William Adelman, 77, OPRF Tradition of Excellence honoree

William J. Adelman, 77, of Oak Park, died at home on Sept. 15, 2009. Born and raised on the West Side of Chicago, he graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School in 1951, earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Elmhurst College in 1955 and a master’s degree in American history from the University of Chicago in 1964.

He taught at Jefferson Junior High in Berwyn and Morton West High School, where he organized a teachers union. He taught labor and industrial relations at the University of Illinois – Chicago from 1966 to 1991, then served as professor emeritus at UIC’s Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations. He wrote several books about labor history, including Haymarket Revisited, wrote for the film Packingtown, USA, and narrated the documentary Palace Cars and Paradise: The Pullman Model Town.

In 1969, he co-founded the Illinois Labor History Society in Chicago and served as vice president.

In 1993, he was named a Tradition of Excellence honoree by his alma mater, OPRF High School. He was a founding member of the OPRF High School Alumni Association.

Bill Adelman is survived by his sons, Marc and Michael; his daughters, Michelle, Marguerite and Jessica; five grandchildren; his sister, Sandra Walsh; his ex-wife, Nora; and his life partner David Staley.

Tom Dix, 39, Proviso Math & Science Academy science teacher

Tom Dix, 39, of Oak Park, died on Sept. 17, 2009 following a valiant fight against melanoma. Born in Chicago, he graduated from Maine East High School in 1988 and went on to earn his B.A. from Earlham College in Indiana in 1992 and his master’s degree in education from DePaul University in 1999.

A respected and inspiring physics teacher at the Proviso Math and Science Academy he founded the PMSA Robotics Club, The Monty Pythons.

“My mission in life is to help teenagers grow up in a good way,” he loved to say. “I get paid, however, to teach physics and engineering.” Co-clerk of the Oak Park Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), he was a leader of the 2008 Quaker Youth Pilgrimage, “Through Conflict to Peace,” traveling with 25 young people from seven different countries through the British Isles in order to understand the history and diversity of the worldwide Quaker family.

He was also an apprentice and pipe carrier in the Bear Spirit Medicine Lodge in the Blackfoot spiritual tradition, and a former massage therapist. His many passions included contra dancing, folk dancing, folk music and singing with his beautiful bass voice in the Heritage Chorale and the Community Renewal Chorus, including their tour of Europe.

Mr. Dix was also trained in outdoor education through the Northeastern Illinois University T.E.A.M. program, and he was also a member of M.E.N.S.A.

Tom Dix is survived by his mother, Marti Matthews; his sister, Anne Marie Dix Chastain; his grandmother, Lorraine McKenzie Dix; and the extended Dix, Matthews, McKenzie, and Saur families.

A memorial service will be held Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. at the 19th Century Club, 178 Forest Ave. in Oak Park.

In Tom’s memory, donations can be made to the PMSA Robotics Club (checks payable to Proviso Math and Science Academy, memo line: Robotics Club), PMSA, attention Janet, 8601 W. Roosevelt Road, Forest Park 60130.

In Tom’s memory, everyone who can is encouraged to donate blood; the donations of many unknown people kept him alive through many months, enabling his noble passage. Thanks to these and all others who encouraged and assisted him.

Howard Curtis, 92, Longtime Oak Park resident, World War II vet

Howard M. Curtis, 92, a longtime resident of Oak Park, died at his home on Sept. 16, 2009. A U.S. Army sergeant during World War II, Mr. Curtis was treasurer of Heckmann Building Products, Inc. from 1948 until his retirement in 1981.

Howard Curtis is survived by his wife, Patricia (nee Heckmann); his children, Terry (Lorna), Suzanne and Paul (Caroline) Curtis; and his grandchildren, Genevieve, Matt, Sabrina, Kelli, and Alex.

A memorial visitation and service were held Sept. 19 at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home. Memorial donations to Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Illinois Chapter, 8430 W. Bryn Mawr, Suite 800, Chicago 60631, are appreciated.

Annette Hamilton, 84, Organist for Woodside Bible Chapel, Proviso teacher and counselor

Annette Hamilton, 84, recently died in her Oak Park condo. She was born in Scotland on Aug. 25, 1925, but early in the 1930s, she, her younger brother Gavin and her parents moved to Liverpool, England and then to Oak Park in 1947.

Her father was a traveling preacher and while speaking in the USA in the late ’30s, World War II broke out and he was detained in the states for five years. During this time, Mrs. Hamilton resided in their home in England and survived the bombings by hiding the two kids under tables and in bomb shelters.

Ms. Hamilton began her undergraduate work at the University of Liverpool where she majored in piano and math. While working as a financial officer for a Chicago corporation, she obtained a master’s degree in math and education from Northwestern University and also studied pipe organ at Moody Bible Institute. After her father died in 1969, she left the business world to teach and counsel at Proviso West High School until 1990 when she took early retirement to spend time traveling with her ailing mom until she died in 1995.

A gifted musician, Ms. Hamilton played for early Billy Graham Crusades, Christian Business Men’s noon broadcasts, the Pacific Garden Mission, and many Chicago churches. For over 60 years, she faithfully played for the many services at her church, Woodside Bible Chapel in Maywood. After a fire in June of 2002 and during the two-year restoration period, she generously opened her Oak Park condo for Bible Study, where over 20 people met every Wednesday night.

She played golf, had a large stamp collection, and, before her cancer, loved to swim at the Park District of Oak Park’s Ridgeland Common pool. Until her death, she enjoyed the privilege of practicing once a week at First United Church of Oak Park where she played her favorite music on the church’s beautiful pipe organ.

Annette Hamilton is survived by her two nephews, Gavin III and Robert, their children, cousins in England and many friends in the Chicago area and her Woodside Chapel family.

Her funeral service is on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Woodside Bible Chapel, located at 621 N. 1st Avenue in Maywood. Burial will be at Forest Home Cemetery (please meet at the gate), 863 S. Desplaines Ave. in Forest Park, on Sept. 26 at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please send remembrances to Emmaus Bible College, 2570 Asbury Road in Dubuque, Iowa 52001.

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