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Hinsdale, Illinois |


OBITUARIES:  (published Jan. 31, 2019)

Charles Cunningham
Charles “Chuck” Cunningham of Port Charlotte, Fla., formerly of Hinsdale, passed away Jan. 15, 2019.
   Chuck, 81, was born in Studley, Kan., in 1937, to Charles and Lella Cunningham. He was raised in Oakley, Kan., and in 1955 enlisted with the Navy. He trained at Great Lakes Naval Academy before being stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii and serving as a corpsman.
   In 1958, Chuck wed Arlene Listak at Zion Lutheran Church in Hinsdale to begin a marriage that would last 60 years. He had a dedicated work ethic and worked five different jobs in his life, starting as a bakery employee at age 9. As a husband and father, he worked to support his family with three jobs — at Wannamakers Home and Garden, Standard Gas Station and, for 32 years, as chief groundskeeper at Hinsdale Sanitarium and Hospital. He also worked for Mid-America Federal in Clarendon Hills before retiring.
   Chuck was a recovered alcoholic and drove a bus every Sunday morning to take patients to their AA breakfast meetings as a way of giving back to the community and help him to continue to recover.
   Chuck loved the beach and riding his bicycle, regularly stopping to talk to people along his routes and making many new friends.
   He is survived by his children, Steve (Sandy), Mike (Shannon) and Cheryl (David); his grandchildren, Lauren (Drew) VanderWerf, Zach Cunningham, Sarah Cunningham, Christopher Stock and Holly Stock; his step-grandchildren, Dawn Vest, Mathew Staton and Cheryl Easton; and his great-grandchild, Harper VanderWerf.
   A memorial service will be held in June on the beach on Sanibel Island.
   Thoughts, memories and condolences are appreciated at

John Charles Kern
John Charles Kern, 93, of Chicago passed away surrounded by his family Jan. 20, 2019, at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. 
   John was born in Chicago to Herbert Arthur and Edith (Speckman) Kern and grew up in Hinsdale. He married Anne Rumsey Moreland in West Hartford, Conn., on Sept. 13, 1958.
   John attended Northwestern Military & Naval Academy, in Lake Geneva, Wis., where he graduated in June of 1943, and then immediately enlisted in the U.S. Army. Upon returning from Europe at the close of World War II, an infantry sergeant with three battle stars, John attended MIT, graduating in 1950 in chemical engineering and business. He did post-graduate study from 1951-53 at the Harvard Business School and Northwestern University from 1969-71 in organization theory. He had a successful technically oriented business career spanning the development of international standards, marketing research, human engineering, product planning, R & D management and consulting.
   John also became quite involved in community activities, chairing the Hinsdale Community Chest, helping to merge it with the surrounding small villages. He also served as an officer of the Suburban Community Chest Council, as a member of Chicago’s Crusade of Mercy Board, and as co-founder of the United Way of Illinois and the First Risk Pooling Trust.
   For the past 53 years John directed the foundation his father established for encouraging the study and broader knowledge of theosophy. Central to the concerns of theosophy is the desire to promote understanding and good relations among people of all races, nationalities, philosophies and religions. John also served as chair of the Theosophical Investment Trust. In addition to providing major support for the Theosophical Society and the Krotona Institute of Theosophy, The Kern Foundation has provided grants to Harvard’s Center for the Study of World Religions, the California Institute of Asian Studies (John was a former vice chair), Loyola University Chicago and the University of Chicago for Doctoral Fellowships. John served their libraries’ visiting committees as a life member along with his wife, Anne. He was a former vice president and secretary and life trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago as well as MIT’s Council for the Arts.
   John had a great zest for life and particularly for the latest thing, whether it be art, architecture, clothing, a fancy car, classical music or an electronic gadget. Unfailingly polite and kind, he was an old school gentleman with a modern sensibility. He loved sharing meals with his family and close friends and always had room for dessert, with perhaps an extra scoop of ice cream.
   He was preceded in death by his brother, Herb.
   John is survived by his wife of 60 years, Anne; his three children, Elizabeth (Doug) Chalmers of Hinsdale, John Jr. “Jay” (Katie) Kern and Louise Kern (Thomas Grischany); and his six grandchildren, Elinor and Henry Chalmers, John III, Libby and Charles Kern, and Rupert Grischany. 
   Services are being planned.
   The Cremation Society of Illinois is handling the arrangements.

Raymond S. Leonchik
Raymond S. Leonchik, 94, of La Grange died Jan. 24, 2019.
   He and his wife were former owners of the Highland Queen in La Grange. He is a former police officer and firefighter in McCook, and retired from Corn Products after 42 years of service.
   He was preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Ruth; and his brother, Alex Leonchik.
   He is survived by his children, Sharon (the late John) Ligon, David (Audrey), Larry (Marty Hennessy) and Deborah (Wayne W.) Stabrawa; his grandchildren, Christine, David Jr. (Theresa), Sabrina (Ken) Schoenberger Jr., Renee (Tim) Schoper and Rachel; his great-grandchildren, David III, Matthew, Sofia, Madeline and Ruby; and many nieces and nephews.
   Visitation is from 3 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, at Adolf Funeral Home, Ltd., 7000 S. Madison St., Willowbrook.
   Family and friends will meet at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at the funeral home before proceeding to Trinity Lutheran Church, 11503 German Church Road, Burr Ridge, for an 11 a.m. funeral service. Burial is private.

Frank J. Vrba
Frank J. Vrba, 88, died Jan. 26, 2019, at his home in Hinsdale.
   He was born in 1930 in Cicero.
   He was preceded in death by his first wife, Antoinette; and his sister, Rose (the late George) Prochaska.
   He is survived by his wife, Christine Vrba, nee Korona; his children, Frank J. Vrba and Annette (Robert) Persa; his grandchildren, Ryan, Carla, and Albert; and his sister, Helen (the late Art) Hess.
   Visitation is at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 1, at Sullivan Funeral Home, 60 S. Grant St., Hinsdale.
   A service will follow at the funeral home at 11 a.m.
   Interment is private at Woodlawn Cemetery in Forest Park.
   In lieu of flowers, memorials may be to UAW 152 Retirees, c/o Christine Vrba, at Sullivan Funeral Home, 60 S. Grant St., Hinsdale, IL 60521.


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Jan. 31, 2019 Obituaries





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