Carl Schulstad, 92, loved nature, despised fences
Carl L. Schulstad, age 92, of Oak Park died at home on Jan. 30, 2007. Born on June 3, 1914 in Chicago to Ludwig and Mary Schulstad, he was a 1932 graduate of Carl Schurz High School and a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving during WWII. Mr. Schulstad was an insurance salesman who retired in 1979. An avid reader, he was a member of the Forestry Commission, the Kiwanis Club, and Third Unitarian Church of Chicago. He was also an original investor in Wednesday Journal, Inc.

Mr. Schulstad was also known for his aversion to fences. He grew up without a fenced backyard, and he liked it so much that he persuaded four neighboring families on the 100 block of South Cuyler to take down the fences dividing them and live together in one gigantic backyard. He and his wife, Vivian, were “the official grandparents” of the block, and their backyard playground became a place where all of the neighboring families, with numerous children, could gather. There was no privacy, but the experiment worked grandly, especially whenever it came time for the annual Easter Egg Hunt. The lesson, Mr. Schulstad said, was that “good neighbors get to be better neighbors with the fences down.”

Carl Schulstad is survived by his wife, Vivian; his daughter, Kathleen Youngs; his son-in-law, Gary Baider; his grandchildren, James and Rebecca Youngs, Elizabeth (Greg) Gutierrez, and Andrea and Sara Baider; his niece, Nancy Wilson; and his nephew, Warren Schulstad of Minnesota. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Carolyn Baider; his brother, Edwin L. Schulstad; and his sister, Bernice Arnold.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 4 at Third Unitarian Church, 301 N. Mayfield Ave. Chicago. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the American Cancer Society, West Cook Office, Suite 3 South, 7234 W. Ogden Ave., Riverside 60546, are appreciated. Arrangements were handled by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home.

Dennis Gordon, 58, Musician, mensch, ad design manager
Dennis Gordon, 58, advertising design manager at the Wednesday Journal, musician, stand-up guy (and comedian), and lifelong hippie, died Feb. 20, 2007 after suffering a heart attack on the CTA’s Brown Line.

His fellow musician and longtime friend, Dean Milano, called him one of the best all-around musicians he had ever encountered. Milano, who recent released the CD Songs About Stuff on Kira Records, said he could play a wide variety of styles for hours on end.

He grew up in West Rogers Park and later attended St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy in Wisconsin. He graduated from Northwestern University, majoring in film studies.

After college, he lived on an Oregon commune, then returned to Chicago in the late 1970s. He met his wife, Mary, in the late 1980s. After their son was born, he landed his “day job” at Wednesday Journal in the mid-1990s, and soon became head of the ad design department and informal trouble-shooter for the computer-impaired around the office.

Dan Haley, Wednesday Journal publisher, was impressed by his adaptability. “He was old school,” Haley said, “and went through this rather astounding transformation in terms of really being on the cutting edge.”

A self-taught musician, Dennis played guitar, keyboards and later learned the mandolin. During the 1980s and 1990s, he played with a band at the Dry Gulch in Schiller Park, a Western-themed dinner theater. Later, he became a regular at Tommy Gun’s Garage on South Wabash Avenue.

He also performed Jewish folk and klezmer music for services at area synagogues.

Dennis Gordon is survived by his wife, Mary; his son, Jeremy; and his brother, James. A memorial service was held on Feb. 23 at Weinstein Funeral Home, 1300 W. Devon, in Chicago.

John Duff, 85, Court reporter, shorthand wiz
John M. “Jack” Duff, 85, an Oak Park resident for more than 50 years, died Feb. 21, 2007 at his home in Forest Park from complications relating to pulmonary failure. Born to Irish immigrants on Chicago’s West Side, he graduated from St. Ignatius High School, then joined the Army and saw active combat in Europe for three years during World War II.

Following his discharge, Mr. Duff attended the Gregg School of Shorthand in Chicago. He became a certified shorthand reporter, and in 1948 he started work for the Illinois Industrial Commission, where he remained for 40 years. In the courtroom, he continued to use shorthand even after stenography machines became popular. He worked on a number of cases arbitrated by future Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and got to know him well.

Mr. Duff was a commander and adjutant of the former Clarke-O’Reilly American Legion Post 866, and a member of Charles Roth Post 692.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Catherine “Kay”; his four sons, John, Thomas, James and Robert; his four daughters, Kathleen, Anne Dorneker, Margaret Walsh, and Patricia Marino; 19 grandchildren; and numerous nephews and nieces.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 12:30 p.m., Saturday, March 3, at Ascension Catholic Church, East Avenue and Van Buren Street, Oak Park.

Lucile Miller, 94, Loved gardening, traveling, canoeing
Lucile R. Miller, 94, a resident of Oak Park for more than 80 years, died on Feb. 25, 2007 at home. Born May 4, 1912 in Genoa, Ill., she had an adventurous spirit, demonstrated by her 25-year commitment to coordinating the purchase and preparation of food for an annual canoe trip down the Wisconsin River with family and friends. She loved to travel, visiting Hawaii, Norway, Spain and Italy. Even after her stroke in 1992, she traveled to Utah, Florida and the Caribbean. She enjoyed holidays and loved to cook for family and friends. She also loved to garden, growing vegetables and flowers from seed into the 2006 season.

Her family and friends will remember her bright smile and strong spirit, which was an inspiration to all. She brought happiness to others through her joy of living and willingness to share her love with everyone.

Lucile Miller was the wife of James E. Miller, who died in 1992. She is survived by her children, Richard J. Miller, William R. Miller, Marlyn J. Miller, and Geri McLauchlan; her grandchildren, Chad, Brett, Shawn Lockwood and Leah Miller; and her great-granchildren, Hailey and Zachary Lockwood.

Visitation will be held on Friday, March 2, from 3 p.m. until the memory service at 8 p.m. at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion St., Oak Park. The funeral service will be held Saturday, March 3, at 10 a.m., followed by interment at Bohemian National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Oak Park YMCA’s Invest in Youth Program, 255 S. Marion St., Oak Park 60302, are appreciated. For funeral information, call 708/383-3191.

Rita McNamara, Golfer, tennis player, Irish wit
Rita McNamara, nee Rigney, died suddenly on Feb. 6, 2007 while on a cruise in Central America. The daughter of the late Robert and Helen Rigney, she spent most of her life in the Oak Park and River Forest area. She attended Trinity High School and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Rosary College (now Dominican University). With Tom, her husband of 51 years, they traveled the country and the world, watched countless sunsets on Lake Michigan at their summer home in Palisades Park, Mich., and shared many long nights of laughter and song with their innumerable friends. She loved books, movies, and the theater. She was an avid golfer and tennis player and had a wonderful Irish sense of humor and often joked that she wanted her headstone to read, “I told you I was sick.”

Her infant son, Thomas W. McNamara Jr. preceded her in death. She is survived by her husband, Thomas W. McNamara; her six children, Margo Chadwick (Gerry), Maureen Stratton (Brent), Kathleen Conroy (Kevin), Robert Rigney McNamara (Suzanne), Mary Rita Skrine (Steve), and Michelle McNamara (Patton Oswalt); and her 16 grandchildren, Kate, Maureen, Claire, Brian, Connor, Dylan, Brendan, Liam, Maggie, Elizabeth, Tommy, Colleen, Sean, Katherine, Steven and Patrick. She was the sister of Robert Rigney (Hansi), Thomas Rigney (Bonnie) and Margo Graham (the late Ed Graham).

Visitation was held Feb. 11 at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home. Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Luke Church on Feb. 12, followed by private interment.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Trinity High School or Dominican University are appreciated.
-Compiled by Alex McLeese

Mary Ann Winkel, 76, Arts enthusiast
Mary Ann Winkel, 76, of Oak Park died on Feb. 20, 2007 at Oak Park Hospital. Born on Oct. 19, 1930 in Toledo, Ohio, she graduated from Toledo University. Ms. Winkel was an arts enthusiast: She enjoyed painting, music, and theater, and was a member of a writer’s organization in Cleveland.

She is survived by her partner of 35 years, David Goldman. Graveside services were held Feb. 26 at Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park. Arrangements were handled by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home.

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