The following members of our class are deceased. Please let us know if you are aware of others. Since our 50th reunion, we lost Bill Hyman, Linda Harris (Haberman), Roger Lange, Greg Kane, Bill Piggott, Richard Sherman, Mark Garfien, Marcia Zientara, Joyce Friesser, Alice (Alyse) Booth, Sherwin Hammer, Howie Zeitz, Heather Shubart (Morris), Karen Rahe (Wildrick), Susan Dulsky (Liberman), Ronald Alpert, Barry Bennett, Lucile Reals (Day), Ruth Hinsley (Cortilet) and Suzanne Cohan Lange.
<div class=""obituary-text"" style=""box-sizing:" border-box;="" caret-color:="" rgb(64,="" 79,="" 87);="" color:="" font-family:="" "pt="" serif";="" font-size:="" 18px;"="">Chicago art champion, museum designer, longtime art educator and community artistic pillar. Suzanne Cohan-Lange born on August 1944 in Chicago died in peace and dignity at Journey Care in Rush St. Lukes hospital on September 22. Suzanne Cohan-Lange taught art for forty years from Skokie to Springfield. Her first job in art was with the Illinois Art Mobile, a 63 foot tractor-trailer that opened hydraulically to become an art gallery on wheels. Cohan-Lange was the curator and teacher. She traveled up and down Route 66 from 1970 to1972. Suzanne continued her art career at the University of Illinois at Circle campus as well as Columbia College where she created the graduate program of Interdisciplinary Arts in 1976. She continued to teach as chairperson of the department until retiring in 2005 as Professor Emeritus. Suzanne co-founded the Chicago Children's Museum (then called, "Expressways Children's Museum") in 1982, and designed the Arti-Fact Center at Spertus Institute as well as being involved in the design of many other children's museums. Suzanne served on the board of the Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City, Indiana for 13 years and recently sat on the board of the directors of Chicago Sculpture International. She and her husband, Richard Lange are the owners of Blink Contemporary Art in Michigan City, Indiana a unique studio art gallery that just celebrated it's 11th anniversary. Throughout it all Suzanne continued to make her own art and sculpture, showing throughout the country. Suzanne is survived by her husband of 35 years artist Richard Lange, and stepson Eric Lange, 3 grandchildren, Maeve, Miakoda, and Fletcher of Missoula Montana. <center style=""box-sizing:" border-box;"="">
Suzanne was one of my dearest friends for more than 6 decades. You all know how smart, creative, and charismatic she was. She was a wonderful artist, a gifted educator, and an all around terrific person. I am devastated by her loss and I'll mourn her for the rest of my life. I'm sure she's hanging out with some of our friends who have died & maybe planning a "Reunion" in Heaven. God rest your magnificent Soul!
Ruth M. Cortilet, 77, of Fox Lake, formerly of the South Shore Community in Chicago; loving mother to Michael Angelo Cortilet, Jr. and Maria Ann Martinez; cherished grandmother to Angelina Martinez and the late Kyle Cortilet; beloved sister to Sharon Wiess and to the late Robert Hinsley; dear friend to Kitty (Bill) Chandler, Bonnie (Dino) Selimos, Sandy (Jerry) Schwien, Jack(Josie) Buisseret and to many more. Ruth worked as an Account Manager for Equity Properties in Chicago before retiring in 2008. Visitation from 4 pm until 8 pm, Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at Glueckert Funeral Home Ltd. (capacity limits, PPE requirement, and social distancing in effect),1520 N. Arlington Hts. Rd., Arlington Hts., IL. Funeral Service to be held 10:00 am, Thursday, September 3, 2020 at the funeral home. A 12:00 pm Graveside Committal Service will be held at Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery in Alsip. In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at wwwstjude.org. Funeral Information and condolences can be given at www.GlueckertFuneralHome.com or (847) 253-0168.
Lucy Day died peacefully June 5, 2020 at her home in Palm Beach, Florida, at age 76, surrounded by her family. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer. She is survived by her husband Nathaniel Day and their daughters E.V. Day (Ted Lee) of Brooklyn NY and Annabelle Day of San Francisco CA.
Lucy was born in Chicago Illinois on April 2, 1944, the only child of William Harris Reals M.D. and Lucile Farnsworth Reals. She held a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, both in Anthropology – American Archeology. After work on archeological sites and for museums, she had a career in finance and commodities and held a Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Upon retirement she had a rewarding life as a volunteer in Greenwich, Connecticut. She served as board chairman of three non-profit organizations and was a founder of the Breast Cancer Alliance. An enthusiastic gardener, she was a judge for the Garden Club of America for more than twenty years. At their home in Greenwich she developed a renowned topiary garden which she and her husband donated to the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge Massachusetts. It was physically moved there in October 2018 and comprises “Lucy’s Garden.” Her love, generosity, and sense of humor brought such joy to her friends and family, and she will be greatly missed.
Memorial services, dates to be announced, will be held at The Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea Palm Beach FL, Christ Church Greenwich CT, and St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church Gustavia, St. Barthelemy, F.W.I.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to breastcanceralliance.org, berkshirebotanical.org, or the nonprofit of your choice.
I was saddened to learn of Lucy's death. She had been fighting pancreatic cancer. We met in 2nd grade at Bradwell and stayed in touch all our lives. She and her husband and daughter celebrated Thanksgiving with us at our California home in 2016. She was quite a woman, and I will miss her very mucy.
Dr. Barry P. Bennett, 76. Beloved husband of Evie; dear brother of Warren Bennett; will also be deeply missed by nieces and nephews. Graveside service Tuesday, Jan. 7 at Jewish Oakridge Cemetery, 4301 Roosevelt Rd, Hillside IL. Please call funeral home for service time. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Michael Reese Health Trust, 150 N. Wacker Dr, Suite 2300, Chicago IL 60606 to support oral health grants. For info: 847-256-5700.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Jan. 6, 2020
Bill Hyman passed away January 29, 2018 of complications of the flu. Bill was in the 1961 Class. Many knew him thru Athletics. He was on the Varsity as a Junior, he played Frosh-Soph as well. Bill lived in South Holland, IL. He retired several years ago from Proctor and Gamble. Through the years Bill remained active in sports and spent a lot of time with local football and baseball High school teams. He was an umpire for a number of years and a few years back he was an umpire in the annual little league world series. There are no immediate plans for any type of ceremony but his wife, Pat, indicated that there will be a memorial at some point in the future. He and Pat were married for over 50 years
on May 4, 2017. Beloved Wife, Mother, Grandmother and Sister. Linda had a zest for life and lived everyday to its fullest. She touched everyone that knew her in her own special way. Service to be held at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 21 West Broad Street, Mt. Vernon, NY, Sunday, May 7 at 12pm.<br background-color:="" class="" obitpublished""="" div="" font-family:="" font-size:="" font-variant-east-asian:="" font-variant-ligatures:="" font-variant-position:="" id="" ctl00_ctl00_contentplaceholder1_contentplaceholder1_obitpublished""="" line-height:="" open="" padding:="" style="" margin:"="" widows:=""> Published in The New York Times on May 7, 2017
Sherwin was a real sweetie. We were both tall, possibily the tallest in our classes and because we were sometimes teased about our height, we shared our common characteristic with lots of giggles, teasing one another if one of us appeared to grow taller than than other. "How's the weather up there?" "Why don't you grow up and find out!". That question and answer were a part of our conversations. Miss you, Sherwin! Lots of love, Judy Wodis xoxoxo
Dr. Howard J. Zeitz 1943—2016
Dr. Howard J. Zeitz, 72, passed away peacefully with family by his side Wednesday, April 20, 2016, at Anam Glen Assisted Care. Howie was born in Chicago, IL the son of Aleck and Esther (Begun) Zeitz. He was raised in Chicago and completed medical school at U of I. Howie had a long and distinguished career serving as a physician in the US Army, at Grant Hospital and Rush Medical Center in Chicago. Howie went on to lead the Problem Based Medicine track of the Medical College at Rush, before moving to Rockford to finish his career teaching and seeing patients within the U of IL at Chicago College of Medicine Rockford Campus. Howie married Mary Brown in Oak Park, IL, February 1993. Howard enjoyed playing tennis, working, and watching the Chicago Cubs, but most of all he loved spending time with his family. Survivors include wife, Mary; son, Jonathan (Jillian) Zeitz; daughters, Kathy (Bryan) Vescio, Amy (Steve Dunbar) Zeitz and Lauren Zeitz; grandsons, Nathan and Owen Vescio; sister, Eileen (Richard) Hudelson; and mother of Howie's three oldest children, Donna (Johnson) Zeitz. Predeceased by parents. Howard's family would like to extend a very special thank you to the staff at Anam Glen Assisted Care and the team at JourneyCare Hospice for their loving care at the end of Howie's life.
A celebration of Howard's life will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 23, 2016, at Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory, 1860 S. Mulford Rd., Rockford, IL, with visitation from 3:30 p.m. until time of service. In lieu of flowers, memorials to The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research or to the Alzheimer's Association in Howie's name are suggested. Arrangements by Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory, 1860 S. Mulford Rd., Rockford, IL 61108. Send online condolence to www.fitzgeraldfh.com
Published in Rockford Register Star on Apr. 22, 2016- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/rrstar/obituary.aspx?n=howard-j-zeitz&pid=179706029&fhid=14630#sthash.Rk2yacpe.dpuf
Richard A. Sherman died on Friday, March 13. He leaves his wife, Beverly and children Amanda, Bradford and the late Derrick. The funeral will be held at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Park in Elwood, IL on Monday. For information call 773-472-4800. He served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. In lieu of flowers, donations to a Veterans organization. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/chicagotribune/obituary.aspx?pid=174394644#sthash.uCXoHvzi.GvNqgM4c.dpuf
I'm obviously VERY late in visiting this site, and it is with profound sadness that I see that Alice died. She was a great friend to me - and even tough me how to kiss. I know she is and will be missed.
From Michael Ehlers on July 29th, 2017
Dear Alice: I'm so sorry to learn of your passing. Your dad was a hero of mine, a real crusader for honesty and fairness in government, and working with him on issues around the Chicago Sanitary District was an eye-opener for a 16-yr-old kid. I wish that you and I had stayed in touch, too.
Kay L. Bradley, 71, passed away on 12/30/14 at her home in Itasca, IL. She was born in Chicago on 5/20/43, the daughter of the late Samuel Brennwasser and Loretta (nee) La Pres. She was the beloved wife of Frederick C. Bradley for 34 years, and was also survived by her loving sisters Paula Muldowney, Judy (Gene) Dale, her dear brother-in-law Dennis (Kathy) Bradley, loving nephews, Mike (Lauren) Bradley, Matthew Bradley, Paul (Brenda) Muldowney, Mike (Pam) Muldowney, Robert (Alicia) Koernke, Jonathon Koernke, loving nieces Bethany (Travis) Wilye, Rebecca Koernke, Jennifer Koernke, Marnie (Dave) Beamesderfer, Catherine (Michael) Dale-Jablonowski and her cherished grand-nieces, Cindy and Bella Wilye and Frebrenie D. Dale. Kay attended South Shore High School in Chicago and received a BA at Southern Illinois University. She worked most of her career for SSA, Great Lakes Program Service Center as a claims authorizer and manager. Her independent, upbeat, humorous and honorable personality will live on with both friends and family. Kay loved to socialize, travel, dine out, garden and read and was a member of both the Itasca Garden Club and Itasca Library Book Club. She cherished her family and would do anything for them. She also loved animals and consistently contributed to both wildlife protection and environmental groups. A Memorial Visitation will be held on Monday, January 19, 2015 from 6:00 pm until the Memorial Service at 7:00 pm at The Oaks Funeral Home 1201 E. Irving Park Road, (at Prospect), Itasca, IL 60143. In lieu of flowers, memorials contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society . For funeral info: 630-250-8588 or www.theoaksfh.com - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/chicagotribune/obituary
Mark E. Garfien, age 70, former owner of United States Gear Corporation, beloved husband for almost 50 years of Nancy, nee Israel; loving father of Deborah (Michael) Morris and Charles Garfien; adored Papa of Jackson Ryder Morris; dear brother of Sharlene (Donald) Garfield and Barbara (Robert Berner) Garfien; treasured uncle and friend to many. Service Monday, 12 Noon at The Chapel, 8851 Skokie Blvd., Skokie (at Niles Center Rd.). Interment Shalom Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Honor Flight Chicago, 938 W. Montana Street, Chicago, IL 60614 or American Cancer Society , Lakeshore Division, P.O. Box 7561, Chicago, IL 60680-7561.
I came to this site because I am working on the reunion for SSHS 1966 class, our 50 +1 reunion. Mark was my brother, a great guy. He was an incredible teaser and generally a prankster. He was a tall guy and no one could swing my kids higher in the air. Mark was a great husband, a great dad, a great uncle and a great friend. I miss him every day. I hope this tribute can make it on to your site. Thank you!
I am sorry to have to send this to you via email, but this is the only way I know how to reach you. I wanted to let you know that my father passed away January 8, 2014. It was quite sudden and he went very fast and without any suffering. I know you and he worked together on the South Shore High School reunion and thought that you might want to put out the word to your classmates. As you can imagine, my family is grief-stricken and heart broken. He was a great man and larger than life - our lives will never be the same without him in it. I wanted you to know how much he loved South Shore and being a part of the reunion committee. His service is Thursday, January 23 at our church with a reception to follow. If you would like any additional information about his memorial fund(s) which we have set up you may contact me via email email@example.com.
He always spoke very highly of you and I thought you and the rest of the "gang" would like to be aware of his passing.
It will be five years in July 2018 since Bill passed away. He is missed every day by his friends and family having succumbed to heart and liver failure after open heart surgery and a relatively brief illness. Bill was a devoted husband and father to our two children, Kristen Pierson and Bill Jr as well as an adoring grandfather to our three granddaughters, Bessie, Emily and Annabelle Pierson.
As as he did in high school where we were high school sweethearts, he lived life to the fullest. He spent his professional life in the aviation insurance industry for over 40 years where he was well known for his expertise and knowledge. An avid aviator himself, his passion for flying never left him, passing down that love to the many students he taught to fly at Sky Harbor Airport in Northbrook.
Flying wasn’t his only passion, he also became an accomplished skeet shooter joining the Palos Sportsman’s Club and The Peninsula Shooting Club in Door County Wisconsin. He helped other shooters become more proficient in the sport and in the late 60’s was an instructor with the NRA. His love for the sport rubbed off on our son and in later years Bill Jr and his Dad spent many weekends shooting together and entering tournaments.
Athletic in in high school and college, Bill continued with his love of sports including tennis and racquetball but golf quickly became his sport of choice when we both took it up in our late 30’s. Every place we traveled from Pebble Beach to the Carolinas, Arizona and Florida, our clubs were the first thing we packed. We were fortunate to play several courses that were/are on the PGA Tour plus mountain courses in Montana and Colorado.
Bill also coached our son in little league baseball and football while our daughter took after her Dad with tennis and track. Our family had an active lifestyle and we deeply miss that interaction with Bill. His friends will best remember him for his intellect, interest in the Arts, dry and sometimes caustic sense of humor, along with his love of sports. Everything he did, he did with a passion. We were married for 48.5 years when he died but knew each other for 52 years. Like our other classmates who were high school sweethearts and enjoyed long term marriages, we had a friendship, love and passion that endured and can never be replaced. Thank you Bill for such a good life together.
Rather than seek acclaim within his specialty, Dr. Roger Lange focused on treating one cancer patient at a time. Then, at the end of the day, he went home and spent time with his family.
“The work that he did was untainted by external rewards,’’ said Dr. Glenn Bubley, who started working with Dr. Lange in the early 1980s. “He was well known amongst the cancer community but not among hoity-toity specialists worldwide.’’
In the community of the seriously ill, Dr. Lange sported a Groucho Marx mustache that made him instantly recognizable, and he offered unhurried compassion each time he spoke with a patient.
“He never rushed you,’’ said Julie Korostoff, an attorney who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and was his patient until his death. “He really talked to you and listened to you and didn’t talk over you. He addressed every question with a mix of honesty and seriousness.’’
Dr. Lange, who had been chief of the division of hematology-oncology at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge and also was on the staff of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, died Jan. 19 in Beth Israel of complications of multiple myeloma. He was 68 and lived in Brookline.
Bubley said it wasn’t that Dr. Lange had more time than other doctors to spend on his patients. He just made sure to answer all their questions thoroughly and let the conversation unfold without patients feeling rushed.
“He would calm them down, get them to have a realistic, but more positive view of their illness,’’ he said.
Korostoff said that when she was first diagnosed, she was given plenty of advice on what to eat or drink. When a colleague told her green tea would help, she asked Dr. Lange.
“He said the only thing that green tea will do is make your pee green,’’ she said. “It’s a typical kind of comment: Frank, but funny and honest.’’
Dr. Lange, who also taught at Harvard Medical School, loved to make jokes, Bubley said, but they were almost always at his own expense.
“He came from nothing,’’ said Bubley, who added that no question would prompt Dr. Lange to pass judgment on his patients.
“It was well known in our medical center that he had this capacity, this incredible patient-centered approach to medicine,’’ he said.
Born and raised in Chicago, Roger Frederick Lange went to South Shore High School, where he played baseball and basketball.
He met Lois Platt when she sat behind him in a seventh-grade classroom. In eighth grade, they worked together on the student council, and remained close friends until their senior year, when he asked her to the prom. She had turned down another offer, hoping he would ask her.
“I think his friends said ‘What are you waiting for?’ ’’ she recalled, laughing.
In 1961, when they graduated from high school, Dr. Lange went to Harvard College and she went to Brown University in Providence. They wrote letters two or three times a week and visited frequently.
“By senior year I think we were committed to being together,’’ she said. “We were just good friends, and that carried us along until we were old enough to start thinking about getting married.’’
When they both graduated, she went to Columbia University in New York City for a graduate degree in social work, and he attended Harvard Medical School, graduating in 1969.
In 1967, after she finished graduate school, they married and lived in Boston while he finished medical school and a residency.
They moved to Maryland for two years while he worked at the National Institutes of Health, then lived in St. Louis for a year before returning to Boston.
Dr. Lange began growing his thick mustache around the time their son, David, was born. Soon after, their daughter, Nancy, was born.
“Once he grew the mustache we were a family,’’ she said. “I don’t even think of him without it.’’
David said that for his wedding, the family stocked plenty of Groucho Marx masks, and guests who donned them wanted to pose for photos with Dr. Lange.
Throughout his life, Dr. Lange made exercising a priority. During summers, he and his wife rode bikes and in the winters they went cross-country skiing.
“He was always one to say, ‘Just a few more miles,’ ’’ she said.
When their children were in high school, the family, along with her sister, went to France and biked throughout the country.
“One time in France we were lost in fields of sunflowers, and we had to get to the place we were staying before they stopped serving dinner,’’ his wife said. “I just followed him, and we pulled into the place about 10 minutes before the dining hall closed.’’
Dr. Lange and his wife also played tennis, and he coached his son’s Little League baseball team in Brookline.
For Thanksgiving each year, Dr. Lange made a barbeque turkey on the grill on the back deck of the Brookline house where his children grew up and where he and his wife were living when he died.
“It could be snowing, but we’d go out there and have a drink and bring in the turkey,’’ Bubley said.
“He was such a family man,’’ Bubley said, adding that Dr. Lange “never missed the kids’ soccer and basketball games. He was there for them and his wife through all their pursuits. When I had my children, who are about a decade younger, I tried to emulate that style.’’
Throughout Dr. Lange’s career, his wife said, grateful patients sent him gifts by way of saying thanks.
About 10 years ago, the Langes awakened to find their driveway clear of snow that fell the night before. A few snowsotrms passed before they realized the driveway was cleared by a patient who knew where they lived and wanted to repay Dr. Lange for his help.
During the holidays, Dr. Lange’s daughter said, he always received “more gifts than he could handle.’’
A service has been held for Dr. Lange, who in addition to his wife, Lois, his son, David, of New York City, and his daughter, Nancy, of Jamaica Plain, leaves his brother, Paul of Rehoboth Beach, Del.; and two granddaughters.
As Dr. Lange’s health declined, his wife was overwhelmed by the response from the cancer community.
“One man said that he saw cancer as an excuse to go see Dr. Lange,’’ she said, recalling the response of her husband’s patients. “They consider him a close personal friend. With my own loss, my heart goes out to them, too.’’
Sandra J. Levinson, nee Schanks. Beloved wife of Alfred; loving mother of Lisa Levinson, Mitchell (Stacy) Levinson and Stacy (Jonathan) Leiter; adoring Nana of Joshua, Sofia, Brynn, Logan, Theodore and Rachel; also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Chapel service Tuesday, 12:15 p.m. at Shalom Memorial Funeral Home, 1700 W. Rand Rd., Arlington Heights. Interment Shalom Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cancer charity of choice. For info: 847-255-3520 or www.shalom2.com
Rosilyn "Roz" Pomerantz, beloved wife of the late Jack S. Pomerantz; devoted mother of Michael, Marty (Jill) Pomerantz and Michele Pomerantz; proud bubbie of four beautiful boys, Maxwell, Zachary, Seth and Jonah Pomerantz; and one gorgeous granddaughter, Mackenzie; dear sister of June Fisher, Edith Lenzo, Mel (Bonnie) Pomerantz and the late Marilyn Smiley; cherished aunt of many wonderful nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, National Headquarters, 1500 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266. Service Friday, 9:30 a.m. at the Weinstein Funeral Home, 111 Skokie Blvd., Wilmette. Interment, Shalom Memorial Park Cemetery, Arlington Heights, IL. For info., 847-256-5700
Roz, I'm so glad that I came to Chicago to stay with you and support you in your valiant fight against pancreatic cancer. We still managed to stay up very late, talk about old times, our kids and grandkids, and go through lots of albums showing our fun days together with Marsha, Renee, and Lois. You were always the cheerful one who found delight in the smallest things. I miss you, but i know that you are in a better place without pain with Jack, your beloved husband. I love you, Karen Ripes Zabo
From SARI SPECTOR on July 20th, 2011
I remember Roz and Jack very well, they were great, I think of them every time I hear 'Blue Moon" their favorite song. I am so glad Roz and I were able to have dinner together several months ago, little did I know it would be our last.
From jerry Gosenpud on June 17th, 2011
One of my favorite people as I grew up. I had a chance to remeet her at our 35th reunion. Still wonderful. I am sad.
From Christine Fotopoulos Georgopulos on May 30th, 2011
In memory of my friend Rozzie: your love and warm smile will be forever missed!
From Linda (Marks)Ellenburg on March 6th, 2011
Rozzie and I were best friends for so many years.... from 7th grade through high school. There were so many good times and so many wonderful memories. I know her warm smile and sense of humor is surely missed.
William had submitted the following for his profile before his death in 2011.
Retired - customer service representative
Highlights of your life since graduation:
In 1967, a serious interest was developed in military aircraft photography and historical research. This led to various articles in magazines and the contribution of photos and historical data to a number of books. Then ultimately, a book (McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II: Production and Operational Data) was published by Ian Allan in England in December 2004, and becoming available in this country the following July.
I remeber John Yates and Marianne. They were both such fun loving people. I am truely saddened at their passing.
From Norm Schwarz on April 2nd, 2011
John and I were classmates ever since James Madison elementary school. He married his SouthShoreHigh School sweetheart, Marianne Johnson (deceased), and also worked with me for a number of years at the Illinois Central Railroad. John loved all types of sports, fishing, and traveled quite a bit after his retirement. There are many fond memories of John and Marianne. Both are missed and left us much too soon.
Alexander Bill Mitchell, 64, of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, passed away on Monday, March 5, 2007, after a courageous battle with lung cancer. Alex was born in Beloit, Wisconsin, on March 3, 1943, the son of Alexander Bruce and Rita Mae (Thorson) Mitchell. He graduated from South Shore High School in Chicago, Illinois, in 1961.
On July 10, 1968, Alex, who at the time was stationed with the U.S. Army in Phu Bai, Vietnam, requested an R&R in Hawaii where he married Patricia Ann Tjensvold from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. They were joined in holy matrimony by Chaplain Wesley V. Gehry at the Fort Shafter Army Chapel in Honolulu.
Upon completing his military service and returning to the states, Alex completed his Bachelor of Science in Education degree in History and Mathematics at UW-Whitewater in 1972. The job market for teachers at that time was not good, so he began working as a sales representative and then a Division Supervisor for International Circulation Distributors, a division of the Hearst Corporation.
Trained to be a teacher, Alex longed to work with students in the classroom. In 1988, he left his job and went back to UW-Whitewater to become re-certified as a teacher and to complete majors in Mathematics and in Broadfield Social Studies. During that time, he also did substitute teaching for several of the local school districts. The job market in these areas was still very tight, so he decided to return to the publishing business.
He joined the Curtis Circulation Company in 1991 as District Sales Manager based in New Berlin, Wisconsin. When the New Berlin office closed, he became Distribution Manager at Southern Wisconsin News in Edgerton, Wisconsin. He retired from there in March of 2005 but still worked at Southern on a part-time basis. He was diagnosed with lung cancer at the beginning of August in 2006.
Surviving are his wife, Pat, his father-and mother-in-law, Ray and Jeanne Tjensvold; sisters-in-law Linda Mitchell and Cindy Tjensvold; brothers-in-law Steve and Bob Tjensvold; nephews David and Mark Mitchell and David Tjensvold; and Mark’s children, Magdalyn, Ian, and Anna Mitchell. Alex was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, George Mitchell.
Friends may call on Friday, March 9, from 10 a.m. to noon at Nitardy Funeral Home in Fort Atkinson. A private funeral service will be held in the Chapel at Pine Lawn Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Alex will be laid to rest.
A special thank you is extended to all who gave Mitch and his wife their love, support, and friendship when they most needed it. Anyone planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to Countryside Home in Jefferson, Wisconsin.
From Terrence "Terry" Murphy on January 23rd, 2011
I knew Alex all through high school and even worked a part time job with for a short while after we graduated from high school. He truely was a great guy and friend. I just wished he never smoked and maybe he would still be alive today but only God would know that for sure. I am glad he found happiness in life and meet the girl of his dreams and lived happy ever after. Those of us who knew him will miss him.
From Joyce Friesser (Downing) on October 10th, 2010
Georgie was a wonderful friend in high school, who remained friends with Louise O'Donnell (Freitag) and I long after graduation. She loved to laugh and have fun. Unfortunately, She left us much too early, is lovingly remembered and sorely missed.
I am so saddened to hear of Mickeys passing. We were great friends in High School and kept in touch after we were married. Last letter I got from Mickey was that she was married and had a few children and was living in Georgia. We were at each others weddings and she even did my hair for my wedding. We even double dated to the prom. We were very close friends. If anyone has any more info on where Mickey was and when she passed away I would really appreciate it. My e-mail address is :firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linda Lee Einbinder, loving mother of Margo Kligman; daughter of Howard Kligman; beloved daughter of the late Morton and Rose Einbinder; dear sister of Arlene Demb (Irwin Smiley), Susan Wernick (fiancé, Alan Sternstein), Fred (Martine) Einbinder, Renie (Dr. Michael) Schreiber and Cindy Bellowe; adored aunt and great-aunt of many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of your choice. For funeral time and information, please contact Shalom Memorial Funeral Home, at 847-255-3520.
Over the weekend the Alaska Democratic Party met in Sitka for its biennial convention. We visited Joe in the National Cemetery there. He's in a beautiful spot. We miss him--his presence was especially noticed during the meeting of the Resolutions Committee, always his favorite place to be!
[for further information, contact Ray Quisenberry]
From Ray Quisenberry on October 1st, 2011
Friday, March 13, 2009
Another Joe for Juneau
-- by Dennis Harris
[From the Progressive Alaska Blogspot.com]
Early in the summer of 1971, the Juneau blues/rock band that I had played in broke up as key members moved away from Alaska. I was trying to find enough blues players to form my dream blues/R&B band --- a band with a horn section, and with my blues harp as the lead instrument.
One day in early June, I spotted a new face on the street, a guy with a big smile and and oversized Afro hair. I asked him if he played trombone or sax, and he replied “No, but do you know a place where I can plug in my camper van?”. The bearded, bozo-headed humorist was Joe Sonneman, who had just arrived in Juneau to do research for his doctoral dissertation at Claremont Graduate School. An economics major who retained his Keynesian roots through his undergrad days at Milton Friedman’s University of Chicago lessez-faire department, he was analyzing the effects of oil income on Alaska’s public finances.
I referred Joe to some hippy friends at the end of Mendenhall Peninsula who had electricity at their parking pad, and invited him over for dinner. He eventually met most of the other members of Juneau’s alternative and activist community over the next few months. When he discovered that we wouldn’t be having a marching band for the Fourth of July parade, he and Cynthia Streeter organized a 30 member kazoo band to play Souza favorites, with Cynthia as drum majorette and Joe conducting in his clown suit.
By the end of the summer, Joe knew that he had found his home in Alaska, and returned to Claremont only when he needed to. In the spring of 1972, he had changed his voting registration to Juneau, and was one of the Ad Hoc Democrats that unseated party regulars when we packed the Juneau, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Sitka, Kenai, and Mat-Su caucuses, district conventions,and the State Convention. One of my favorite memories of that convention, held at the UAF Wood Center, is Joe in his clown suit, attempting to hand Mike Gravel an anti-Vietnam War petition, and Gravel trying to avoid recognizing or looking at him (this was a year before Gravel’s grandstanding with Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers).
When the opportunities of pipeline wages came along, Joe took oiler training and joined Operating Engineers Local 302. He worked the summers of 1974 and 1975 oiling equipment at the camps and pump stations from Delta south to Thompson Pass, and documenting construction of the line with his 8 x 10 inch view camera, in the same manner that Gold Rush photographer A. E. Hegg documented the Klondike Gold Rush.
Joe returned to Juneau and bought a tiny white house with green trim on Willoughby Avenue, in a commercial zone next to what was then Laura Lee’s Bar-B-Q, and what is now Bullwinkles Pizza. Over the next 30 years, it was his photo studio, law office, boarding house, where the door was always welcome to his many friends.
Joe was active in politics from his early days in Juneau. He often ran for office when no one else would oppose an entrenched but widely disliked candidate, starting with Juneau’s Mayor William Macomber in 1973, when he used photo self-portrait posed like pictures of Juneau founding father Richard Harris with the slogan “Another Joe For Juneau”. He continued by running in Democratic primaries, for the house in 1974, and for the U.S. Senate in 1978, 1992, and 1996, finally winning the nomination in 1998, when he was defeated by the entrenched Frank Murkowski. The only time he lost and felt bad about it was when he lost to Teresa Obermeyer in 1996.
As a postal workers’ union steward, he became interested in labor law, and took some paralegal courses at UAS that convinced him to attend law school. He told me that his three years at Georgetown were a great exercise in sleep deprivation, but he reveled in attending a school where Sam Dash taught ethics and students could easily attend Supreme Court oral arguments. He easily passed the Massachusetts, D.C, Alaska, and Hawaii bar exams.
He was obstinate, and a man of such conviction that he sometimes alienated his strongest allies at Democratic Party conventions and meetings. He served the Party on precinct and district committees, and served several years as State Treasurer.
In 2006, he was having trouble with what he said was weakness in his arms. After numerous visits to the Anchorage VA clinic and the Seattle VA hospital, he was diagnosed with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which slowly attacks the motor nerves and results in gradual paralysis.
Years before, Joe had been a strong advocate for an Alaska Veterans Home, similar to the one he had visited in Washington State, but when the Alaska Legislature created a Veterans Wing at the Palmer Pioneers home, they left the age of admission at 65. When Joe was diagnosed, he was 62, he had to move to Washington and become a Washington resident to get admitted to the Washington Veterans Home at Retsil, where he lived for 2 years because there was no place in Alaska where veterans under 65 could obtain assisted living care.
He was a loyal Chicago Democrat to the end. I visited him last November, and when he told me he would be buried in the Sitka National Cemetery, he said he had considered burial in Chicago so he could keep voting Democratic.
He has inspired me to continue his work in several ways, including advocating construction of a real Alaska Veterans Home, open to disabled military veterans of any age, and advocating more funding for research for a cure for ALS, a disease that occurs 40% more often in our military veterans than in the general population.
But what I will miss most is the smile, the unasked-for (and sometimes unwanted) advice, and the incredible sense of humor.
From Ray Quisenberry on January 11th, 2011
Juneau [Alaska] Empire
Longtime Juneau political activist Dr. Joseph Sonneman died early March 8, 2009, at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Wash., after a three-year struggle with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 64.
He was born in Chicago in 1944, and attended Chicago public schools.
After serving in the U.S. Army from 1963 to 1966, including service as a radar repairman in Korea, he earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and master's and doctorate degrees from Claremont graduate school. While in the master's program in government finance, he was an intern at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. He first came to Juneau in 1971 to conduct research for his doctoral dissertation on the effect of oil income on Alaskan government financial decisions.
When he finished graduate school, he returned to Alaska where he worked as a photographer, budget analyst, taxi driver, heavy equipment oiler on the Alaska pipeline, postal worker, and university instructor. He became interested in the law and earned a J.D. degree from Georgetown School of Law in 1989. He was a member of the Alaska, Hawaii and Washington, D.C. Bar Associations and conducted a law and legal research practice in Juneau.
He was active in politics all his life, and served on numerous local and state Democratic Party committees and as Alaska Democratic Party treasurer. He ran for Mayor of Juneau in 1973. He also ran in the primaries for the U.S. House in 1974, and for the U. S. Senate in 1978, 1992, 1996, and in 1998 succeeded in becoming the Democratic Party nominee for U.S. Senate but lost the election to Republican incumbent Frank Murkowski.
He was a member of Veterans of Foreign War Post 5559; Pioneers of Alaska Juneau Igloo Number 6; Juneau World Affairs Council; Juneau Chapter of AARP; and Paralyzed Veterans of America, and served on the Juneau Commission on the Aging.
As a photographer, he followed the example of Klondike Gold Rush photographer A. E. Hegg, and documented the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline with an 8-by-10-inch view camera. Over his career, he had one-person shows at the San Jose Museum of Art, the University of Oklahoma Museum of Art, the Alaska State Museum, the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry and Harper Hall at Claremont Graduate University.
After his diagnosis of ALS, he moved to Washington to be closer to family members. He lived for two years at the Washington State Veterans Home near Seattle and was also an intermittent patient at the Veterans' Administration hospital in Seattle.
Survivors include his mother, Edith Sonneman of Chicago; and sisters Eve Sonneman of New York, Toby Sonneman of Bellingham, Wash., and Milly Sonneman of Sausalito, Calif.
Burial will be at the Sitka National Cemetery with Jewish graveside services at a date yet to be determined. Arrangements are also pending for a Juneau memorial service.
Donations in Dr. Sonneman's memory may be made to the Joe Sonneman Prize In Photography Endowment c/o David Carpenter, Claremont Graduate University Advancement Office, 165 10th St., Claremont, CA 91711.