obituaries

Lead story image

Jim Hoel, POW in ‘Great Escape’ camp in WWII, dies at 92

The phone trilled at 6:30 in the morning at Jim Hoel’s Evanston home on August 27, 2003, a day that proved unassailably that truth is stranger than fiction. He fumbled for the phone and listened as a man with an English accent asked, “Hello, is this Jim Hoel?” When Mr. Hoel said yes, Peter Cooper exploded with excitement. “We’ve got your watch!” said Cooper, who was calling from near London. A World War II veteran, Mr. Hoel hadn’t seen his Gallet Commander for more than 60 years, since his B-26 Marauder plane had been shot down in the Netherlands.

Frank Butler, whose family founded Butler Aviation, dies at 85

thumbnail

Frank Butler, 85, a member of a prominent family that developed the village of Oak Brook and founded Butler Aviation, died Friday at the Lourdes-Noreen McKeen rehab facility in West Palm Beach, Fla. He traveled the world, managed his investments, collected Asian antiques, swam, played tennis and was “an American aristocrat,” said his sister, Jorie Butler Kent. “He really just thoroughly enjoyed life.”

Maureen O’Looney, dead at 92, charmed Conan O’Brien, was a matriarch to many in Chicago’s Irish community

thumbnail

Maureen O’Looney, whose couch was the first stop for many fellow Irish immigrants landing in Chicago, has died at 92. She fed the newcomers, lent them money, helped them find jobs, set up bank accounts and let them sleep rent-free on her living room floor. Irish Americans flocked to the store she opened in 1967 — Shamrock Imports at Belmont and Laramie — to stock up on Barry’s tea, soda bread, Irish newspapers and gossip.

Actor and ‘Gandhi’ director Richard Attenborough dies at 90

thumbnail

A generation knew him as the failed theme park developer in “Jurassic Park” and Kris Kringle in a remake of “Miracle on 34th Street.”

Earl Calloway, longtime Chicago Defender writer, creator of ‘Black Creativity’ program, dead at 87

thumbnail

Earl Calloway, who was a longtime columnist and editor for the Chicago Defender and organized the cultural festival now known as Black Creativity, died Wednesday. He was 87.

Cardinal Edmund Szoka, 86, former Vatican governor, confidant of John Paul II

thumbnail

DETROIT — Edmund Szoka, an American cardinal who served as governor and financial administrator of the Vatican and was a confidant of St. John Paul II, has died at age 86.

Rev. Szoka died of natural causes Wednesday night at Providence Park Hospital in Novi, …

Father of ‘Homer Simpson’ voice actor dead at 99

thumbnail

Louis Castellaneta, who raised a creative family that includes son Dan Castellaneta, the voice of countless animated characters including Homer Simpson and Krusty the Clown on TV’s “The Simpsons,” died Friday at his home in the Chicago suburbs. He was 99. Dan Castellaneta said his father was “a wonderful, creative and talented man” — and funny, too.

Thomas Augustine, Labor Department chief and dog musher, dead at 93

thumbnail

Thomas Augustine would come around a curve and see them — dogs waiting for owners who would never return. “People would abandon them in the country, places where we traveled,” Mr. Augustine told the Chicago Sun-Times last year. “We could see them standing beside the road, waiting for the people who left them there to come back and pick them up. But the people who had left them did not come back.” Still, these were lucky dogs. Mr. Augustine and his wife, Agnes, adopted them. They kept a sled dog team on their five-acre farm on South Western Avenue in

Longtime ‘Saturday Night Live’ announcer Don Pardo dead at 96

thumbnail

Don Pardo, one of TV’s best-known announcers for his work on “Saturday Night Live” and the original “Jeopardy!,” has died at the age of 96. “There was no greater thrill than hearing Don Pardo bellow your name for the first time in the opening credits of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ ” said longtime cast member Tina Fey. With his death, Fey said, “Late night will never sound as cool again.”

Sally Hunter-Wiley, trailblazing Leo Burnett ad exec, dies at 66

thumbnail

Sally Hunter-Wiley was a pioneering Leo Burnett ad executive toward the end of the male-dominated “Mad Men” era, and anyone who underestimated her learned she was a lot more than a blonde who drove a red Corvette.

The University of Chicago-educated Mrs. Wiley became the …

Mentor of thousands of Chick Evans Scholarship caddies

thumbnail

Jim Moore helped build the Western Golf Association’s Chick Evens scholarship program and provided a guiding, encouraging hand to countless young people who attended college thanks to the scholarships. Mr. Moore, who lived in Green Oaks and was the golf association’s senior vice president of foundation advancement, died Tuesday of pancreatic cancer. He was 73.

Myrtle Young, 90, ‘Potato Chip Lady’ part of one of Johnny Carson’s greatest moments

thumbnail

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The Fort Wayne “Potato Chip Lady,” who became a local celebrity after appearing on several late-night talk shows with her collection of chips that resembled celebrities and animals, has died, her daughter and a funeral home said. She was 90. Myrtle …

Kimball Paul — sword-wielding bouncer on Chicago’s punk, new wave scene of 1980s — dead at 56

thumbnail

Kimball Paul, a sword-wielding bouncer known to also create a scene on the dance floors at the punk and new wave bars that dotted the North Side of Chicago in the 1980s, has died at 56. Paul, a Bridgeport resident who grew up in Skokie, died Tuesday of liver disease at Rush University Medical Center. He was a bouncer at clubs including Neo, Exit, Avalon and Metro.

Charles Keating, 72, actor in ‘Another World’

thumbnail

LOS ANGELES — Shakespearean actor and soap opera star Charles Keating has died at the age of 72. Mr. Keating’s son, Sean Keating, says the actor died Friday in his Connecticut home after a three-year battle with lung cancer. Sean Keating said Monday that his …

Barack Obama’s great-uncle dies at 89; Charles Payne was WWII vet, U. of C. library official

thumbnail

President Barack Obama’s “Uncle Charlie” has died. Charles T. Payne, 89, died Aug. 1 in Chicago. He was the brother of “Toot,” Madelyn Payne Dunham, the maternal grandmother who helped to raise the president.

Menahem Golan, 85, filmmaker behind ‘Delta Force,’ ‘Cobra,’ sequels to ‘Death Wish’

thumbnail

TEL AVIV, Israel — Menahem Golan, a veteran Israeli filmmaker who built an empire on the back of brawny men beating others senseless across a host of 1980s action films, has died in Tel Aviv. He was 85. Throughout his long career, Mr. Golan produced …