Obituaries

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R. Dick Glennie, 69, singer, sailor, passionate supporter of causes
"Full of life" is how friends and family described Dick Glennie, 69, who died Sept. 15, 2007, following a respiratory illness. They also described him as "passionate"-about his family, about sailing, about the Great Lakes, about singing and about politics.

"He was passionate about music," said his daughter, Michele Wolter. Glennie was a member of the Apollo Chorus in Chicago for over 40 years, and served for many years on the board. He was also involved in the Chicago Children's Choir. "He taught us all to sing," Wolter said, "and carried it over to the grandchildren." He regularly attended the opera and symphony concerts as well.

In 1967, he founded Gregg Communications Systems, Inc., a telecommunications company that supplied telephone systems to businesses, specializing in call centers. Glennie served as vice president and general manager from 1967 to 1990 and as president from 1990 until he retired in 2005, according to Tom Rickert, the company's current president.

His position afforded time to be the dedicated father he wanted to be, said Wolter, enabling him to show up for concerts and soccer matches.

The company, too, was like a big family, said Rickert. "He was very caring and interested in people," Rickert recalled. As a businessman, Glennie was "sharp, a good negotiator, very fair and thorough." In 1984, his company won a couple of important anti-trust suits against AT&T. "He was good at zeroing in on what was important," said Rickert.

The Great Lakes were high on his list of what was important. In addition to sailing, he and his family vacationed in the Long Beach/Michigan City area for most of his life. "He was passionate about the beauty and grandeur of the Great Lakes," said Wolter. "For him, it was the most beautiful place in the world." Recently, he joined the Alliance for the Great Lakes to protest BP's dumping practices.

But that was only one of his political causes. A longtime member of First United Church of Oak Park, he joined the peace vigil group that protested against the Iraq war on the front steps every Friday night and met in the basement every Saturday morning. Glennie was also a frequent letter writer to the op-ed sections of the Chicago Tribune and Wednesday Journal.

The Glennies traveled a fair amount-mostly by train. "We vacationed by Amtrak," recalled Wolter. He and his wife, Linda, also traveled to China, Australia and Europe. The family regularly hosted foreign exchange students, and Glennie would travel to visit the families in return in order to stay connected.

He was also passionately verbose, Wolter said. "He loved talking to people." When someone asked if her dad was enjoying retirement, her husband quipped, "Well, he's finding people to talk to."

He did, indeed, enjoy retirement, Wolter said. "He lived a full life and checked off a lot of things on his to-do list. But he still had a lot left on the list."

Dick Glennie grew up on the South Side of Chicago, attended Calumet High School and graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Married in 1966, he and Linda started their family in Hyde Park, then moved to Oak Park in 1983.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Michele (Bradford) Wolter, Robert Dick (Amanda Sewell), Matthew, and Gregory (Kirsten Langley) Glennie; his grandchildren, Caroline, Marianne, Gabriel, and Eleanor; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Marjorie (Bernard) Rickert, Carol (the late David) Cameron, and Dorothy.

Visitation will be held today from 3 to 9 p.m. at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion St., Oak Park. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 20, at First United Church of Oak Park, 848 Lake St. Interment is private.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, 5005 LBJ Fwy., Ste. 250, Dallas, Texas 75244 or the Alliance for the Great Lakes are appreciated.
-Ken Trainor

 

Lynn Walker, 75, Former OP resident, First Baptist member
Marilyn M. "Lynn" Walker, 75, of St. Charles, formerly a longtime resident of Oak Park, died on Sept. 14, 2007 at Delnor-Community Hospital in Geneva. Born June 13, 1932 in Chicago, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Mueller, she is survived by her daughter Valerie (Paul) Tomaszewski. She was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Ellen Noonan, and her husband, Robert, who died in 1999.

There will be a memorial service in October at First Baptist Church in Oak Park, time and date to be announced. Interment is private. Arrangements were handled by Malone Funeral Home in Geneva.

Memorials to First Baptist Church of Oak Park, 820 Ontario St., Oak Park 60302, or any animal care charity of the donor's choice in Marilyn's memory would be appreciated.

Russell Lissuzzo, 70, Architect, artist and youth baseball fan
Russell C. Lissuzzo, 70, of Oak Park, died on Sept. 4, 2007. Born on Dec. 18, 1936 in Chicago, the sole child of Melba and Anthony Lissuzzo, he attended Austin High School and played outfield on the 1954 team that won the city championship in Wrigley Field. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1959 with a B.A. in Architecture, part of the first class at the university's Navy Pier campus. He later earned a master's degree and worked as a self-employed architect.

Mr. Lissuzzo married his high school sweetheart, Sharlene, and they raised four children in Oak Park. He actively supported the arts and social programs in the community. He also served as a soccer coach and was one of Oak Park Youth Baseball's biggest fans. A memorial tree will be planted at Lindberg Park in honor of the 15 years he spent watching his sons play ball there. He even served as the official launderer of team uniforms during their traveling team days.

Thinking of himself as a "drawer," Mr. Lissuzzo drew many structures from his imagination. Among the buildings he designed are 1000 Lake Shore Drive, Olive Harvey College, Richard J. Daley College, Donnelly Hall/Metro Fair and Exposition Center, Westmont Village Hall, The World Music Theater, and numerous auto dealerships, including Volvo of Oak Park.

He also enjoyed sketching, painting and playing music in his free time. He was a member of the American Institute of Architects and the USA Curling Association.

Russell Lissuzzo is survived by his wife, Sharlene; his children, Russell (Tammy), Rise (Joe) Wendt, Tony (Andrea), and Ross (Susan); and his grandchildren, Emily, Russell, Riley, Christopher, Gena, Olivia, Paul, Sofia, Luca, Carlo, and Nic.

Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Giles Church in Oak Park on Sept. 7. Memorial donations to the Oak Park Area Arts Council, 123 Madison St., Oak Park 60302 would be appreciated.

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