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Hopkins, Thomas "Neal" - Dundee  
Hopkins, Thomas "Neal" Age 80, veteran of the Armed Forces, beloved husband for 60 years of Joyce (nee Ambrose); loving father of Laurie, Cynthia, and Lisa; grandfather of Justin, Caitlin, Meghan, Veronica, Brynn, and Danny; great-grandfather of 7. Neal was an aircraft router for United Airlines, and upon his retirement after 33 years successfully ran his own income tax preparation business for many years with Joyce. He was involved in the Carpentersville Planning Commission and was honored upon his completion of service as the longest serving volunteer in the commission history. He was active in his community and donated many years to the Home School Council of Carpentersville. Neal and Joyce traveled the world, enjoyed casinos and he never missed an opportunity to be outdoors. He was a friend to all, a trusted advisor to many, and will be sorely missed by those whose lives he touched. Visitation will be at the Miller Funeral Home in Dundee, IL on Tuesday, December 23, 2014 from 4:00 til 8:00 p.m.
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Published in Courier News on Dec. 21, 2014
Johnson, John R. - Dundee  
Johnson, John R. Age 75, of East Dundee former 40 year resident of Tyler, TX passed away on Thursday evening at his home surrounded by family. John was born in Elgin on November 20, 1939 and was the son of the late Earl J. and Selma (nee Schmidt) Johnson. John was an East Dundee native, a 1957 graduate of Dundee Community High School, a United States Army Veteran, and a member of the First United Methodist Church in West Dundee. John was a former many year employee of Tyler Pipe Co in Tyler, TX. Survivors include his brother, George H. Johnson; and his sisters, Jean A. (the late David) Dehmlow and Mary E. (the late James) White. John is also survived by many nieces, nephews, grand and great-nieces and nephews; many cousins and several friends. In addition to his parents, John was preceded in death by his brothers, Robert E. Johnson and Frank D. Johnson; his sister-in-law, Elly Dalby Johnson; and a nephew, Larry Johnson. Funeral Services will be held at the First United Methodist Church, West Dundee on Monday, December 22, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. with the Rev. Soon Sun Lee, Pastor officiating. Private family burial will be in the Dundee Twp. East Cemetery, East Dundee. Visitation will be held at the church on Monday morning from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service. Memorials may be made to either the First United Methodist Church, West Dundee of the Presence Hospice in Elgin. The Miller Funeral Home, West Dundee is assisting the family. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.millerfuneralhomedundee.com . For info please call (847)426-3436.
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Published in Courier News on Dec. 21, 2014
Ransom, Elizabeth - Elgin  
Ransom, Elizabeth 77, of Elgin, passed away on December 15, 2014. She was born on November 5, 1937 in Wilkes-Barre, PA, the daughter of Clarence and Catherine Ransom. Elizabeth graduated from Elgin High School in 1955. She had worked for the State of Illinois for 30+ years prior to retirement. Elizabeth had a love of all sports and enjoyed her cats, Chloe, Casey and Riley. Survivors include her brother, Curt Ransom; nieces, Terri and Debbie and a nephew, Bob. She was preceded in death by her parents, and a brother, Bob Ransom. Services will be private, with memorials directed to the Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin, IL. Laird Funeral Home is in care of arrangements. For information, 847-741-8800 or www.lairdfamilyfuneralservices.com
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Published in Courier News on Dec. 21, 2014

Obituaries from Two Days Ago

Wendt, Judy - Desoto  
Wendt, Judy L. March 16, 1942 - May 3, 2014 72, of DeSoto, TX passed away on May 3, 2014. She is survived by her husband, Donald J. Wendt; son and daughter-in-law, Jeffrey and Caron Wendt; daughter and son-in-law, Jill and Barney Horton; son and daughter-in-law, Dean and Lori Wendt; 11 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; brother and sister-in-law, James and Joan Ibsen and a host of nieces and nephews. The family has requested, in lieu of flowers, memorials or donations be made in Judy's name to the American Cancer Society, 8900 Carpenter Frwy., Dallas, TX 75247.
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Published in Courier News on Dec. 19, 2014

Obituaries from the Past Three Days

Gaddis, Wendy - Saint Charles  
Gaddis, Wendy S. Age 63, of Elgin, died Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at her home. She was born November 1, 1951 in Springfield, IL. She is survived by her children, Michelle (Tom) Healy of West Chicago and Jimmie (Jessica) Ortman of St. Charles; five grandchildren, Thomas, Samantha, Melissa, Aubrianna and Violet; also a sister, Sue Schlieker. She was preceded in death by her parents. Earl and Stella Gaddis; and a brother, Chuck Gaddis. Private services were held at the Yurs Funeral Home, St. Charles. There was no visitation. To leave an online condolence for the family, visit the funeral homes obituary page at www.yursfuneralhomes.com . For more information, please call Yurs Funeral Home of St. Charles, 630-584-0060 or like us on Facebook.
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Published in Courier News on Dec. 18, 2014
Raushenberger, Shirley Mae - Elgin  
Rauschenberger, Shirley Mae Westerbeck Former civic leader, newspaper woman and U-46 School Board member, Shirley Mae Westerbeck Rauschenberger, 88, died in Elgin, IL on December 15, 2014. She was born December 1, 1926 in Elgin, daughter of Felix and Amanda Idstein Westerbeck. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, John K. Rauschenberger in 1999; and her brother, Sheldon Westerbeck in 2000. She is survived by two daughters, Laurel Kracen (Don Getts) Tucson, AZ and Carol Rauschenberger (Reid Travis) Elgin; as well as four sons, John K. Rauschenberger Jr., Chicago, Thomas Rauschenberger; Steven Rauschenberger (Betty), Keith Rauschenberger (Cindy) all of Elgin. She was the proud grandmother of 13 grandchildren, Amanda Kracen, Elizabeth Kracen, Melissa Rauschenberger, John Rauschenberger III, Emilee Rauschenberger, Joe Rauschenberger, Zoe Travis, Bopha Travis, Sam Rauschenberger, Michael Rauschenberger, Henry Rauschenberger, Kacy Rauschenberger, Karl Rauschenberger; and 12 great-grandchildren. Shirley also was very important to extended family members Scott Kracen and Dawn Marcom. Graduating from Elgin High School during WWII, Shirley's first job was with the Chicago Daily News as a copy "girl." It was the only time she lived away from Elgin. After her "beau" John was discharged from Army service overseas, she returned to to her hometown where they married in 1946. Children soon followed. As a mother of six, Shirley was a firm believer in volunteer service to enhance her community. Her interests were broad and her leadership skills were welcomed; she served on boards of the YWCA, YMCA, Episcopal Churchwomen, Boy Scouts, Sybaquay Council of the Girls Scouts, the Salvation Army, Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce. One of the founders of The Open Door Clinic, Shirley was elected to the U-46 school board where she served for 12 years. In addition, she was a strong support to her husband in Rauschenberger Furniture, the family business, and a great backer of all of her children's sports and activities. She was also a foster parent, a scout leader, an election judge. Shirley was a precinct committeewoman, ran for the state legislature as well as the county board, and she remained passionately dedicated to the causes she believed to the end of her life. Shirley was accorded many community honors over the years; she received the Cosmopolitan Distinguished Service Award, the Altrusa Woman of the Year Award; she was honored by the Illinois State Office of Public Instruction as the outstanding parent of the region, and was honored in 2008 by the Elgin Township Republicans for her leadership and longstanding political activism. As her children grew independent, Shirley resumed her career. She began doing advertising and marketing for Chuck Hines Store for Men, advanced to Spiess Department Store, later was an officer at Ackemann's Furniture Store. Returning to newspaper work, Shirley was also one of the first editors of the Elgin Free Press, which became the Elgin Herald. After retiring, she remained active in political campaigns, especially her son Steve's campaigns for State Senate. She was known for her love of cooking, entertaining and hospitality. Shirley (Ahya) was the beloved matriarch of her family, and took great pride in the activities, travels and diversity of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She will be long remembered. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois ( www.girlscoutsni.org/give ), Boys Scouts Three Fires Council ( www.threefirescouncil.org ), or St. Hugh of Lincoln Episcopal Church, for the Relics group, whose outreach projects Shirley was very involved in during the last years of her life. Memorial visitation will be held on Saturday, December 20, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. 11:15 a.m. in the Laird Funeral Home, Elgin. Services and burial will be private. For information 847-741-8800 or www.lairdfamilyfuneralservices.com .
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Published in Courier News on Dec. 18, 2014

Obituaries from the Past Week

Bugna, Lewis J. - Elgin  
Bugna, Lewis J. 85, of Elgin, passed away on Dec. 16, 2014, the son of the late Marie and Lewis Bugna. Born in Chicago, he attended parochial schools. Lewis moved to the Elgin area as a farmer in 1955, and worked here ever since. He was a member of St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Elgin. Funeral mass will be held on Friday, December 19, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Elgin. Burial will be at St. Mary's Cemetery, Evergreen Park, IL. Visitation will be on Thursday from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Laird Funeral Home, Elgin and on Friday at the church from 9:30 a.m. until mass. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to American Heart Association or the American Diabetes Association. For information, 847-741-8800 or www.lairdfamilyfuneralservices.com .
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Published in Courier News on Dec. 17, 2014
Gunter, Sharon J. - Elgin  
Gunter, Sharon J. 77, of Elgin, formerly of South Elgin, passed away on December 10, 2014 at Rosewood Center, Elgin. She was born on July 26, 1937 the daughter of Herbert and Blanche Colyer. Survivors include her son, Don Gunter of South Elgin; and her sister-in-law, Wilma Ganow of Elgin. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Delano Gunter in 1983; a sister, Lorraine Williams; and 2 brothers, Mack and Lowell Colyer. Services will be private with burial at Lakewood Memorial Park. Laird Funeral Home is in care of arrangements.
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Published in Courier News on Dec. 14, 2014
Von Isser, E. Max - Crystal Lake  
von Isser, E. Max 95, of Green Valley, AZ, passed away on November 23, 2014, of natural causes. He was born September 21, 1919, in New York City, NY. In 1940 he swam for the New York Athletic Club and won the National Junior AAU Championship. He served in WWII as a classified technical Staff Sargent in the Army Air Force. After an honorable discharge he went on to become all conference swimming champion for the University of Denver. He received a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts at DU and a MFA from University of Colorado. Max married Florence Liening, November 22, 1947, in Littleton, Colorado. He taught art at Elgin High School in the 1950s and established the Humanities Department at Elgin Community College during its formative years. As the college grew, he became chairman of the department and continued to be instrumental in the development of art programs for three decades. Max was a vital force as a leader in the expansion of the arts within the community. He received many awards and was honored by ECC, including the E. Max von Isser art gallery being dedicated in his name. Max and his wife lived in Elgin, IL for thirty-four years before his retirement in 1984 and relocated to Green Valley, AZ where he continued to create. He was an avid swimmer and USA record holder for the National Masters Swimming Competition from 1999-2001 and 2004. At 85, Max attained the Masters World Swimming record for 50m butterfly. Max is survived by his wife Florence; and daughter, Tana Allen (Steve) from Crystal Lake, IL; and grandson, Corey Bero. He is also survived by two nieces, Rea Jackman, Regina Minger; and nephew, Raymond Aichner, all from California; and cousin Aldine von Isser; and family from Tucson, AZ.
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Published in Courier News on Dec. 16, 2014
Wendt, Donna - Genoa  
Wendt, Donna M. 80, of Genoa, died Friday, December 12, 2014 at St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin. She was born May 28, 1934 in Elgin, IL, the daughter of Harold and Marie (nee Spinker) Ninneman. She married Rudolph F. Wendt in 1951 in Elgin. Donna enjoyed playing bingo, video slots, sewing, and spending time with her sister. She is survived by four children, Michael (Lianne) Wendt of Genoa, Kit (Becky) Wendt of The Colony, TX, Rudy (Janice Kesting) Wendt of Platteville, WI, Patricia (Steven) Nimbar of Wauzeka, WI; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Predeceased by her parents and husband. A memorial visitation will be held Tuesday, December 16, 2014 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Olson Funeral & Cremation Services, Cooper-Quiram Chapel, 202 E. Main St., Genoa, IL 60135. Memorials to the Disabled Veterans National Foundation, by mail to: DVNF, 1634 Eye Street, Suite #750, Washington, DC 20006 or The Wounded Warrior Project. To share a memory or condolence, visit www.olsonfh.com or 815-784-2518.
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Published in Courier News on Dec. 15, 2014
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