(published March 23, 2017)
Dr. Rolf McMillan Gunnar
Rolf McMillan Gunnar, M.D., 91, renowned cardiologist, teacher, scientific author, medical leader, veteran and philanthropist, died March 18, 2017. He was a longtime resident of Hinsdale.
Born in 1926 into a medical family, Dr. Gunnar attended Northwestern University as a member of the V-12 Navy College Training Program designed to produce young officers during World War II, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a master’s in pathology and, in 1949, his M.D. degree. His medical residency at Cook County Hospital paused while he served as a U.S. Army captain and Battalion Surgeon in the Second Infantry Division, earning battle stars at Bloody Ridge, Heartbreak Ridge and Iron Triangle in Korea. Upon learning that a seriously wounded American soldier was lying exposed to enemy fire, he moved through intense artillery fire to render medical aid, evacuated the man to the battalion aid station and was awarded the Bronze Star with V Device for Valor. Returning to the Cook County Hospital, he completed his residency, went into private practice in Berwyn, IL, with his father until 1959, and then went on to a fellowship in cardiology, studying under Dr. Walter Goodale at the Harvard Medical School.
In a distinguished academic career, training many well-known cardiologists and internists, Dr. Gunnar served as director of adult cardiology and the division of medicine at Cook County Hospital; the first Edmund F. Foley Professor of Medicine and director of the section of cardiology at the University of Illinois; professor of medicine, chief of the section of cardiology and later chairman of medicine at Loyola University Medical Center.
Nationally, he served as board chairman of the Regents of the American College of Physicians, president of the Association of University Cardiologists and vice-president of the American College of Cardiology. He was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, a distinguished master of both the American College of Physicians and the American College of Cardiology and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glasgow). In 1986, he received the Stritch Medal from Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine, and in 2015 received the Physician of the Century Award for the Northern Illinois Region of the American College of Physicians.
Dr. Gunnar’s research interests included acute myocardial infarction as well as circulatory shock at a time when the discipline of cardiology was relatively new. He and his co-authors published more than 400 scientific papers and abstracts and he co-authored a published book on shock in myocardial infarction.
He first developed his clinical skills at a time before the technology taken for granted today, and his legions of students were often amazed by his ability to predict what advanced cardiac testing would show. Reputedly he never lost the “Stump the Star” clinical challenge of analyzing a new case at the weekly Loyola residents and fellows conference.
After a lifetime of service and commitment to health care for all, he “retired” and became chair of the board of Directors for BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding & Educational Center, a charity he co-founded with his second wife, Marge, and dedicated to serving children with disabilities, veterans and their families. His legacy of skill, service, compassion, education and care lives on in honor of his memory of those he touched in his first and second career.
He preceded in death in 2004 by his wife of more than 55 years, Merian Jane Gunnar; and his son, Geoffrey Charles Gunnar, who passed in 1974.
Dr. Gunnar is survived by his second wife, Margaret Tautkus Gunnar; his children, Jocelyn Gunnar Stevenson, Rolf McMillan Gunnar, Jr., William Peter Gunnar, M.D.; and his grandchildren, Frederick Gunnar Stevenson, Ela Jane Carpenter, Thomas Geoffrey Stevenson, Elizabeth Overton Gunnar, M.D., Jocelyn Overton Gunnar, Warren Petrocella Gunnar, Audrey Petrocella Gunnar; and his great-granddaughter, Ismay Jane Carpenter.
Visitation is from 2 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 24, at Adolf Funeral Home, 7000 S. Madison St., Willowbrook.
The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 25, at Grace Episcopal Church, 120 E. First St., Hinsdale.
Internment will follow at Bronswood Cemetery in Oak Brook.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to BraveHearts, 7319 Maxon Road, Harvard, IL 60033 or online at braveheartsriding.org.
Audrey J. Hartley
Audrey J. Hartley, nee Hauber, 88, died March 19, 2017 at Amita Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.
Audrey was born in Melrose Park in 1929 to Josephine and Joseph Hauber.
She was married for 68 years to Charles Hartley, who started Hartley’s Cycle Shoppe in Hinsdale in 1958.
She was preceded in death by her siblings, Muriel Rieck and Marvin (Margurite) Hauber; and her sister-in-law, Beverly (the late Robert) Emley.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by her children, Kenneth (Linda), Anita (Timothy) Dietz, Debra Hartley, Gayalyn Hurt and Dean (Barbara) Hartley; her grandchildren, Heather (Jack) Thorne, Holly (Dominick) Garcia, Chad, Amy, Matthew, Rebecca (Shamyle) Ghazali, Scott and Amanda; her great-grandchildren, Marisa, Paige and Colin; her sister-in-law, Joyce Anderson; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
Visitation is at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 25, at Sullivan Funeral Home, 60 S. Grant St., Hinsdale. A funeral service will take place at the funeral home at 11:30 p.m.
Interment will take place in Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17 Chicago, IL 60601 or online at alz.org.
James T. Horan
The world lost a bright light March 18, 2017, with the unexpected passing of beloved husband, father, brother, uncle, musician, friend and teacher, James T. Horan, 60.
Jim taught Latin, Greek and English over a 34-year career at Loyola Academy and Hinsdale Central High School. His students repeatedly credited him for teaching them critical thinking skills tempered with great stories and great advice. Jim was known for his love of people, his interest in all things musical and his sense of humor. His radiant smile reached so many people and places, and he had friends virtually everywhere, from spectators who recognized him running the Chicago Marathon to a nun he’d gone to school with at the Priscilla Catacombs in Rome.
He was an incredible father to his two children, Lisa (Ben) Coonan, 27 and Robert Horan, 24. One of his proudest moments occurred last spring when he walked his daughter down the aisle. This year he also got a hole in one, was overjoyed to see the Cubs win the World Series, and as a baking guru, perfected the bubble structure in his baguettes. He was a true friend who made no prejudgments and looked for the best in everyone, and a teacher who considered himself a student first.
Most of all, he was a devoted husband to his sweetheart Ellen for 34 years. As best friends, they climbed mountains, swam in seas and drank in all that life had to offer. His love for Ellen radiated around her and everyone who knew him knew that above all else, he was hers.
Jim also is survived by his brothers, Bob (Debbie), Dan (Angie) and Terry (Jill); his sisters, Liz (Bill) Andrews and Ellyn (Michael) Elwart; his sister-in-law Lucy (Dirk) Herrman; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Visitation is from 3 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 24, at Lauterburg & Oehler Funeral Home, 2000 E. Northwest Highway, Arlington Heights, with a memorial service at 7 p.m.
Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the James T. Horan Memorial Fund, c/o Lauterburg-Oehler Funeral Home, 2000 E. Northwest Highway, Arlington Heights, IL 60004.
Sandra Jean Litster
Sandra Jean Litster, 79, died Feb. 17, 2017, at Lexington of Lombard following a long illness.
She was born in 1937 in Harvey to Glenn and Odie Swanson.
Sandra spent part of her childhood in Beecher before moving to Harvey after her father accepted a position at the Bank of Harvey. Faith was a foundation of her childhood, with Sundays spent at church and then home singing hymns with her parents and younger brother. Her faith and her church family remained important to her throughout her life.
She graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in teaching and later earned her master’s in sociology from Northwestern University. She spent most of her career in Naperville schools, teaching history and then working as a middle school counselor before she retired.
She met her future husband, John Litster, while teaching at Proviso West High School. The two were married in November 1962 and moved to Western Springs shortly after.
There they raised their two sons, Dan and Matt, and were involved in the First United Methodist Church of Western Springs. Sandra taught junior high Sunday school, sat on the missions team and the education committee, served as lay leader, was a member of United Methodist Women and sang in the choir.
Traveling was a passion for Sandra and John, who spent three months in Europe the summer after they were married. They traveled overseas and to the American Southwest many times, with Salzburg, Austria, and Chaco Canyon, N.M., among her favorite destinations. The two also enjoyed music and spent many seasons as ticket-holders at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera. Sandra grew to love Mozart almost as much as her husband did.
Her interest in history and education were evident in her enjoyment of Questers and PEO. She also loved spending time in her garden.
She is survived by her husband, John Richard; her sons, Dan (Pam Lannom) and Matt (Colleen); her grandchildren, Gibson, Gannon, Gatlin and Ainsley; her brother, Glenn (Sharon); her niece, Chris Gear; her nephew, Scott (Shilpa); and her great-nieces and -nephews, Ashley, Mikayla and Sydney Gear, and Sedona, Aiyana and Braeden Swanson.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 8, at the First United Methodist Church of Western Springs, 4300 Howard Ave. Inurnment will be private in the church’s memorial garden.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 4300 Howard Ave., Western Springs, IL 60558; or to the PEO International Star Scholarship, PEO Foundation, International Headquarters, 3700 Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312 or online at peointernational.org.
Eleanor Richter, nee Sparapani, 92, of Hinsdale passed away March 18, 2017.
She was born in 1924 in Iron Mountain, Mich.
She is survived by her husband of 64 years, William; her children, Cathy (the late Robert) Bordeman and Peter (Heather) Richter; her grandchildren, Gretta and Anne Richter, Adam (Lauren) Bordeman and the late Andrew (Deanna) Bordeman; her sister, Adele (John) Mikan; and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date and burial will be private.
Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Tribute Program, P.O. Box 1000, Department 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142 or online at stjude.org would.
Sullivan Funeral Home in Hinsdale handled the arrangements.
Dr. Walter S. Wood
Walter S. Wood, M.D., a US Army Air Corps World War II veteran of Hinsdale, died Feb. 23, 2017. He was 93.
Walter was born on the family farm outside Gettysburg, Penn., in 1923. He grew up in Pennsylvania and New York.
He served in the Army Air Corp, 868 Bomb Squadron 13th Bomber Command from 1943-45, including in the South Pacific from December 1944-August 1945. He received the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal with 5 Bronze Stars for his service.
After serving in the Army Air Corp, Walter graduated from Columbia University. It was there he chose his passion for medicine as the best vehicle for becoming involved in the community. He graduated in 1951 from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. Prior to graduating, while moonlighting as a lab tech at New York Methodist Hospital, he met his future wife, Mary Mangini, a nurse.
Dr. Wood continued with his medical residency at the Research and Education Hospital at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He served as chief resident there from 1955-56. In 1958, he became the director of infectious disease at Cook County Hospital. While there, his passion for medicine extended into teaching.
Dr. Wood’s career had always been driven by a belief that medical care was a right, rather than a privilege. He was a champion of the underserved and founder of the original Maywood Clinic in 1970. He was a community activist and a member of the original group that founded Access to Care.
For the next 30 years, Dr. Wood continued his career path at Loyola University Medical Center and the Stritch School of Medicine in Maywood. He served as chief of infectious diseases and chaired the Department of Public Health, which he subsequently named the Department of Community and Family Medicine. He also served as chief consultant, infectious disease at Hines VA Hospital.
Many of Dr. Wood’s patients were elderly. He was known as a physician who listened to their concerns. In 1976, he became the medical consultant to the Southwest Suburban Center on Aging. It was there he joined forces with his wife to serve the outpatient needs of the local geriatric population.
To his colleagues, Dr. Wood was an extremely intelligent and challenging physician who stimulated their thinking. To his students, he was an animated teacher and storyteller, intertwining anecdotes from his own life with facts from medical textbooks to help them understand a diagnosis.
He was a member of numerous medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, Alpha Omega Alpha, The Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine, to name a few. He was an accomplished researcher and writer, having countless articles published throughout his career. In 1990, Dr. Wood was awarded The Stritch Medal, the highest honor bestowed on a Loyola physician for their dedication and achievements. Although a brilliant physician, he always credited his wife for every accomplishment.
Walter was a devoted Christian and a member of the Union Church of Hinsdale for over 50 years. He was involved with various groups, including the Men’s Club. His passions included attending the Lyric Opera in Chicago and Hinsdale Chapter of the Lyric Opera festivities with his wife, as well as the West Suburban Symphony Orchestra. Walter was an avid pheasant hunter and enjoyed outings with his beloved English springer spaniels. In the last of his years, he enjoyed afternoon outings to Hidden Lake Forest preserve with his family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Esther (nee Chase); and his siblings, William, Anna (Rice) and Julia.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary, nee Mangini; his children, Judith (John), Wallace and Edith; his grandsons, Walter, Justin and Chase; his siblings, John and Lynn (Dizard); and many nephews and nieces.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 25, at the Union Church of Hinsdale, 137 S. Garfield Ave.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Stritch School of Medicine, Office of Advancement, 2160 South First Avenue, Maywood, IL 60153; and/or Union Church of Hinsdale, 137 S. Garfield Ave., Hinsdale, IL 60521.
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