William ‘Bud’ Bennett, 93, glass man
William F. “Bud” Bennett, 93, a lifelong resident of Oak Park, died Sept. 30, 2006. He was educated at Ascension and Longfellow elementary schools, Oak Park and River Forest High School, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He met his wife of 70 years, Mary Helen (Smith), while they were both students at U. of I. During summer vacations Mr. Bennett worked as a gardener at Oak Park’s Dole Mansion.
After graduating he was hired as a salesman at the Dole firm’s Hooker Glass and Paint Company in Chicago, where he took the opportunity to joke about having lunch with the “Hookers.”
In the early 1950s he purchased Midland Glass Company, a glazing contracting firm, which he sold in 1963, subsequently partnering with Carl Anderson and Doug Comfort at Arlington Glass Company. He retired in 1985.
Mr. Bennett also had a number of interests outside of work, taking part in various professional and volunteer organizations. He served as a member of the Glazing Contractors Association Board, the Glaziers Union Pension Board, the Sierra Club, and the Oak Park Retirees Association where he played bridge and chaired the Meeting of the Minds program, a topical discussion program. He also volunteered at the Hines Veterans Hospital and Oak Park Hospital. He was head usher at Ascension Church, where he attended mass for most of his life, and a member of the church’s St. Vincent de Paul Society, a strong passion of his. He loved to participate with his entire family in sing-alongs around the piano at the end of family gatherings. “How Great Thou Art” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” were two of his favorites.
Another passion of Mr. Bennett was sports. He played basketball and boxed while at U. of I. For years he bowled at both the St. Giles and the Ascension Holy Name leagues. He was a skilled ballroom dancer, at one time competing in national contests. He was a fanatic of college and professional sports, especially the Chicago Cubs and Bears.
Mr. Bennett was preceded in death by two sisters, Sybil Willard and Charlotte Woodzick Gareau, two brothers, Martin and Ferdon, and a granddaughter, Jaclyn Bennett.
He is survived by his wife, Mary, and seven children: Susan (James) Janssen, Charles (Kathy), Kristy (Donald) DeCleene, Dorothy (Michael) McCluskey, Mary Helen Novak, Margaret (Stephen) Durante, and William (Dorothy. He is also survived by 20 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Visitation was held Oct. 2 at Peterson’s Funeral Home. A funeral mass was celebrated the following day at Ascension Church by the Revs. Larry McNally, Bernard White, Robert Cross, and William Bernacki. Following was the interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery.
William McGirr, 69, trust department attorney
William J. McGirr, 69, of River Forest died Oct. 14, 2006. He was born in Towaco, N.J. and grew up in New York City. Mr. McGirr earned his degrees at Cornell University (Bachelor of Arts), Harvard University (Juris Doctorate), and the University of Chicago (Master of Business Administration). He lived in Oak Park for 30 years and River Forest for the past five and was an attorney in the Trust Departments of both the Continental and J.P. Morgan Chase Banks. He was also a lover and supporter of literature and the arts, especially theater, opera, and classical music.
He is survived by his wife Karen (Christensen) and four children: Michael of Toluca, Mexico; Elaine (Geoffrey) Baldwin of London; James of Austin, Texas; and Charles of Merida, Mexico.
Visitation will be held Oct. 19 at Dreschler, Brown and Williams Funeral Home at 203 S. Marion St. in Oak Park from 5 p.m. to time of service at 8 p.m. Internment is private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
-Compiled by Marty Stempniak