Obituaries

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Agnes Thompson, 96, mother of former governor of Illinois
Agnes Thompson, 96, a longtime Oak Park resident, died Jan. 28, 2005 at the Lutheran Home in Arlington Heights. She had lived at Holley Court Terrace in Oak Park from May of 1999 until last month, when she moved to the Lutheran Home. Her oldest son, James R. Thompson, became governor of Illinois.

Agnes Josephine Swanson grew up in DeKalb County, the daughter of Swedish immigrants. She and her husband moved to Garfield Park, where J. Robert Thompson M.D. practiced at Bethany Hospital on the West Side.

"My parents were brave pioneers, moving from the country into the city," the former governor said. "They were from a different generation. They went through World War I and II and the Depression."

In 1956, they bought a house at 1129 N. Elmwood Ave., where they raised their family. Jim Thompson lived at home until the early 1960s while he finished law school. His brothers and sister attended Oak Park schools. Thompson recalled delivering newspapers for the Austinite and Oak Leaves newspapers during his early years here.

His mother didn't work, but an avid reader herself, she encouraged her children by reading to them each night. "She was a great bridge player," Thompson recalled, and played until about a year ago. She was also a member of the 19th Century Club and Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church.

After her husband died in 1992, Mrs. Thompson lived for a short time on Kenilworth Avenue, then moved into Holley Court Terrace in 1999. "She wanted to stay in the community, and it's a great facility," Thompson said.

In addition to the former governor, Agnes Thompson is survived by two sons, Donald and Larry; a daughter, Karen Tobin; seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Services are private.

Donald Barth, 64, ex RF firefighter
Donald E. Barth, 64, died Jan. 18, 2005 in Marietta, Texas. Barth, who was born in Oak Park on Feb. 25, 1940, joined the River Forest Fire Department in 1969 and served nearly 21 years, retiring in 1990. He received perhaps the highest praise a firefighter can receive from one of his former colleagues, River Forest Lt. Bob Nortier, who said of Barth, "He was a good fireman who knew his job and did it well."

Barth was the department mechanic and forged a reputation as someone who could fix anything.

"If there was something that needed to be repaired, he would find a way to fix it," said Nortier. Barth also drove the department's fire rigs, and acted as mentor to many younger firefighters, including Nortier.

"I learned a lot from him," said Nortier. "He definitely helped my career. He was missed when he retired, and he'll be missed now."

Barth is survived by his wife, Charlotte "Charlie" Barth; his daughter, Deborah (John) Dolecki; his step-daughters, Deena Coomer and Joneen Mueller; his step-son Frederick Mueller; six grandchildren; his sister, Jane Baran; and his brother, Brian (Peggy) Barth.

Interment took place at Chapel Hills Cemetary, Oak Brook Terrace. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association.

Thomas Krebs, 56, attorney, nature lover, world traveler
Thomas G. Krebs, 56, of Oak Park, died Jan. 6, 2005 of a heart attack at his home. Born Sept. 13, 1948 in York, Penn., he moved to Illinois during his senior year of high school. After two years at Colorado State University, he completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois Chicago, and earned his law degree from Chicago Kent College of Law in 1976.

Mr. Krebs practiced corporate law in Chicago for 25 years before moving his offices to Oak Park. He specialized in real estate. He loved nature and wildlife, traveled extensively, and was an active member of the River Forest Country Club.

He is survived by his companion of 35 years, Kathleen Bucholtz; his father, Millard; and his brother, Bruce.

Visitation was held Jan. 10 at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home. A memorial service was held Jan. 15 at the Carleton Hotel.

Memorials may be sent to the Animal Care League of Oak Park or the Education Fund at the River Forest Country Club.

Richard Walsh, 74, former state senator and representative
Richard A. Walsh, 74, of River Forest, died Jan. 25, 2005 of heart failure at home. Born in Chicago, he graduated from Fenwick High School in 1948 and Loyola University in 1952, earning a degree in business. He started an accounting firm with a friend, then both received law degrees and started the firm McCracken, Walsh and deLaVan, interrupted by a stint in the Navy in the late 1950s.

He served as state representative from 1962 to 1974 (his brother, William, also served as a state rep), and became chairman of the Appropriations Committee. In 1976, he moved to the state senate, where he remained until 1982.

Friends and colleagues described him as very witty, but very serious about his work.

Richard Walsh is survived by his wife, Patricia; his sons, Richard Jr., Mark, Patrick, and Brian; his daughters, Katherine and Anne; his brothers, John and Robert; and eight grandchildren.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 4 at St. Luke Church, 528 Lathrop Ave. in River Forest.

?#34;Ken Trainor and Bill Dwyer

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