obituaries

Frank Wiget, 73, was ‘a diligent reporter’

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Colleagues described former Post-Tribune reporter Frank Wiget as dogged, unfailingly accurate and excited about every news story he covered. Wiget died Friday at the VNA Hospice. He was 73. Wiget, a Valparaiso resident, worked as a reporter at the Post-Tribune for nearly 37 years, mainly …

Priest remembered for talent for relating to people of all ages

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The Rev. Paul B. Marszalek had a knack for taking examples from the Bible and personally relating them to individuals, a school principal who worked with him said.

“He could always relate the gospel to people whether he was talking to adults or kids,” said …

Longtime Kelly football coach dies at 93

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Many athletes who played football at Kelly High School on Chicago’s Southwest Side over four decades can thank Francis Prendergast for their knowledge and love of the game.

Mr. Prendergast, who coached, taught and served as athletic director at Kelly, was the school’s varsity football …

An Extraordinary Life: Family remember easygoing hobbyist

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George McLearen loved Christmas.

His favorite movie was “It’s a Wonderful Life.” He teased his daughter, Kim McLearen-Jones, that she should name her baby “Zuzu’s Petals” — a line from the movie — and he loved elaborate Christmas decorating.

“His goal was to get in …

An Extraordinary Life: Lemont business owner was a father first

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Whether he was overseeing Carl’s Septic Service in Lemont, raising his family or manning his pontoon boat, Art Dominick of Lemont was both easygoing and disciplined, someone who knew when it was “time to have fun or time to knuckle down,” said Art’s daughter, Jean …

Life Story: ‘Caring,’ charitable woman had passion for New Lenox history

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Thanks to the research of Diane Batson, the Francis-Walker home on Francis Road in New Lenox is expected to soon become the area’s 10th historic landmark.

It would be a fitting tribute to the woman who made landmarks her legacy.

Ms. Batson died Sept. 5 …

Services set for Homewood man who battled brain tumor for 20 years

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Visitation for a Homewood man who battled a rare brain tumor for nearly 20 years will be from 2 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Ryan Funeral Home, 18022 Dixie Highway in Homewood. Brian J. Gannon, 24, died Friday at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s …

Father Balskus, longtime Southland priest, dies at 73

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A former associate pastor at several Southland churches — including St. Linus in Oak Lawn, St. Christina in Chicago, and St. Benedict in Blue Island — died suddenly Monday while traveling in Florida, according to the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The Rev. Charles Balskus, 73, was …

Former Orland Park resident was an original Chicago Playboy Club bunny

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Judy Kozak cooked her kids belly-filling, soul-feeding breakfasts of cornmeal mush with warm syrup and butter and then drove them to school in her bathrobe.

To the neighbors, she appeared to be just another dedicated mother, but a playful one — she sometimes wore a …

‘Dear Abby’ advice columnist dies at 94

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MINNEAPOLIS — Pauline Friedman Phillips, who under the name of Abigail Van Buren, wrote the long-running “Dear Abby” advice column that was followed by millions of newspaper readers throughout the world, has died. She was 94. Publicist Gene Willis of Universal Uclick said Mrs. Phillips died Wednesday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Transplant pioneer from Beverly helped launch the Betty Ford Center

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Dr. James W. West made medical history when he helped perform the world’s first human organ transplant in 1950 at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park on a woman in desperate need of a kidney. His subsequent research — and personal experience with alcohol dependence — led him to help launch the famed Betty Ford Center for treating addiction. Formerly a longtime Beverly resident, Dr. West died July 24 at his home in Palm Desert, Calif., at 98.

'Encyclopedia Brown' author Donald Sobol dies at 87

Donald J. Sobol, author of the popular "Encyclopedia Brown" series of children's mysteries, has died. He was 87.

Chicago ghost hunter dead of cancer at 64

Richard Crowe, who led ghost tours of Chicago’s most famous “haunts” and shared his expertise with radio and TV shows ranging from “Oprah” to “Unsolved Mysteries,” has died at the age of 64.

Rev. Seitz, ‘kind, gentle soul,’ was priest for 54 years

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The Rev. Joseph Seitz was remembered this week as a “kind, gentle soul” who served at many South Side churches in his 54 years as a priest.

The Rev. Seitz died Sunday at Holy Family Villa in Palos Heights. He was 82.

Visitation will be …

Evergreen Park author covered sports, was Baseball Digest editor

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When John Kuenster wrote stories, people read them. When he told stories, they listened.

“At a gathering, one person would ask him a question about when he covered the Cubs, Sox or Blackhawks. He was so excited telling his stories, before you knew it, he’d …