Paul Fanta, 88, IIT chemistry professor

Paul E. Fanta, 88, of Oak Park died on May 3, 2010. A longtime Oak Park resident and professor emeritus of chemistry at IIT in Chicago, he received the excellence in teaching award in 1978. Growing up in Cicero, he graduated from Morton High School, earned his bachelor’s in chemistry from the University of Illinois and his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Rochester, N.Y.

According to an obituary in the Chicago Tribune, he did research related to the atomic bomb project. He joined the faculty at IIT in 1948 and retired in 1984. He served on the board of the Oak Park Conservatory, where he was involved in the purchase and installation of the sundial.

Paul Fanta is survived by his wife, LaVergne; his children, David and John (Jane); and his sister, Barbara. He was preceded in death by his sister, Charlotte.

It was Mr. Fanta’s wish that his body be donated to the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois. Arrangements were handled by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home.

Margaret Early, 93, Red Cross worker in WWII, USO employee

Margaret F. Early (nee Foust), 93, a resident of River Forest and Arlington Heights, died on May 1, 2010. She began her career as a teacher in Tennessee and served with the Red Cross in England and Germany during and after World War II. She joined the USO and lived in Japan before and during the Korean Conflict, where she met and married Chuck and, as the wife of an Army officer, lived in many places.

Mrs. Early is survived by her children, Joe (Marci), Margie (Dan) Cekander, and Marion (Gary) Nehmer; her grandchildren, Claire and Emily Cekander and Tim and Kira Nehmer; and her great-grandchild, Morgen Brewington-Nehmer. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles; her grandchild, Kevin Nehmer; and her sister, Jeanette Fisher.

Memorials to Children’s Cancer Connection (The Heart Connection), 1221 Center Street, Ste. 12, Des Moines, IA 50309-1014, would be appreciated. Funeral services were held May 5, 2010 in Palatine.

Visit Margaret’s memorial page at

William Sullivan, 87, WWII and Korean Vet, St. Catherine-St. Lucy parishioner

William J. Sullivan, 87, a longtime Oak Park resident, died on May 6, 2010 after a brief illness. Born in Sioux Falls, S.D., he spent his middle years in Ashland, Wis., where he worked as a cub reporter for the Ashland Daily Press. After serving in both WWII and Korea, he obtained a marketing degree from DePaul University, then joined his uncle as a sales representative with Glasgo Ltd., a high-end men’s wear woolen company. He was the manager of the Pendleton Woolens Shop in the Palmer House Arcade for 23 years, retiring in 1993.

A self-proclaimed “bonvivant,” he met and married the elegant former model, Elenore Smith, in 1961, and they had two children, both graduates of Oak Park and River Forest High School. A fixture at St. Catherine-St. Lucy parish in Oak Park, Mr. Sullivan sang bass in the choir for many years, including at Pope John Paul II’s Mass in Grant Park in 1979. He will be remembered as an honest and good man, dedicated to the success of his children.

Bill Sullivan is survived by his children, Anne T. Sullivan, AIA, and his son, William B. Sullivan, JD; Bill Jr.’s wife, Cheryl; and his grandchildren, Cali Cecile, Megan Ellen, and Patrick Bernard Sullivan.

An “Irish Wake” will be held at Molly Malone’s, 7652 Madison St., Forest Park, on Friday, May 14 from 7 to 10 p.m. On Saturday, May 15, visitation begins at 10 a.m. until time of the funeral Mass, 11 a.m., at St. Catherine of Siena-St. Lucy Church, 38 N. Austin Blvd., Oak Park. Private interment will take place at Queen of Heaven Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to St. Catherine-St. Lucy Church are appreciated. Arrangements were handled by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home.

Join the discussion on social media!