Paul Gerhardt Grotelueschen, 84, of Colorado Springs, Colo., formerly of River Forest, died at home on Dec. 20, 2011 after a brief battle with liver cancer. Born in Carlinville on Dec. 8, 1927 to Paul H. Grotelueschen, a Lutheran teacher and principal, and Esther Kuehnert Grotelueschen, he spent most of his youth in Wausau, Wis. He completed his last two years of high school at Concordia in River Forest.
Phil Chapman, aka "Dr. Phil, the House Doctor," 55, of Naperville, who regularly repaired and painted the homes of Oak Parkers, died on Jan. 18, 2012 of liver cancer. More than 100 homeowners in Oak Park were his regular customers for over 27 years, according to his wife, Nadine (nee Romano). He was known for his reasonable prices and cleverly worded flyers advertising "house calls."
Edith P. Crabbe, nee Prescott, 101, formerly of Oak Park, died on Jan. 15, 2012 at Westminster Place, Presbyterian Homes in Evanston. She worked as a social worker from 1933 to 1973 with the Cook County Department of Welfare and related agencies, served as president of Zonta Club of Oak Park and on the Oak Park Symphony board, and was a member of the Nineteenth Century Club and the Senior Citizen's Center of Oak Park-River Forest.
Jean Anderson Weliver, 76, of Long Lake, died on Jan. 17, 2012. Born on Oct. 10, 1935, she was a graduate of DePauw University, sister of Wabash College, member of AOII, First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, Palette and Chisel, Long Lake Yacht Club, and the P.E.O.
Catherine R. Holmes, 95, of Oak Park, died in her home on Jan. 15, 2012. Born in Chicago on Nov. 21, 1916, she graduated from Marshall High School in Chicago. In 1953, she married Edward Holmes, a Chicago police officer who died in 1983.
Victoria Ruth Bouman (nee Bartling), 88, died on Christmas Day, 2011. Born on Jan. 14, 1923 in Bismarck, N.D., to Dorothea (nee Pfotenhauer) and Rev. Victor Bartling, her father baptized her into the faith that sustained her. She grew up on the campus of Concordia College, Milwaukee, where her father was a professor.
Dorothy F. Bergl (nee Michalek), 92, of Glendale Heights and a former longtime resident of Oak Park, died on Dec. 21, 2011 at Lexington Healthcare in Lombard. Born in Cicero on Feb. 25, 1919 to Joseph and Frances Michalek, she was a graduate of Morton High School, and in her 20s, was employed by Western Electric.
Rev. Gery W. Stefanski, 58, died at home on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011. Born in Chicago, he attended St. Casimir Catholic School, Quigley South Preparatory Seminary, Niles College of Loyola University, and from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. John Cardinal Cody ordained Father Stefanski on May 9, 1979.
Virginia "Ginny" Dowling (nee Mazurkiewicz), 61, died peacefully on Dec. 21, 2011. Born in Chicago on April 27, 1950 to Irena Jolita and the late Marian Mazurkiewicz, she graduated valedictorian of her class at Morton East High School in 1968.
If you want a flavor of the remarkable array of individuals who inhabit these villages, all you have to do is read Wednesday Journal's obituaries. The frustrating part is finding out about so many of them when it's too late.