Deceased Classmates

Remembering our classmates of 1964 that have gone on before us…..

Ronald Albert
Greg Anderson
James Basta
John Bates
Bryan Benedict
Marty Berg
James Blatt
Richard Booth
Patty Clawson-Steinman
Cathy Colgrass-Edwards
MaryKay Collins-McCormick
Jane Corrigan
Henry Danihel
Gary Echerer
Donna Eisner
Betty Fanchi-Dumke
Dave Fortune
George Frost
Jim Gibson
Gail Graves-Fetterolf
Peggy Gray LaMere
Nancy Heilenbach
Ann Helmboldt
Randy Herman
Cynthia Hurlbut
Pamela Jaske-Preucil
Karen Kobzan
Pat Kondla
Rick Kotek
Kenneth Keliher
Bill Krabec
Iline Kucera-Karela
Charles Lanzel
Gregory LeGros
Marie Lonigro-Stahulak
Marie Matias-Richter
Judy Mazac
Leland Meinhart
George Melichar
Dennis Miller
Patricia Mueller-Konfrst
Richard Mueller
Barbara Nicholson-Banks
John Ourand
Terry Parker
Fred Paul
Dick Pekarek
Richard Peters
Dale Phillip
Ron Rajsky
Tom Rode
Howard Ruck
Jack Rutschman
Arlene Schmidt
Judy Sedlak-Tlapa
Doug Smith
Tom Steinbrecher
Jack Stejskal
Steve Smrt
Bill Strampp
Rick Tripple
Bob Tuma
Arnette Valis-Hintz
Jack J. Vesecky
Beverly Vogel
Cheryl Walther-Waites
Bob Watt
Larry Weiler
Richard Welsh
Tom Wicar
Cindy Worcester-Smith
Walter Wray
Vince Zitello

If you have information about other RBHS Class of 1964 Classmates that have passed on, please “Leave a Reply” so we can include their name on the Memorial List.

68 Responses to Deceased Classmates

  1. Webmaster September 10, 2019 at 3:45 pm #

    Richard M. Peters

    • Sue Kosik Aldridge December 14, 2019 at 9:45 am #

      MaryBeth Bergman Bartik passed away on August 28, 2019 after a short illness.

  2. Webmaster July 6, 2019 at 2:05 pm #

    George Melichar 4/30/1946 – 6/22/2015

    George Melichar

    • DALE PHILLIP August 27, 2019 at 3:39 pm #

      Just a brief heads up. Dale Phillip just passed away on July 24th of Cancer. Dale and I lived together in San Diego, California for the last 12 years, were business partners, best friends and very supportive of and devoted to each other. She was an incredible woman and I wish I had met her 50 years ago. She is missed greatly and I will be returning her ashes to Woodlawn Cemetary in Forest Park where her family has a large plot.

      If anyone remembers Dale, I would welcome any comments you might want to share.
      Michael Murray

      P.S. Dale had an older sister who also went to RBHS and also graduated from Northwestern U. The sisters have been estranged from one another for many years but at last calculation, Grace (older sister) was living in Big Fork, MT. I think she should know her baby sister has passed away.

  3. Webmaster July 3, 2019 at 5:21 pm #

    Peggy Gray Lamere – 3/1/2009

  4. Kevin Keogh June 16, 2019 at 9:14 am #

    Hi Kevin! I am letting you know Dennis Miller past away a year ago. His sister Debby is living
    in Lyons.

    Have fun at your Reunion,
    Christine Brakas Class of 1972 (Dennis was my cousin)

  5. Webmaster May 9, 2019 at 12:42 pm #

    Richard Ray Mueller
    Deceased 8/22/1945 – 6/11/2007

  6. Webmaster April 5, 2019 at 9:40 am #

    Pamela Jo Jaske-Preucil
    Deceased 1/8/1946 – 8/21/2011

  7. Webmaster April 3, 2019 at 11:01 pm #

    William A Strampp
    Age: Deceased 1/28/1946 – 4/30/1995

  8. Webmaster April 3, 2019 at 10:59 pm #

    Donna M Eisner
    Age: Deceased 3/31/1946 – 8/12/2006

  9. Webmaster April 3, 2019 at 10:57 pm #

    Marie L Lonigro-Stahulak
    Age: Deceased 4/9/1946 – 6/21/2001

  10. Susan Kempe Roedell March 31, 2019 at 5:03 pm #

    Is there an obituary for Bill Strampp? This is the first time I’ve seen him on the deceased list.

  11. Webmaster February 11, 2019 at 9:51 am #

    Ron Rajsky deceased unexpectedly in 2014. His 2 daughters Kim and Tracey deceased unexpectedly 8 and 10 months later. He is survived by JoAnn, his loving wife of 47 years. He served 4 years proudly in the Air Force. He retired from Volvo Truck as VP of International Marketing and Military Sales .

  12. James Husiak October 9, 2017 at 11:08 am #

    If anyone reads this. Does anyone have knowledge of Bob Ponsonby or Jan Janus?

    • Webmaster October 9, 2017 at 1:14 pm #

      Robert M Ponsonby is 71 Years old. Robert’s phone numbers include (414) 745-9202. Robert’s possible relatives include Renee D Ponsonby, Erika L Brown, Rita L Patterson, Benny Ronald Brown and Bette J Steffens.

      Robert’s most recent address is 2761 Park, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118. Robert previously lived at 2761 Park Boulevard Cleveland, Cleveland, OH 44118 for less than a year, 131 Sangamon, Lincoln, IL 62656 for 1 year, Broward, FL for 2011 years

      Jan D Janus is 71 Years old. Jan’s phone numbers include (858) 748-2063, (858) 385-9063 and (619) 748-2063. Jan’s possible relatives include Shirley F Janus, William R Janus and Dallas Fritter.

      Jan’s most recent address is 363 Kuikahi, Wailuku, HI 96793. Jan previously lived at 16425 Caminito Vecinos, San Diego, CA 92128, 13022 Creek Park, Poway, CA 92064 for 25 years, San Diego, CA, Maui, HI for 9 years

  13. Webmaster April 12, 2017 at 8:23 pm #

    Added the following classmates to the deceased list.
    John Ourand – 2017
    Fred Paul – 2011
    Bob Watt – 2007
    Donna Eisner – 2006
    Bob Tuma – 2004
    George Frost – 2002
    Ann Helmboldt – 1996

    If you have information about other classmates that have passed, please identify their name in “Leave a Reply”

    • Joyce Setton Hein August 6, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

      Double check your facts on Ted Kielch. He resides (very much alive) at 3621 Arden Ave., Brookfield.

      • Webmaster August 6, 2017 at 7:54 pm #

        It’s good to know that Ted is alive and well in Brookfield. I’ll take him off the deceased list.

    • Kim Smrt August 7, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

      Steve Smrt
      3112 Park Ave.
      Brookfield, IL 60513
      Steve passed away on Sept. 10th, 2016

      • Joe Hrach August 7, 2017 at 5:46 pm #

        Kim, thanks for sharing the passing of Steve. Sorry for your loss.
        Steve Smrt Obit

  14. Webmaster March 31, 2017 at 8:14 pm #

    John Robert Watt III


    John Robert “Rob” Watt III, 61, ended his battle with highly aggressive brain cancer on Wednesday, August 29, 2007, at home in Fort Myers, FL.

    Rob was born in Chicago IL on February 11, 1946, the son of the late John Robert Jr. and Florence (Kaktis) Watt.

    He attended Riverside Brookfield High School, graduating in 1964. Rob spent 10 years in the Air Force which included a tour in Vietnam. Rob had a lifelong concern for the welfare of children. While in Vietnam, Rob lent his time and support to a local orphanage with aid from his home church in Riverside IL. While stationed in Germany and Dover DE, Rob pursued one of his passions by receiving a Bachelors degree in History and spent the majority of his career in the fields of advertising, sales and education.

    Rob embraced all that life had to offer and made sure others shared in his happiness. During the course of his life, Rob was a foster parent to over a dozen children. His devotion to helping others was inspiration to all those who knew him.

    Rob loved family. Rob had 2 daughters from his first marriage, became a stepfather to a son and daughter with his wife, Becky. At a time when most parents celebrate children leaving the nest, Rob opened his heart again and adopted 3 special needs children under the age of five. Out of seven children, five have married allowing Rob to become a grandfather to nine with one on the way.

    Rob is survived by his wife and life partner of more than 28 years, Rebecca “Becky” (Merrill) Watt, his daughter, Tonia (Matthew) Young and their children Emily, Jayden, Coyle, Jaryd, and Jake of Orlando; his son, Timothy Meyer and grandson, James of Fort Myers; his daughter, Julie-Anne (Dan) Suby and their children Andrew and Beck of Colorado; his daughter, Jennifer (Rich) Erixon and their daughter, Julia of Colorado; his daughter, Kim (Ian) Forsythe who are expecting a son in November Damian Robert of Ft Myers; and twins, Cheyenne and Travis Watt of Ft. Myers. Also survived by his mother Florence (Kaktis) Watt of Riverside, IL; his sister, Becky (Chuck) Simon and brother, Bruce (Marcia) Watt; and several nieces and nephews.

  15. Webmaster March 31, 2017 at 10:11 am #

    John Ourand passed away on December 28, 2015. He had been having health issues for some time.
    Obituary for John Ourand
    John C. Ourand, 69, of Lewisberry, PA died Monday, December 28, 2015 at Harrisburg Hospital.
    A retired golf pro, he enjoyed golfing and playing pool.
    He was born July 26, 1946 in Ogden, UT to the late James and Laverna (Jensen) Ourand.
    He is survived by his wife, Karen Ann (Speese) Ourand; two sons, Scott J. of Pittsburgh and Thomas J. of Lewisberry; a sister, Susan O. Laxson of Naples, FL; and brother, James Ourand of San Diego, CA.
    Memorial services will be held at the convenience of the family. Interment will be in Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Hanover Twp.
    In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Penn State Hershey Medical Center Department of Rheumatology for Dermatomyositis, Penn State Hershey, 90 Hope DriveA120 Hershey PA 17033, indicate on memo line either John’s name or Rheumatology/Dermatomyositis.

  16. Webmaster May 17, 2016 at 11:40 am #

    Cheryl Walther Waites passed away May 15, 2016. Cheryl attended RBHS her freshman year 1960-1961.

    Condolences can be sent to her family and son Gary Skrip via Facebook.

    Cheryl Walther Waites

  17. Carol Novak Breese February 12, 2016 at 12:09 am #

    Unfortunately I was not able to attend our 50th reunion. I too am saddened by the number of classmates who have passed. I knew Dick Pekarek had passed, and that was a real shock – knew him since 2nd grade at Komarek. Was good friends with Karen Kobzan all through Komarek and R-B, but somehow we lost touch after graduation. Does anyone know anything about her passing?

    • michael kobzan March 1, 2016 at 10:32 pm #

      Carol Novak:

      This is Mike Kobzan her brother. Karen Kobzan passed away in 1992 from breast cancer. She lived in Downers Grove at the time, and she was very successful in the medical profession. She died at the age of 45….way to young.

      I am retired in Scottsdale , AZ and if you want, you can contact me @ to talk.

      Mike Kobzan – Brother

  18. Chuck Kelley January 25, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    I have been looking for a Rick Tripple and wondering if the one listed here is one and the same? I use to work with Rick at W.W. Grainger back in the late 80’s and I know he used to live in Seattle prior to that and had moved to the greater Chicago area where I believe he stayed. The last I heard, I believe he left Grainger to work for a wholesaler of HVAC parts out west and then moved back to the Chicago area back in the mid 90’s. The picture shown does look like him but of course, much younger. He had a wife named Trudy….if someone could please verify if this is him or not, it would be most appreciated!
    Please email me at

  19. Lori Cole November 1, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

    Judy Mazac passed away on December 17, 2010 from cancer.

  20. Webmaster August 12, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

    Obituary for Cathy Colgrass Edwards

    Cathy Colgrass Edwards

    Cathy Colgrass Edwards, a lifelong Brookfield resident and longtime village official, died Aug. 5, 2015 at her home in the 3600 block of Madison Avenue. She was 68 years old.

    At the time of her death, Edwards was serving as Brookfield’s village clerk, an office to which she was elected in 2013. For the eight years prior to that, Edwards was a village trustee, first elected in 2005 when the PEP Party re-established itself as the dominant political party in the village.

    Edwards seemingly knew everyone in the village — or if she didn’t know someone personally, she knew members of their family or friends. She was omnipresent in the village and was particularly active and involved in organizations serving Brookfield’s senior citizens.

    While she was on the village board, Edwards was assigned as the local government’s liaison to its senior citizens, a role she continued as clerk.

    “She was ‘Miss Brookfield,'” said Brigid Weber, who lived across the street from Edwards and served as village clerk while Edwards was a trustee. The two became close friends after Weber and her husband, Mark, moved into their home in 1995.

    Edwards came across the street to welcome Weber to the neighborhood and asked, during that very first conversation, “So, who are you going to vote for?”

    “That’s how she got us into PEP,” Weber said. “She was recruiting, even when trying to make friends.”

    Edwards grew up in Brookfield and graduated from Riverside-Brookfield High School in 1964. She was married briefly, to her high school sweetheart.

    For many years, Edwards worked in Chicago for an insurance company but started to become actively involved in Brookfield politics in the 1980s. That she would have been part of village government wasn’t surprising.

    Her father, Michael C. Colgrass, was Brookfield’s postmaster for 38 years. According to the book Brookfield, Illinois: A History, Michael Colgrass oversaw the move of the post office to its present location on Prairie Avenue and was president of the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce. He was also president of the Kiwanis Club and the Brookfield Historical Society.

    Edwards began her involvement in village government as a member of the Special Events Commission and helped organize Brookfest, the annual summer event held for many years in Ehlert Park.

    In 1995, she began working as a paid staffer in the Brookfield Department of Parks and Recreation and was named its director in 1996. Edwards held that position until April 2003, when she was forced out of the post during a period when PEP didn’t control the village board, in what was described at the time as an early retirement.

    Two years later, she was on PEP’s ticket as a trustee candidate and the party swept back into power. Since 2007, PEP has held every seat on the village board; Edwards sat at the board table as trustee or clerk during that entire period.

    “Our community will feel her loss,” said Village President Kit Ketchmark, who was elected as village trustee in 2001 as a member of the VIP Party, but jumped to PEP in 2005 and served alongside Edwards on the board.

    “There are so many different people’s lives she touched in so many ways,” Ketchmark said. “She was someone who could have a conversation with anyone and everyone.”

    Although Edwards had suffered through a litany of health issues over the years, including a two-week stay at the hospital in April after surgery to remove an intestinal blockage, her death came as a surprise to her friends.

    Edwards attended the Brookfield Farmers Market on Aug. 1 before heading up to Door County, Wisconsin, with a friend that day. But after complaining of not feeling well, Edwards returned home after just a couple of days.

    Weber said Edwards complained of back pain and had a doctor’s appointment set for the afternoon of Aug. 5. Police making a well-being check at Edwards’ home that evening confirmed her death.

    “I know she had some health issues, but I really didn’t expect it,” said Trustee Michael Garvey, who was elected president of the village as part of the PEP slate in 2005.

    Garvey, like others Edwards knew, described her as a loyal friend and someone who was always looking to better the village.

    “If anyone could touch one-tenth of the lives she touched, we’d all consider ourselves very successful,” Garvey said.

    Edwards was the mother of Hershyl “Mike” N. (Christine) Edwards; the daughter of the late Michael C. Colgrass and Anna V. Colgrass (nee Hand); the sister of Gloria Colgrass-Lokay and Michael (Ulla) Colgrass; and the aunt of many nieces and nephews.

  21. Webmaster August 6, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    Cathy Colgrass Edwards passed away August 5, 2015. Cathy had several health issues in the past year.

  22. Janis Vesecky Chapman June 29, 2015 at 10:56 am #

    While trying to contact classmates about our 70th birthday cruise, sadly I heard that another classmate is no longer with us. Charles Lanzel’s wife wrote this note to me:

    Just to let you know, my husband Charles Lanzel past away in May of 2010 after a battle with cancer.
    Sincerely , Nancy Lanzel

  23. Joanne (Kofron) Carlson September 20, 2014 at 10:51 am #

    Karen Kobzan died shortly after our 25th Reunion. I was so glad to have that opportunity to reconnect and share many laughs and memories.

  24. Sheryll (Ward) Soderdahl July 31, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    I last spoke to Jean Nelson about 20 years ago, when Cindy Worcester died. Jean had gone to California to stay with Cindy during the final stages of her cancer, but I believe she and her husband owned a business in Michigan.

    I believe that Jack Simmons and his wife retired and moved from Colorado to Arizona.

    Sue Starcevich was busy raising her children in Indiana 25 years ago.

  25. Ray Matzelle June 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    Here is the obituary for Lee Meinhart, a good friend of mine throughout high school and college:
    Leland C. “Lee” Meinhart, 47, a senior project engineer for Sun Chemical Corp. in Northlake, died of a heart attack Sunday in Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove. Mr. Meinhart was a longtime resident of Brookfield before recently moving to Downers Grove. He and his wife, Linda, were expecting their first children, twins, due in December. Mr. Meinhart received a bachelor’s degree in enginering from the University of Illinois and a master’s in business administration from Loyola University. He had worked at Sun Chemical for more than 15 years. In addition to his wife, Mr. Meinhart is survived by his mother, Gertrude, and two brothers. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday in Hitzeman Funeral Home Ltd., 9445 W. 31st St., Brookfield.

  26. Dale Phillip June 22, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    I am saddened and quite surprised at the number of classmates who have passed away…I still consider myself young! As one of the yearbook editors our senior year, so many of the names are familiar but the faces escape me…I have not personally kept in touch with anyone from high school but just the idea of this year marking our 50th reunion blows my mind. I wish everyone a joyous and memory-filled event. Wish I could attend personally, but I will be there in spirit. Blessings.

    Dale Phillip
    San Diego, CA

  27. Joe Hrach June 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    Added Terry Parker, Howard Ruck, and Richard Welsh to Deceased list.

  28. Robert Duran June 9, 2014 at 2:04 am #

    My super friend & classmate of ours, Carl Matzelle informed me last year that Allen Terry Parker passed away. He read about it in the paper from Naperville where they both lived. Someone on the committee needs to check out his obituary?

    • Joe Hrach June 9, 2014 at 9:43 am #

      Obituary for Terry Allen Parker
      Parker, Terry , Age 64, a resident of Naperville, IL since 1975, formerly of Riverside, IL, died Sunday, March 27, 2011 at his home. He was born November 29, 1946 in Chicago, IL. Loving husband of Jo (nee Havelhorst) Parker, whom he married March 1, 1975, beloved father of Amanda Parker of Naperville, devoted son of Edith Parker of Riverside, IL and the late Allen “Doc” Parker, with whom Terry is currently enjoying a celestial game of golf as well as preparing for the upcoming White Sox season, dear brother of Dr. Timothy (Diane) Parker of Jacksonville, FL, loving brother-in-law of Karen Scotellaro of Aurora, IL, Sue (Ray) Jagman of Downers Grove, IL and Michael (Yelba) Havelhorst of Pittsburgh, CA, fond uncle of Katie, Christopher and Ryan Parker; Sarah (Brian) Burk and Michael Scotellaro; Jessica and Chris Havelhorst. Terry held an undergraduate degree from North Central College in Naperville and received his masters degree in Psychology from Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal. He worked as a School Psychologist in the East Aurora School District #131 for 35 years where his gentle diplomatic style contributed to team success as well as helping many children. He will be fondly remembered for his love of the White Sox, Bulls, Bears, golf and model trains. The family would like to gratefully acknowledge the compassionate care provided by the staff at Naperville’s Edward Cancer Center, most especially, Dr. Maria Quejada and nurses, Sue, Diane, Kim and Deb as well as any other staff member that contributed to Terry’s care. In lieu of flowers, memorials to: Edward Cancer Center or American Cancer Society .

  29. Nancy Garnhart Havlik June 8, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

    Rick Welsh passed away many years ago. He was my neighbor and friend. He spent his high school life in a wheel chair with a muscular disease. He was brilliant, and had a great sense of humor. He married and had a good life.

    • Joe Hrach June 9, 2014 at 9:57 am #

      Hi Nancy, do you remember roughly when he died and where were you living at the time? I may be able to find the obit.

      • Nancy Garnhart Havlik June 15, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

        Joe, it was at least 14-15 years ago that Rick passed on the east coast. his Mom and my Mom were good friends, and that is where I got my info from. My Mom has been gone for 12 years.

        • tlsipusic July 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

          Rick Welsh had muscular dystrophy, I’m pretty sure. When I met him in the chess club, he was still walking, but it took him a long time to get from class to class. By college, The University of Illinois, he was in a wheel chair. He was very proud to know Dick Butkus, who lived in his dormitory. Rick graduated with a degree in chemical engineering and got his PhD in that subject from Northwestern University. He got a job at Bell Labs in New Jersey. Then I lost track of him. His parents had moved, to live near him, I think. A letter to Bell Labs was never answered. He was always, upbeat, determined and cheerful. A good man.

    • Tom Jankovsky August 20, 2014 at 10:51 pm #

      Richard Welsh lived down the block from me on 8th Ave. We use to play Chess and board games. He even designed a great board game, using a World Map, that we played for many years.

      Old, but good, memories.

  30. Dick Rous June 8, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

    Terry Parker passed away in March 2011 from cancer.

  31. Janis Vesecky Chapman June 3, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

    Kenneth Keliher died 3/29/99 – age 52 – I received a note from his wife who still lives at 333 Birch, Kimberly, WI 54136

  32. Paul Skopal May 26, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    Hey, what is with Marty Berg? He was in San Antonio with me. In fact we had breakfast about 18 months ago. Any info on his passing? Damn

    • Darrell Dvorak May 26, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

      Marty was a diabetic and for some reason missed an injection and died in April last year. I had recently re-connected with Marty and was looking forward to getting together. In his later years he revealed an artistic talent that he displayed on Youtube (I think).

  33. Paul Stack May 23, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    Tom Wicar and I graduated together from the University of Arizona. We lost touch but I found out a few years ago that he had been murdered during a robbery in Tucson, Az.

    • Joe Hrach May 23, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

      From the Tucson Morning Star:
      Tom M Wicar 1946 – 2004 was born on February 25, 1946. Tom died on January 10, 2004 at 57 years old.
      Tucson man’s death probed as murder
      The victim, who was discovered Sunday, is identified as 57-year-old Thomas Wicar.
      TUCSON – Pima County Sheriff’s Office detectives are investigating the discovery of a dead man inside an apartment here.
      He died from what appears to have been a gunshot wound, detectives said.
      An investigation has led to the arrest of 26-year-old Eric Pesqueira. He was charged with first-degree murder and booked into Pima County Jail.
      A motive for the shooting was not released.

  34. Joan Lensner May 22, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

    Joy,I am so happy to know you are alive. I have been thinking about you for years. One of the class booklets listed you as deceased! Hope to see you alive and well at the reunion.

    Your long lost friend, Joan Vallandigham Lensner

  35. Cathy Colgrass-Edwards May 21, 2014 at 11:19 pm #

    Katie – is it possible you’re mixing up the death of Marie with the death of Betty Fanchi? Betty was killed in a car accident when we were about 21. The accident happened in Germany where she was living with her husband who was in the service.

    • Katie Gabel May 25, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

      Cathy, I too remember the details of Betty Fanchi passing, just not certain about Marie, though still seem to recall an auto accident. I’ll have my sister check into with her resources.

  36. Joe Hrach May 21, 2014 at 12:16 am #

    Obituary for Patty Clawson Steinman
    Patty (Clawson) Steinman: 1946 – 2006
    Lowe syndrome was her cause
    Mother of a son with the disability, she co-founded a group to support others
    August 30, 2006|By Patricia Trebe, Special to the Tribune.
    When her son was born with obvious disabilities, it didn’t take Patty Steinman long to spring into action. She researched his symptoms and came up with a diagnosis of Lowe syndrome even before the doctors.
    And at the time, she was told her son would only live to age 2. Refusing to accept that prognosis, Mrs. Steinman found the best care, teachers and professionals to help her son, Fritz, live to the age of 33.

    “Fritz exceeded every expectation,” said her husband, Rick. “By the time he died [last year] he could read. You couldn’t stop him from talking. He knew the words to every Beatles song ever written.”
    “Patty made him what he was. Patty never let him quit. He learned how to walk, dress himself. He had wonderful teachers and therapists but Patty was the one who found the wonderful teachers and wonderful programs,” her husband said.
    Mrs. Steinman, 60, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Wednesday, Aug. 23 in MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn.
    Through the Lowe Syndrome Association, Mrs. Steinman helped other parents cope with children afflicted with the disability–a rare genetic condition that only affects males and causes various physical and mental handicaps and serious medical conditions, including kidney and neurological problems. The group she helped form with other parents more than two decades ago has grown into an international organization.
    The association started with a four-hour phone call Mrs. Steinman made to Kaye McSpadden whose son also had Lowe syndrome.
    “It’s hard to describe what that phone conversation was like,” McSpadden said. “Patty could share with me what was ahead. She stressed … to not be afraid and face the brutal honest truth about things with humor and confidence, but also to let me know that this is doable.”
    Along with six other parents, the group was formed in 1983. McSpadden served as president and Mrs. Steinman was vice president.
    Mrs. Steinman approached her life as a wife, mother, businesswoman and volunteer with determination, seeing any situation through.
    As the public relations professional for the Oak Brook Polo Club, she handled press relations for everything from the arrival of the Prince of Wales to the usual Sunday polo matches.
    Mrs. Steinman researched and found Seguin Services in Cicero for her son, and became a member of its board of directors. Her tireless work with the Riverside Chapter of the Infant and Welfare Society landed her a position as vice president on the group’s Auxiliary Board.
    “She was a mover and shaker by all means,” said Minnie Sandstedt, a friend and fellow board member. “Everybody enjoyed working with her because of her personality. She could motivate people to do things even though they said they would never do it again.”
    “You never heard her complain. She never had anybody concentrated on her. She turned the eyeball back to everyone else. She brought joy and information, and she was able to delegate as well. She was just a fabulous friend,” Sandstedt said.
    Born in Berwyn and raised in Riverside, Mrs. Steinman attended Drake University for two years after she graduated from Riverside-Brookfield High School. She left school to work in the research department of Leo Burnett in Chicago.
    In 1967, she married Mr. Steinman and the couple lived in Chicago where they enjoyed a semi-hippie lifestyle, her husband said. “We were just not quite hippie. We marched with the 1968 Democratic Convention-type of people but we also went to the office everyday.”
    Mrs. Steinman worked for Leo Burnett until her daughter was born in 1969. Her son was born in 1972.
    She later went to work in corporate gifts for C.D. Peacock Jewelry where she came in contact with Michael Butler, son of the founder of the village of Oak Brook and the Oak Brook Polo Club. Mrs. Steinman worked for Butler through the 1990s.
    “She was the best. She was bright, always cheery. Between our son and business pressure and everything else, she smiled her way through everything. She would think about other people, then herself,” her husband said.
    “And she loved to dance and would find any excuse to dance. There would be dancing in the kitchen, dancing in the living room, going somewhere to dance. She was a regular lady with exceptional talents and she used every bit of every one of them,” he added.
    Other survivors include her daughter, Wendy Nawara; sisters, Kathy Peterson and Janet Frisk; brother, Don Clawson; and three grandchildren.No services are planned.

  37. Cathy Colgrass-Edwards May 15, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

    Glad to know that’s a mistake, Joy! The 2013 Alumni Directory has you listed as deceased also. Don’t know how that happened as they are only supposed to print information that has been verified. I’m sure you and a bunch of us will be more than happy to contact the publishing company of that Directory to correct that mistake for the future.

  38. Joy warfield May 15, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    While you have me listed as Avril Warfield, everyone knew me as Joy Warfield. To the best of my knowledge (and I just verified this with my spouse), I am alive, not deceased.

    • Mary Tockstein Callahan July 22, 2014 at 11:45 am #

      Joy Warfield – We do not have your current address. Your reunion invitation was returned by the post office. Please send an email to the committee with your contact info, or print off the registration form from this website and mail it to us. I would really like to see you at the reunion, Joy!!

  39. Jim Vacherlon May 12, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    I have a dim memory that Marie Matias died in a car accident within a few years after we graduated. Can anyone else confirm this?

    • Katie (Grady) Gabel May 13, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

      Actually unfortunately I can. Marie and Iline (Anna) Kucera befriended me at Riverside Jr High in 8th grade as the new kid on the block. We referred to each other as the Three Muskateers. Hit me hard at the time, losing Iline so tragically, then Marie.

      • Linda (Nekolny) Daniel May 20, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

        What happened to Ilene. I was friends with her and Marie in Jr. High also and have wondered what happened to them since the 25th reunion.

        • Katie Gabel May 21, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

          Linda, Iline was married to Jerry Karela (’64) at the time of her and their 13 mo old daughter’s death. I remember it like it was yesterday. Details can be found by searching “Kenneth Fetterman Brookfield IL 1969” or People vs Fetterman. As for Marie, sorry I don’t recall the exact details though vaguely it might have been an auto accident in another country. Anyone else know more?

        • Katie (Grady) Gabel May 21, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

          Reference to People vs Fetterman in my prior post was incorrect, but the other one is accurate.

  40. Janis Vesecky Chapman May 11, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    Bonnie gave me three more names to add to deceased list

    Henry Danihel,
    Gary Echerer (2009)
    Patti Clawson (2006)

  41. Sheryll (Ward) Soderdahl May 10, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    Neil contacted me last December to tell me that Rick Tripple had passed away.

  42. Janis Vesecky Chapman May 8, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

    While searching for classmates tonight, sadly found this
    Judith A. Tlapa, nee Sedlak, age 57, died at her home June 27, 2003, loving wife of Robert F.; cherished mother of Tracy (Nick) Tlapa-Kud; proud grandmother of Alexandra.

    • Katie (Grady) Gabel May 10, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

      I’m quite certain that Avril Joy Warfield also passed away. You all are doing a great job in planning the reunion and providing such an informative website. Kudos!

  43. Mel Gustafson April 26, 2014 at 3:29 am #

    Thomas Steinbrecher passed on 11-18-2012.
    Tom had been in a German literature PhD program, went back to school at IIT, and became an architect at age 31. He was married with 2 sons.

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