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Arthur Wendler 1922-2010

Posted on July 1, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Arthur F. Wendler, who practiced in Troy and Edwardsville for 61 years, passed away recently at his home in Edwardsville. Mr. Wendler served as a B-24 pilot in WWII. He also served as attorney for the City of Troy for several years. Mr. Wendler graduated form the University of Illinois School of Law in 1948. There were no services.

Douglas Frank Spesia 1940-2010

Posted on June 21, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Douglas F. Spesia
Douglas Frank Spesia died peacefully at his home on Friday after a 10-year battle with prostate cancer. He was born October 11, 1940 in Joliet. Mr. Spesia graduated from the University of Illinois and the University of Notre Dame Law School. He was a proud member of Joliet's first all-star team which played in the 1953 Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. On June 12, 1965, he married Loretta Wiesbrook and joined the oldest law firm in Joliet, which is now Spesia & Ayers. He had a distinguished and rewarding 45-year career as an attorney, and spent his adult life involved in the Cathedral of St. Raymond parish. An active volunteer, he served on the boards of many organizations including: President of the Joliet Montessori School Board, past President of the Will County Bar Association, President of the Joliet Rotary Club and host of exchange students, founding member of the Will County Community Foundation, and a committed supporter of Catholic Charities' Daybreak Shelter. An avid reader whose wide range of interests led to a life of incredible travel -- from family camping across the United States and Canada to world-wide trips with dear friends that covered six continents.

Frederick H. Cohen 1965-2010

Posted on May 27, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Frederick H. Cohen died of complications from cancer earlier this month at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Cohen, a principal at the firm of Goldberg Kohn, was an advocate for poor children's medical care who was a co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in a class-action suit filed on behalf of 600,000 children eligible for Medicaid.
After a monthlong trial in 2004, U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow agreed with the plaintiff's argument that the state was not providing the poor with care equal to the general population. The judge went on to approve a settlement that required the state of Illinois to increase payments to doctors and dentists caring for children for low-income families. The trial took place in the midst of Mr. Cohen's own long-running medical drama. First diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2001, he suffered a recurrence just as proceedings were about to get under way.
Click here to read the full obituary in the Chicago Tribune.

Robert T. Trimpe 1925-2010

Posted on May 11, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Robert T. Trimpe, 84, of Champaign passed away in late March at his residence. Mr. Trimpe, who practiced in Champaign County for over 50 years, was honored by the ISBA as a Senior Counsellor in 2006.
He attended Quincy schools and graduated from Quincy Notre Dame High School in 1943. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II in the Pacific and was involved in the invasion of Okinawa. He graduated from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., in 1949 with a BS degree in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Georgetown University Law School in 1953 with a LLB degree and a Jurist Doctorate in 1967.
Click here to read the full obituary in the Champaign News-Gazette

Clarence Graves 1914-2010

Posted on May 4, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Clarence Graves, 96, passed away on April 24, 2010. Mr. Graves was a former founding member and attorney for the Elmhurst Art Museum. Mr. Graves graduated from North Park College in 1938. He received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1943. He passed the bar in 1943 and enlisted in the Navy the next day. He served in WWII and started to practice probate and real estate law in 1946 at 77 W. Washington in Chicago. Mr. Graves moved his practice to Elmhurst in the 1980s. "Even in retirement he helped whoever he could with legal matters," said his daughter, Nancy Olson.

Louis Cainkar 1911-2010

Posted on April 29, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Longtime municipal attorney Louis Cainkar, 98, passed away on April 20 at his Evergreen Park home. Mr. Cainkar was considered the pre-eminent municipal attorney in the southwest suburbs for decades.
His timing for going into municipal law was propitious, as the Chicago area was in the midst of its postwar boom and suburban cities and villages were blossoming throughout the region. Over the years, his firm's clients included suburbs from Alsip to Summit in addition to many municipal units such as park and library districts. He was a hands-on attorney who sat through many long, tedious sessions of city councils and village boards.
Read Mr. Cainkar's full obituary in the Chicago Tribune.

Burton Joseph 1930-2010

Posted on April 28, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Noted civil liberties attorney Burton Joseph, 79, of Evanston, passed away late last month in San Francisco. Mr. Joseph was a partner in the Chicago law firm of Joseph, Lichtenstein & Levinson. He defended activists arrested at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, acted as executive director of the Playboy Foundation and was a founding member of  Lawyers for the Creative Arts.
In his most celebrated case, in the late 1970s, he successfully persuaded the American Civil Liberties Union to back the National Socialist Party of America --a Nazi group -- in its efforts to be allowed to march through heavily Jewish Skokie. As the son of Jewish cemetery owners on Chicago's West Side, Mr. Joseph's stand cost him some friends, but "though he violently disagreed with what the Nazis said, he strongly believed in their right to say it," his daughter Jody said. The Nazis were eventually allowed to march but decided to do so in Chicago instead. The battle was later dramatized in the TV movie, "Skokie," and inspired scenes in "The Blues Brothers."
Obituaries for Mr. Joseph: Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Times

Dean W. Jackson 1955-2010

Posted on April 27, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Dean W. Jackson, 55, passed away on April 11 at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield. Mr. Jackson graduated from Galena High School and went on to study at Western Illinois University, University of Iowa, Oxford University England Queen's College Law School and Southern Illinois University School of Law. He was an attorney and was employed as the ICC Chief Administrative Law Judge since 2004. Click here to read the full obituary in the Springfield State Journal-Register.

Hon. Michael A. Orenic passes away

Posted on April 19, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Hon. Michael A. Orenic, 85, passed away at his Joliet home last Friday. Orenic was an ISBA Laureate Award Winner in 2006. The Laureate Award, the supreme honor bestowed by the Academy of Illinois Lawyers, is awarded to those deemed to exemplify the highest ideals of the profession. A graduate of the DePaul University College of Law, he was an Army Air Corps officer during World War II. Elected to the bench in 1964, Orenic was presiding judge in Will County for 16 years while the circuit included Kankakee and Iroquois Counties. He served as chief judge from 1977 to 1982 and from 1986 to 1988, and he retired in 1990 to spend more time with his nine children and ailing wife, who died in 1996.
Even before he retired in 1990, Orenic was "legendary" in the Will County courts, said Joliet attorney George Mahoney III, who had nominated Orenic for the laureate honors. "He was a fascinating guy -- a brilliant guy," Mahoney said. "He was a big guy with flowing white hair. He had this physical aura about him. He looked like a judge."
The 2006 Laureate Award Winners Obituary: Will County loses a "brilliant" judge

Philip Feder 1929-2010

Posted on April 14, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Retired attorney Philip G. Feder, 80, passed away late last month at Memorial Care Center in Belleville. Mr. Feder received both his undergraduate degree and his law degree from St. Louis University. His education at St. Louis University Law School was interrupted in 1952, when he was called to active duty in the Army. Read the full obituary in the Belleville News-Democrat