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James Wham 1918-2011

Posted on June 14, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
James B. Wham
ISBA Laureate James B. "Jim" Wham, 92, died May 20, 2011, in Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. He was a trial lawyer, practicing his entire career at Wham and Wham Attorneys in Centralia. A Laureate of the ISBA Academy of Lawyers, Wham actually was the inspiration for establishment of the Academy. His rousing speech at the 1998 Annual Meeting in St. Louis, where he received the General Practice Section Tradition of Excellence Award, led Cheryl I. Niro to implement the Laureate program during her presidency the following year. He was a veteran in World War II. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, and his daughters, Sarah Cary and Jennifer Price, and his brother, William B. Wham. Services have been held. Sign the online guestbook at

Michael J. Martin 1960-2011

Posted on June 14, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Michael J. Martin
Michael J. Martin, age 51; beloved husband of Karen Martin, nee Cecka; loving father of Kevin Michael Martin, James K. Martin and John R. Martin; dear son of Kenneth J. and H. Jane Martin; cherished brother of Therese A. (Mark) Hansen and James E. (Peggy) Martin; fond uncle of many nieces and nephews. Visitation Thursday 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Funeral Friday 9:15 AM from Adams-Winterfield & Sullivan Funeral Home, 4343 Main St. (1 blk. S. of Ogden) Downers Grove to St. Mary of Gostyn Church. Mass 10:00 AM. Interment Private. Memorials to Chicago Youth Programs, 5350 S. Prairie Ave., Chicago, IL 60615 or are appreciated. More information at 630-968-1000 or

Charles W. Chapman 1942-2011

Posted on June 8, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Charles W. Chapman
Former Madison County circuit judge and appellate court justice Charles W. Chapman passed away last month at his home in Edwardsville. He was a name partner in the law firm LakinChapman LLC in Wood River. Chapman served as Circuit Judge in the Third Judicial Circuit of Madison County from 1979 to 1988. He was elected in 1988 to the Appellate Court for the Fifth Judicial District, Mt. Vernon, Illinois and served until 2001.
Madison County Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian recalls when Chapman ran against him, but they still were close friends. "He was a hell of a nice guy. He was a good book man and a good trial lawyer," Matoesian said.
Chapman earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a doctor of jurisprudence from St. Louis University in 1967. He completed his coursework for a master's degree in economics in 1980 and a master of law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1992. Read the full obituary in the Alton Telegraph. Read the obituary by ISBA Member John J. Hopkins in the Madison St. Clair Record

Richard Manzella 1965-2011

Posted on June 7, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Richard Manzella
Richard M. “Rich” Manzella, 45, Normal, passed away on June 2 at Heartland Health Care Center in Normal, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Born Oct. 6, 1965, in Chicago, he was the son of Richard and Cathy Manzella. He married Veronica Harcar on June 15, 1996, at St. Stephen’s Church, Streator. She survives in Normal. He is also survived by his children, Matthew and Jennifer Manzella, Normal; his mother, Cathy Manzella-Hensley, Joliet; sisters, Lorrie (Grady) Bourland, Plainfield, and Julie (Ward) McCloskey, Marseilles; a brother, Joe (Linda) Manzella, Escondido, Calif.; maternal grandmother, Loretta Koren, Bolingbrook; father and mother-in-law, Andrew R. and Maria Harcar, Streator; a sister-in-law, Theresa (Tim) Graves, Streator; a brother-in-law, Andy Harcar, Streator; nieces and nephews, Emma Graves, Kyle McCloskey, Karlee McClosky, Miranda Bourland and Cody Bourland; a great-niece, Taylor Bourland; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his father, Richard Manzella Sr.; stepfather, Paul Hensley Sr.; maternal grandfather, John Koren; paternal grandparents, Frank and Josephine Manzella; and an uncle, Frank Gluting. Rich was a 1984 graduate of Romeoville High School and a 1988 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received a bachelor of science degree in psychology.

Christy S. Berkos 1926-2011

Posted on May 26, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Judge Christy S. Berkos passed away on May 10th, 2011 at the age of 85. Berkos was  a WWII Navy Veteran, the former Town of Cicero Attorney, Town of Cicero President & Criminal Court Judge of Cook County. He was  the beloved husband of Rita nee, Peacock, loving father of Cindy (Joel) Erickson, Daniel (Julie), & Kimberly (John) Kinnas; dear grandfather of Shane (Tim) Drey & Eric Sanford; uncle of many nieces & nephews.

Charles Flack 1927-2011

Posted on May 13, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Charles Flack
Charles "Chick" Flack, 83, passed away last month at Wesley Village Rehabilitation Center in Macomb. Mr. Flack attended Macomb schools and graduated from Northwester University in 1951 and Northwestern University Law School in 1954. He joined his father and George B. Kerman in the practice of law in 1954 and practiced until his retirement from Flack, McRaven and Stephen's in 1997. Mr. Flack served in the U.S. Navy during World War II aboard the carrier USS Enterprise and USS Midway. Read the full obituary in the McDonough Voice.

Dorothy W. Spomer 1921-2011

Posted on April 27, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Dorothy W. Spomer
Southern Illinois lost a legal pioneer on Saturday, April 23. Dorothy Wilbourn Spomer, 90, passed away in Cape Girardeau. Dorothy held the distinction of being the first woman judge in Southern Illinois, having been elected Alexander County Judge in 1950 and later Circuit Judge. After 27 years, she retired from the bench, only to soon be appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to become the first female to sit on the Fifth District Appellate Court. She left the court in 1980 and joined the practice of law with her husband, W.C. Spomer. They practiced as Spomer and Spomer until 1992. Judge Spomer graduated at the age of 22 with honors from the University of Illinois School of Law, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif. Her first case after law school was with her father, attorney Asa Wilbourn, before the Supreme Court, where she argued and won an election contest lawsuit. During her judicial career, Judge Spomer heard cases throughout Southern Illinois and garnered the reputation as a principled, fair-minded jurist. Quiet and demur, she led by example. Always prepared and proficient in shorthand, it was not unusual for her notes to rival those of the court reporter. In 2009, she was a recipient of Southern Illinois University's Inspiring Women of Achievement Award.

Robert G. Kirchner 1956-2011

Posted on April 19, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Robert G. Kirchner, 54, of Urbana passed away on Sunday, April 17. He was a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law and had practiced in Champaign County for more than two decades.
"He was unique among the Champaign County Bar for how aggressive he was, what a bulldog he was," says fellow attorney Tom Bruno. "We lawyers have an ethical obligation to act in the best interests of our clients, and he would do anything to fulfill that obligation."
Funeral arrangements are pending at Renner-Wikoff Chapel and Crematory, 1900 Philo Road, Urbana. Read the full obituary in the Champaign News-Gazette

Scott M. Smith 1965-2011

Posted on April 14, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Scott Michael Smith, of rural Cambridge, passed away on Sunday, April 3, 2011. Scott began his law career as an associate for two years at the law firm of Kell, Nuelle and Loizzo, in Woodstock. He was honored to be a shareholder in the Cambridge firm of Telleen, Horberg, Smith and Carmen, P.C. for the past 17 years. Scott's primary areas of practice were corporate transactions, municipal government, real estate, estate planning and estate administration. He was an honors graduate of Oregon High School in 1983. He completed his undergraduate degree magna cum laude at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1987, majoring in accounting, receiving his CPA accreditation in 1992. He graduated from Northern Illinois University College of Law, magna cum laude, in 1992. Scott was active in many community and service organizations, including Cambridge/Geneseo Chapter of Rebuilding Together, Cambridge Rotary Club, Cambridge Academic Foundation, and served as president for all these organizations. He also served on the boards of Black Hawk College Foundation, Junior Achievement, Brave Heart Child Advocacy Center and was named Volunteer of the Year in 2008. He was on the board of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, past president of the Henry County Bar Association and a member of the Illinois and American Bar Associations. He was a member of the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants and the Christian Legal Society. He is survived by his wife Beth and his four children. Read the full obituary in the Ogle County News

Hon. Angelo Mistretta 1925-2011

Posted on April 13, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Hon. Angelo D. Mistretta, passed away on Monday, April 11, 2011; beloved husband and best friend of Ruth A., nee Welter, for 59 years; loving father of Mark (Diane) and Scott Mistretta; proud grandfather of Matthew and Jason; born to the late Rosario and Maria Mistretta, on Feb. 16, 1925, in Chicago (old Taylor Street neighborhood). Angelo was an inspiring uncle to many and a friend to all who had the pleasure of knowing him; brother of Josephine Vullo, and the late Michelina Strazzantti, Bella Boulahanis, Salvatore Mistretta and Jeannie Hamza. Angelo served in WWII and after the war graduated from Valparaiso University Law School. He began his career as a Cook County state's attorney, and then went on to head his own private law practice, before being elected as a full circuit court judge. Following retirement he continued working in arbitration and mediations. He was a former president of the Justinian Society and a member of SACA. Angelo embraced his Italian and Sicilian heritage, and shared it with his family. Angelo's work ethic, unrivaled wit and great emphasis on family and friends are all characteristics to be admired. Visitation will be 2 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 14, at Coglianese Funeral Home, 7508 County Line Rd., Burr Ridge (south of I55 on Frontage Rd.). Funeral service 10 a.m. Friday, April 15, at the funeral home. Interment will be Bronswood Cemetery, Oakbrook. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to your charity of choice. Info: (630) 654-8484.