 

George will be remembered for the many ways he used his technical and legal expertise to empower his peers and clients. After building a Heathkit computer with his son in 1981, he introduced the use of computers in two successive law firms and later taught computing to attorneys at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.  

A private pilot for over 50 years and an active supporter of Friends of Meigs Field, he advocated for pilots' rights as part of the AOPA legal support team. 

Peter F. Ferracuti
Peter F. Ferracuti
Personal injury attorney Peter Ferracuti died at age 91. Ferracuti was a Navy veteran of World War II. Then he became a lawyer, working for the LaSalle County State’s Attorney’s Office in the 1950s.

In private practice, he became well known for working long after the office closed. He won some multi-million dollar verdicts for his clients.

Ferracuti’s daughter Alexis took over his Ottawa practice a few years ago.

Dwight Taylor
Dwight Taylor
Dwight Taylor, 85, of Collinsville, Illinois, born Feb. 11, 1932, in Carrollton, Illinois, passed away Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 at St. Louis University Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri.

Dwight grew up in Shipman, Illinois, and graduated from Southwest High School. He attended Washington University, St. Louis, where he earned his J.D. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. Mr. Taylor was employed for many years as an attorney at the Collinsville Building and Loan, and he also served as the Collinsville city attorney for over thirty years. He was instrumental in city development, including the Eastport Plaza and the Gateway Conference Center. He enjoyed golfing, loved his dogs, and took great pride in his yard, twice earning him "Yard of the Month" title.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Carroll "Casey" and Irene, nee Travers, Taylor; his son Dennis, and his sister Dottye.


Judge Russell Hartigan (ret.), ISBA president, and Dennis Orsey, third vice president, joined Morgan County Bar members Bobby Bonjean, Samantha Dudzinski, Jenna Tucker, and Jerry Bauer last week. They met at the Morgan County Bar Association's annual Thanksgiving luncheon.


Tim Bertschy, the Managing Partner of Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, P.C., will begin his term as president of the Illinois Lawyers’ Assistance Program’s (LAP) Board of Directors tomorrow, Nov. 15.

“Tim’s dedication to the Illinois Legal Community is extraordinary. LAP as it is today would not exist without his advocacy. He was one of the original architects of the funding that LAP receives from the Illinois Supreme Court. We’re excited to have Tim as the President of the LAP Board of Directors to continue promoting wellness for the Illinois Legal Community,” said Robin Belleau, LAP executive director.

Bertschy’s experience includes past president of LAP, serving on the ABA House of Delegates for over 15 years, past president of the Illinois State Bar Association, chairing the ABA Standing Committee on Publishing Oversight, United States District Court Advisory Committee on Local Rules (Central District, Illinois), commissioner of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC), board member of the Illinois Bar Foundation, co-chair of the Illinois Legal Needs Study II, and former president of the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, Illinois Chapter of the American Judicature Society, Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice, Illinois Township Attorneys Association, and American Counsel Association, and co-chair of the Prairie State Legal Services Campaign for Legal Services committee.

Ryne J. Vitgu
Ryne J. Vitgu
Ryne J. Vitug recently joined Ariano Hardy Ritt Nyuli Richmond Lytle & Goettel, P.C., (AHR) as its newest attorney. Vitug will focus his practice on commercial and residential real estate and civil litigation cases.

Attorney Ryne Vitug is a graduate of DePaul University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in political science in 2013 and a Juris Doctorate in 2016. He was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 2017. He is a member of the Illinois State, Kane County and DuPage County Bar Associations.

Before joining AHR, Vitug worked as a law clerk for the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. He also gained experience as an extern for the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Circuit Court of Cook County.

At the Kane County-based law firm of AHR, Vitug will work with accomplished attorneys in his areas of practice. Attorney Karrsten Goettel practices commercial real estate law, as well as residential real estate, corporate law, and estate planning and administration. Attorney Scott G. Richmond practices civil litigation, as well as commercial litigation, personal injury, workers’ compensation, landlord-tenant law, and zoning-land use law.

Outside of work, Vitug is a passionate sports fan, especially of the Chicago Cubs. Baseball fans may recognize that his parents named him after Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg.