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Hon. Thomas R. Flood 1926-2010

Posted on January 19, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
The Hon. Thomas R. Flood, 83, of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, passed away Monday at Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Fla. Thomas, the son of the late James and Florence Flood, was born in Red Oak, Iowa, on Jan. 27, 1926. He moved to Maywood in 1936, and graduated from Proviso High School in 1944. Judge Flood attended the University of Notre Dame as a member of the V12 program and received his law degree from Loyola University School of Law in 1949. He received his license to practice law in the State of Illinois in 1949. As a member of the United States Navy, Judge Flood served his country during World War II in the Pacific Theater and in Japan. Recalled to the Navy in 1951, he served as a lieutenant aboard the USS Mt. McKinley in the Korean Conflict and was later assigned to the Judge Advocate General staff until his discharge in 1953. Judge Flood began his law career as corporate counsel for the Aurora and Elgin Railway Company in Elmhurst. In 1955, he moved to Streator and became associated with the law office of Daniel McMullen. In 1957, he opened his own practice in Streator as well as serving as a special prosecutor for the LaSalle County State's Attorney and as City Attorney for the City of Streator. Judge Flood was appointed to the bench as a circuit judge for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in LaSalle County in March of 1973 where he served until his retirement in 1990. Upon retirement, Judge Flood relocated to Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., building a home at the PGA National Golf Club. He was an avid golfer. He also enjoyed competitive bridge, square dancing and the Chicago Bears. Judge Flood married Theresa (Gore) Flood on February 11, 1950, in Elmhurst. He is survived by his beloved wife, his son J.D.

Arthur Gorov 1932-2010

Posted on January 19, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Longtime ISBA member Arthur Gorov passed away last week at his home in Montana. The Chicago native worked at the personal-injury law firm of Berkson, Gorov and Levin before heading up the legal research department for Cook County Circuit Court. He and his wife moved to Montana seven years ago.
"He always declared eagles carried his heart with them," said Billie Lee, his wife, friend and companion of 31 years. "They were the reflection of his soul."
Read the full obituary in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Michael E. Lavelle Sr. 1938-2009

Posted on January 18, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Election law expert Michael E. Lavelle Sr. passed away last month after years of battling lupus and liver disease. Mr. Lavelle was a native of County Galway, Ireland, and servied in the Marines from 1957-1960. He received a bachelor's degree from Loyola University and a law degree from John Marshall Law School.
"People called him the election czar," his son said. "He took a lot of heat as head of the Chicago election board, but I never heard him speak badly of anybody. He could be trading heated comments with somebody, and later on they would be friends."
Click here to read the obituary in the Chicago Sun-Times Click here to read the obituary in the Chicago Tribune

Barbara Downs passes away

Posted on January 14, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Barbara Downs
Barbara Downs
Barbara A. Downs, Wife and Partner of Robert K. Downs of Downs Law Offices, P.C., recently passed away. Barb and Bob met on July 4, became engaged Aug. 1 and were married Nov. 30, 1963.  They have 2 children, Christopher and Kelli (Steve) Seales and 2 grandchildren, Zach and Amanda. Barb worked as a child welfare worker to help put Bob through law school.  She received a P.H.T. (Putting Hubby Through) Degree from Stetson University College of Law in 1965. Barb received her JD from DePaul University in 1984.  She also had an LLM in taxation.  She received her B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1961. Member, Family Law Section Council, Sub-Committee on Supreme Court Rules; Association of Family and Conciliation Courts; West Suburban and DuPage County Bar Associations; Past member of the Estate and Probate Section Council. In or about December 2008, Barb wrote an article for the ISBA Family Law Section Council's newsletter regarding an unfair transfer tax on the division of property in divorce cases that caught the attention of many, including Ald. Ed Burke.  Action is pending in the Chicago City Council. She was a partner in life and the law to Bob and a loving mother to Chris and Kelli.

James C. Chiakulas 1940-2009

Posted on January 5, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
James C. Chiakulas, 69, of Chicago, passed away last month on the North Side. Mt. Chiakulas was born and raised in Chicago and graduated from John Marshall Law School.
A lawyer and union leader, Mr. Chiakulas fought to improve the working conditions of teachers across the Chicago area. He headed a group that advocated for Greeks living under Turkish rule on the Mediterranean Island of Cyprus. He was an accomplished jazz musician, said his son-in-law, Paul Chronis.
Read the full obituary in the Chicago Tribune

Elizabeth Kutyla-Miner passes away

Posted on January 5, 2010 by Chris Bonjean
Elizabeth Kutyla-Miner passed away after a six and a half year battle with ovarian cancer on Dec. 21. Liz graduated from the University of Chicago in 1984 and from the University of Chicago School of Law in 1987. She held positions for two major law firms before finding her calling in 1994 as Associate General Counsel, then General Counsel of Barton Brands. During her 14-year tenure at Barton, Liz guided the company through many successful acquistions. Read the full obituary at

Sidney Davidson 1915-2009

Posted on December 30, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
Longtime Peoria lawyer Sidney D. Davidson passed away on Sunday, Dec. 28, at Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minn. Mr. Davidson graduated from Manual High School and Bradley University. He received his law degree from the University of Illinois in 1939. He served in the Pacific during World War II, including stints at General MacArthur's headquarters in Manila and Tokyo. He was an active member of the Illinois State Bar Association, serving as a member of its Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Section Council. Click here to read the full obituary in the Post-Bulletin.

Elmore Boeger 1914-2009

Posted on December 29, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
Elmore Boeger, 95, has died of congestive heart failure at Bridgeway Christian Village in Bensenville. Mr. Boeger was born and raised in Hillside. Mr. Boeger graduated from Proviso High School in 1932 and received his undergraduate and law degrees from Valparaiso University. He joined his father's Chicago law firm in 1938.
Mr. Boeger may be best known for coming up with the name Triton College as a way to acknowledge the three west Cook County high school districts that came together to create the near west suburban junior college. Mr. Boeger was on Triton's board for the River Grove school's first dozen years and liked the sound of Triton, said his son, Milton.
Click here to read the full obituary in the Chicago Tribune

Richard J. Berry passes away

Posted on December 17, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
Streator attorney Richard J. Berry, 57, died in a two-vehicle crash last night. Berry was first licensed to practice law in Illinois in 1977 and has been with the firm of Myers, Berry, O'Conor & Kuzma, which has offices in Streator and Ottawa. Berry's firm issued a statement expressing their sense of loss on Thursday morning. "The firm of Myers, Berry, O'Conor & Kuzma, Ltd. has lost a valued partner and friend in Richard J. Berry. Mr. Berry was a vigorous litigator dedicated to upholding the rights and interests of his clients. He will be missed, as will the passion he brought to all he did." Click here to read the obituary in the Ottawa Times.

Bernard Grimes 1911-2009

Posted on December 16, 2009 by Chris Bonjean
Longtime ISBA member Bernard Grimes passed away last month at Martin Health Center, Bloomington. Bernard was a graduate of Trinity High School, Illinois State Normal University and the University of Illinois Law School. He practiced law in Bloomington his entire life. He was a member of Holy Trinity Church, Knights of Columbus, Bloomington Country Club and Lakeside Country Club, all in Bloomington. Click here to read the full obituary in the Bloomington Pantagraph.