by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—A Joint Review Board met on Oct. 28 and voted in favor of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District proposed by the village of Maple Park.
A TIF District is a tool that can be used by municipalities to spur economic development by defining a specific area and dedicating any tax revenue increase from inside the district to further development within its boundaries.
The Joint Reveiw Board on Oct. 28 was made up of representatives from various taxing bodies the TIF would affect, including Beth Miller of the Maple Park Public Library, Kevin Peterson of the Maple Park Countryside Fire District, and Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schuler of the Kaneland School District.
“The board participants were not voting on whether they agreed or disagreed with TIF conceptually,” Maple Park President Kathy Curtis said. “They were voting on whether the village followed the legal process for establishing a TIF district.”
Since the vote was dealing with the legality of the proposed TIF, Curtis said she was not concerned.
“The whole time we have been working on this TIF, the village has followed the prescribed process for establishing a district,” Curtis said.
While the Joint Review Bboard made the decision that the proposed TIF followed the correct legal processes, Curtis said she still anticipates that there may be some concerned citizens.
“If the TIF is established, I think residents will want to know that the money is being used appropriately,” Curtis said, “I’d like to assure them that this Board of Trustees has good intentions for the revenue stream we hope to see.”
The final public hearing regarding the proposed TIF District will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 22, with the Village Board vote set for Tuesday, Dec. 6.
• Final public hearing on the proposed TIF District is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 22
• Village Board vote is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 6
by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Village Trustees on Tuesday voted 6-0 in favor of four resolutions pertaining to proposed improvements and an extension of the drainage system in the Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks subdivisions.
The enacted agenda items included an “amended and restated first resolution of the Board of Local Improvements;” a “recommendation from the Board of Local Improvements concerning proposed improvements;” a “publication, in pamphlet form, of the drainage project, recommendation of the Board of Local Improvements, and estimated cost of proposed improvements;” and a “resolution declaring official intent concerning specific capital expenditures to be reimbursed from proceeds of an obligation.”
A document from Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger states that the project will tentatively be funded through village funds, a contribution from Kane County and a special assessment on property in the two subdivisions. The budget for the drainage project is currently in the ballpark of $1.78 to $1.91 million, with Kane County contributing $171,000.
Trustee Kevin Geary said during the meeting that residents have asked him if it would be possible for a citizen to sit in on the three-man Board of Local Improvements as a sort of balancing factor. Eichelberger said that state statute identifies the village president, engineer and public works official as the individuals permitted to sit on the board.
“It was a question I was asked (by residents) … and I said, ‘I don’t know what the statute reads,’ so I said that I would ask (about it),” Geary said.
According to Eichelberger’s document, the village’s up-front contribution will increase from $589,000 to $690,000 if project costs approach the upper limit of the budget. Residential contribution, capped at $75,000 annually, is $121 per town home and $394 per single-family home. The document also states that project bids are due in mid-November, and construction could be completed as early as next spring.
by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—Kaneland’s Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with villages in the district will expire Jan. 1, 2012, and that means the district is currently working to secure a new IGA in time for next year.
Kaneland’s current IGA addresses land-cash and capital-impact fees with nine municipalities in the district, and sets a fee table based on home type, number of bedrooms and home value. The IGA, by extending to all nine municipalities, also seeks to eliminate impact and transition fees from being a negotiation tool between individual municipalities and developers.
Superintendent Jeff Schuler said Kaneland is currently in the process of re-establishing what the IGA will be as it moves forward.
“We’ve been working on it for quite a while. I don’t anticipate any changes in terms of the current land-cash numbers. We use the land-cash numbers that are put forth by Kane County,” he said.
Land-cash contributions are involved when the School District specifies the acreage per school site and the number of students housed in those respective schools, and also sets the value per improved acre of land within Kane County. The numbers in the agreement are as follows:
• Elementary: 600 students per school, 15 acres per site
• Middle school: 900 students per school, 35 acres per site
• High school: 1,500 students per school, 80 acres per site
“The value per approved acre is $80,000, and these numbers are used to determine a land-cash contribution based on the potential student yield from the proposed development,” Schuler said. “There’s still a considerable interest in trying to keep a common agreement in place, but as of right now, there hasn’t been significant discussion about shifting land-cash contributions.”
The Lincoln Highway 4-H Club hosted the annual Halloween Parade on Monday at the Maple Park Civic Center. Gaven Hargrove (at right), 10, and Maddie McGrady, 9, pose as Frankenstein and his bride.
Prizes were given to winners in each age group. Jackson and Connor, 4, (above) show off their prizes. The event was sponsored by the Maple Park Lions Club, St. Mary, St. Vincent DePaul Society and the Maple Park Rec Council.
The following reports were obtained from local police departments. The individuals charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
• Janet M. Haas, 20, of St. Charles was charged on Oct. 29 for driving under the influence of alcohol, unlawful consumption by a minor, and unlawful possession of alcohol by a minor. Haas was stopped by police for driving without a rear license plate light, for which she was also charged. Her passenger, Georgia L. Porter, of the 1000 block of Liberty Street, was charged with unlawful consumption by a minor. Both women had a blood alcohol exceeding the lawful limit of .08. Police also found an unopened can of beer after searching the trunk of the vehicle. Both posted bond and were released.
• A theft of $160 dollars in quarters was reported Oct. 29 from the coin operated machine at Elburn Car Wash, 120 W. Nebraska St. Reports indicate that sometime during the weekend, the change machine was emptied by someone, possibly by using a hook to pull wires out through the change slot to short it out for access.
State Representative Kay Hatcher (left) visited Schmidt’s Towne Tap in Elburn on Wednesday to collect signed petitions from constituents helping get her name on the ballot for a re-election bid in the 50th District. Viki Delmer, a registered Republican and bartender at Schmidt’s, signs one of Hatcher’s petitions. Photo by Sandy Kaczmarski
Magician “Magic Matt” (Matthew Scherer) put on a show at Elburn’s Town and Country Public Library on the evening of Oct. 24. Kids got to interact with him and do magic themselves. “Magic Matt” has been performing magic for over 25 years. He performs all over the Midwest at trade shows, schools, libraries and many other venues. Photo by Madeline Cole
Danny Grotto, 4, has a close encounter with a live Egyptian Fruit Bat at the Sugar Grove Library on
Saturday, Oct. 29. Educators and naturalists Sharon and Daniel Peterson brought their “Incredible Bats” demonstration to the library. Children got to learn about bats, and they each took turns having a bat hang from them. The Petersons have been educating people about bats for over 10 years. Photo by John DiDonna
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday voted 6-0 to enter into an agreement for utility billing production services.
According to a document from Finance Director Justin Vanvooren, Third Millennium Associates, Inc., has put forth a proposal offering utility billing production services to the village for $.20 per bill (excluding postage) and $.01 per additional item (newsletter) placed into the envelope. An analysis of current and proposed costs involved suggests there will be monthly savings on hard costs alone.
ELBURN—The 5th Annual Charity Car/Motorcycle Show brought in $10,000 for Special Olympics and attracted 145 cars, trucks and motorcycles. This year’s show, sponsored by Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez, took place on Sept. 3 at the Martin Family Farm on Green Road.
Perez will donate the proceeds from next year’s show to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
Call (630) 816-9535 or (630) 377-7250 for more information.
Photo: Ryan Fuchs (10) makes a key 28-yard catch in the fourth quarter of Friday’s 51-45 slugfest in round one of the Class 5A playoffs. The senior’s grab was his only catch of the game, but continued a drive that ended on a Zack Martinelli touchdown catch. Photo by John DiDonna
KHS has date with St. Francis Spartans in second round by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—On the surface, it wouldn’t seem like a Class 5A No. 16 seed like the Belvidere Bucs would make any kind of a splash in the first-round matchup with the Knights football roster on Friday.
It turned out that it wasn’t until very late in the fourth quarter that Kaneland was able to throw the NIC-10 school out of the playoff pool.
Belvidere (5-5) outgained Kaneland in total yards by a 557-478 count, and had a chance to take the lead late in the fourth, until Knight Kory Harner leapt up and beat his Buc counterpart to the pass, securing a 51-45 win.
“I think that was Kory’s first interception,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “He picked a great time to do it. We just tell the kids to keep playing. They got some things on us, and our kids just kept playing and we made a play at the end.”
Kaneland (10-0) hosts the No. 8 seed St. Francis of Wheaton, who eliminated Burlington Central on Saturday by a final of 27-10.
For Kaneland, this brings coach Fedderly’s postseason mark to 4-3 since taking over the reigns in 2007.
A year ago, Kaneland began its playoff quest with a running clock, 42-0 win over Chicago’s King High School.
The leading rusher for the contest was Buc talent Marcus Gooden, who rushed for 174 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. Belvidere had four rushing scores on the night.
However, Kaneland went to a balanced rushing attack that shared the wealth and yielded good things when needed most.
Quinn Buschbacher had 80 yards and two rushing scores, followed by Jesse Balluff with 78 yards and three touchdowns, and quarterback Drew David had 69 yards on 10 tries.
“I think our pass and our running game really complement each other,” David said. “We can’t always rely on the pass to win us games, and we can’t always rely on the run to win us games. Today, we decided we were going to pound it.”
Belvidere QB Troy Vandenbroek was 15-for-25 for 278 yards, with two touchdowns and one pick. David was 13-for-21 for 251 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Sean Carter of KHS had 134 yards receiving on four catches.
KHS scored first on a 43-yard TD run by Buschbacher just 1 minute, 54 seconds into the game, and scored again on a David one-yard sneak with 3:53 left in the frame, with the extra-point attempt botched making it 13-0.
The Bucs stormed back on the first play of the next drive thanks to an 80-yard scamper by Gooden. Gooden gave Belvidere the lead on a three-yard TD run with :17 to go for a 14-13 lead.
Down 17-13, Kaneland went to the rush again and had Balluff score on two one-yard carries within 3:15 of each other, taking a 27-17 lead in the second. Vandenbroek closed the first-half scoring with a nine-yard run with :24 left to close within 27-24.
In the third quarter, David found Zack Martinelli for a 14-yard strike with 9:32 to go for a 34-24 lead. With 1:12 to go in the frame, Buschbacher scored from four yards out to go up 41-24.
Kaneland players and fans alike had to withstand a feisty fourth quarter as Belvidere didn’t go away.
Reed Greiter caught a 17-yard TD pass with 10:01 to go to close within 41-31. After getting the ball back on a pick, Vandenbroek ran for a 40-yard score on the next play to make it 41-38 with 9:46 to go.
Buschbacher then took the ensuing kickoff 94 yards down to the one, where Balluff plunged in for a 48-38 lead with 9:26 to go.
Kyle Harris caught a 38-yard TD pass to close within 48-45 with 8:15 to go. Jake Razo recovered the onside kick attempt, and Matt Rodriguez kicked a 40-yard field goal to set things at 51-45 with 5:19 to go.
Belvidere drove into KHS territory, and on a 2nd-and-20 from the Knight 33, Harner came up with the crucial pick, leading to Kaneland running out the clock.
The next challenge for the Knights, on Saturday, Nov. 5, takes place at 7 p.m.
The winner of the Knight-Spartan contest faces either Sycamore or Rochelle the following week.
The road ahead The 4 remaining Northern Illinois Big XII teams went 2-2 in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.
Photo: Maggie Brundige was fourth-best for the KHS on Saturday. Kaneland girls and boys are both headed to State for the first time since 1992. Photo by Mike Slodki
by Mike Slodki
BELVIDERE, Ill.—All KHS coach Doug Ecker could have hoped for was a consistent and smart race by his girls cross country team.
That’s what happened, at the very least.
To compound the morning of sunny skies in Belvidere, Ill., at the home of the Bucs of NIC-10 fame, Kaneland’s 130-point, fourth-place total was good to send the entire team down to the State final at Detweiler Park in Peoria, Ill., this Saturday, Nov. 5.
Yorkville, at 67 points, was first, followed by Crystal Lake Central’s 70 and Dixon’s 113. DeKalb was the last team to qualify for Statehood with 140.
“I was really proud of them, and I thought they ran really well,” said Ecker on Saturday, who keyed the last half-mile as being integral to the Lady Knights’ success.
Now, after years of falling short entirely or sending an individual down to Peoria, Kaneland gets ready to load the bus.
A year ago, Jen Howland represented KHS in Peoria. Four years ago, it was Andie Strang qualifying in her freshman year.
CLC representative Sami Staples conquered the course with a time of 17:39.4.
DeKalb sophomore Kelsey Schrader, who was in the thick of things all season, finished second in 17:42.8.
For the Lady Knights’ attack, the charge was fronted by freshman Victoria Clinton’s 18 minute, 28.4 second charge.
Clinton, who took ninth in the crowded field, was always clear on what was needed for a successful race.
“I just knew I had to do the best for my team and be consistent, and I’ve tried to do that all season,” Clinton said.
Next in line was junior constant Abby Dodis, who finished 18th at 18:52.6.
Freshman Aislinn Lodwig took the third-best total for the Lady Knights, running in 19:04.5, 28th overall.
Junior Maggie Brundige was 37th, finishing in 19:18.5.
First-year cross-country entry Amanda Lesak was 41st at 19:24.4, and Ashley Castellanos was 71st at 19:48.8.
In 98th was Sydney Strang at 20:37.
Keeping the pack relatively close, the top four runners for Kaneland were just 50.1 seconds apart.
A year ago in the Class 2A finals, Peoria Notre Dame took the team crown, while Yorkville finished second, and Springfield took third.
Woodstock’s Kayla Beattie was first in 2010, at 16:22.
The girls’ race has a scheduled start time of 11 a.m.
Photo: Kyle Carter (right) strides on Saturday, as he has done all season, as part of the State-bound Knight boys cross country squad. Photo by Mike Slodki
Fourth-place means 15th trip to State in 25 years by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—In a loaded Class 2A sectional hosted by Belvidere High School, Knight boys cross country had quite the challenge ahead of it and quite the trail to conquer.
If qualifying for the State race in Peoria this weekend is any indication, Kaneland went above and beyond, qualifying as a team.
KHS finished Saturday with 208 team points, two points ahead of final qualifying team Grayslake Central.
Belvidere North, with junior star Tyler Yunk, was first with 60 points, and Yorkville was second with 89 points.
Crystal Lake Central was third with 129 points.
The productive showing marks an improvement over a year ago, with one Knight, Trevor Holm, qualifying in 2010. The entire team qualified in 2009 and finished fifth.
“To take a busload of boys and girls to State for this meet hasn’t happened since 1992,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said. “To share this special day with them is great. We look forward to the chance to represent our community well in Peoria.”
Using a solid, 40-second pack split, something that Clarey has stressed the utmost importance of in 2011, the Knights’ Kyle Carter was the top finisher for his group in 19th place at 15 minutes, 59.9 seconds.
“What a great breakout sophomore season for him. Him and Brandon Huber are probably our most improved runners,” Clarey said.
Following close behind was 33rd-place John Meisinger at 16:18.8.
Teammate Huber was 49th and next for KHS at 16:34.7.
The fourth-best runner for the Knights was integral to the bottom line: Miki Marin, hobbled by a bum hamstring.
“He started passing, and didn’t stop for the last two miles. He ran a perfect race and did everything we asked of him. These boys came together as one solid group,” Clarey said.
Conor Johnson finished fifth for KHS with a time of 16:39, good for 56th.
Also in the mix on Saturday was Luis Acosta, at 17:03 (88th place). Senior Clayton Brundige was 109th at 17:24, and now a three-year member of the Kaneland State caravan, having gone in ‘08 and ‘09.
The boys’ race is set to begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5.
MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Youth Basketball Program for third-through-eighth grade boys runs from mid-January through mid-March. Registration is open through Saturday, Nov. 12. Forms are available at the Maple Park Library and are also posted on the village of Maple Park’s website.
For more information on signup, call Scott Willis at (630) 621-0736.
GRAYSLAKE, Ill.—Waubonsee Community College’s women’s soccer team captured the NJCAA Region IV Division I crown for the third time in the last four years, with a dominating 3-0 victory over the College of Lake County on Saturday, Oct. 29. The Lady Chiefs (16-6) outshot the top-seeded Lancers (17-3) 17-0 on the way to more than make amends for a 2-1 loss to Lake County back on Sept. 14. That defeat eventually cost Waubonsee a second consecutive Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference title, and the top seed in the region.
Waubonsee advances to the Saturday, Nov. 5, NJCAA District D Championship against Delta (Mich.) College in University Center, Mich., beginning at 11 a.m. The winner will move on to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in Melbourne, Fla., beginning on Thursday, Nov. 17. Delta (11-3-1) was an upset winner 1-0 in a shootout over 14th-ranked Schoolcraft (Mich.) College for the Region XII title.
In their rematch against the Lancers, with just over a minute before halftime, forward Maxzine Rossler (So./Hinckley-Big Rock) broke a scoreless tie when she drilled a 15-yard shot from the left side into the far, upper right corner of the net to give the Lady Chiefs a 1-0 lead. Midway through the second half, Jessica Alvarez’ (So./Oswego East) ensuing free kick from 20 yards was successful for her 12th score of the season. Ten minutes later Rossler netted her 32nd goal of the year off an assist from Cindy McDonald (So./Willowbrook).
An NJCAA Second Team All-American last season, Rossler is now third nationally in points (79) and goals (32), and is also tied for 13th in assists (15). The Lady Chiefs have also won 11 of their last 12 matches.
Bread, soup, salad
for food, fellowship
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove United Methodist Church will host a benefit bread, soup and salad luncheon at the Sugar Grove Community House, 141 Main St., at noon on Sunday, Nov. 6. Everyone is invited to share in the fun, food and fellowship with a meal of soup, salad, bread, desserts and beverages. A free-will offering will support outreach mission projects.
Call the church office at (630) 466-4501 for information. No reservations are necessary.
to host bake sale
GENEVA—Revive! Christian Fellowship Church will host a bake sale on Sunday, Nov. 6, from noon to 2:30 p.m. at the American Legion, 22 S. 2nd St. in Geneva. All proceeds will go to the Winter Clothing Drive to purchase and distribute new winter clothing items for those in need in the Fox Valley area.
hosts fall open house
AURORA—Marmion Academy will host its fall open house for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade boys on Sunday, Nov. 6.
The Catholic college-preparatory high school for boys is located at 1000 Butterfield Road in Aurora. There will be a brief presentation at 1 p.m. in the gymnasium, after which families will have the opportunity to tour the school or visit with faculty and staff. No registration is necessary for the event. For more information, contact the Office of Admissions at (630) 897-6936, ext. 277.
For more information, visit marmion.org.
Big Rock church
cancels Cookie Walk
BIG ROCK—Due to unforeseen circumstances, there will be no Cookie Walk this year at Big Rock’s English Congregational United Church of Christ. The church thanked those who supported the church’s cookie sale during its 15-year run. Church officials said they do not yet know if the event will return in the future.
Serving on local government boards is often a thankless “job.” Maybe there is a small stipend that helps cover a tiny percentage of the time spent helping serve the community—and maybe not—but even in the best of circumstances, the role is considered voluntary.
So, when citizens offer their time, we should offer our thanks in response. These are the people who work together to help strengthen our communities. Even if local government officials are disagreeable at times, even if they make decisions that some or most members of the public disagree with, the overwhelming majority of the time those officials are doing the best they can to make our communities better places in which to live and work.
Except on the Sugar Grove Public Library Board.
It is amazing to see the amount of incompetence and arrogance on a board whose primary functions should be to serve as good stewards for district taxpayers’ money and to help select and guide the leaders of the district who will help promote the library as an educational and cultural center of the community.
And yet, the Sugar Grove Public Library Board has turned itself into a disgrace, into a group in which personal grievances are what influences official decision making. The board could replace its “leadership,” President Joan Roth and Vice President Art Morrical, with a pair of 12-year-old children and one could expect an immediate increase in the maturity on the part of the board.
Essentially, the board, with no explanation at the time, fired long-time library director and community servant Beverly Holmes Hughes in July. After weeks of delay, the board gave vague, pointless reasons as to their decision, and wasted both time and money overpaying for a pair of interim directors. Finally, demonstrating a minimum ability to understand the desires of its constituents, the board recently decided to enter into mediation with Hughes, opening the door to her return, or at least a way forward.
That tiny amount of positive progress came to a screeching halt last week when the board voted 4-3 to change course and not pursue mediation. Voting to end any possible positive outcome for the library were Morrical, Roth and trustees Bob Bergman and Julie Wilson—Wilson had been the deciding vote in favor of mediation just two weeks prior.
Government officials are often tasked with the difficult responsibility to make decisions they feel are best for the communities in which they serve. Sometimes those decisions are popular, and sometimes they are not. Sometimes tough decisions need to be made that many people disagree with, and the ones who make the tough call—despite the backlash—because they honestly believe their unpopular view is correct should be applauded for their political courage.
However, for Morrical, Roth, Bergman and Wilson—the four who voted to fire Hughes and voted last week to change course and not pursue mediation—their unpopular decisions have not been examples of political courage under fire. Rather, their decisions are examples of pettiness, arrogance and incompetence.
Their incompetence has led to the very real possibility that the library will have to close for a portion of the current fiscal year, due to lack of funds. Their arrogance damaged the library’s relationship with other community organizations, ultimately leading the Library Friends group to disband. Their pettiness has damaged the fragile trust citizens have in their government officials.
There is a way for the Library Board to begin to recover what it damaged, but we do not see a way for that recovery to occur as long as those four individuals remain on the board. It is time for Morrical, Roth, Bergman and Wilson to put the community’s interests before their own, and realize that the best thing they can do for the library, and the district as a whole, is to no longer be affiliated with either.
We urge them to step down, as soon as possible.
Even if we disagree with decisions made by officials, as long as those officials are making their decisions with the community interests at heart, we can agree to disagree. We do not believe those four are making decisions with the district’s interests at heart, and the moment that is no longer the driving force behind your volunteerism is the moment it is time to resign.
Most students’ favorite parts of the day are when they get social time, and STEP has become the opposite. Instead, it’s a time when they’re supposed to be getting work done quietly if they don’t need help with anything. Some teachers are lenient with what the students can do within their class, but others have stricter rules; sitting quietly or not being able to travel to anywhere that does not involve educational help.
This change in STEN has even stopped some of the clubs from gaining new members, because students have other priorities after school. I think it’s just as important to be active within the school as it is to get good grades. I also think that if the students in STEP don’t need any immediate help, then they should be allowed to join clubs that should be allowed to run during that period of the day.
“STEP was changed so the students will have more academic time during the day,” M&M Coordinator Beth Trafton said.
The problem with STEP is that most students seem to be bored. They finish their homework and are left wondering who in the room is interesting to talk to.
“I honestly think STEP is like a waste of time and we come here to do nothing,” junior Alyssa Nahley said.
STEP is definitely a big help to all the students who would like their grades raised, but other students who are OK with their grades would rather be spending a little time with their friends. I think that’s why most Kaneland teens dislike STEP.
But the student population still has lunch and time in the hallways to talk to their friends. I feel we all can spare a little of our free time for the better of the student population.
Some freshmen need the time in the morning to study and get their bearings. It’s a new year and a new school, and STEP is like a study hall—something they’re all familiar with, and something they ‘took with them’ from last year.
Looks like everyone will have to adapt to STEP and do what they’re supposed to do. As much as I prefer social time over schoolwork, there are other students that need help more than anything and it’s important to keep our grades high so we can have a bright and enjoyable future.
St. Gall recently held its annual Gala Dinner Dance, Silent Auction and Live Auction. This was an extra-special celebration this year, as our parish is celebrating its Centennial Anniversary or 100 years as a parish in the Rockford Diocese. The Gala is the largest fundraiser the parish and the capital campaign funds are for a new church, which will be located on the corner of Hughes Road and Route 47 in Elburn. Without all the generosity of local businesses, events like this would not be possible! Thank you to each and every person who donated items or services for our Gala Dinner Dance. God Bless You.
Arnold H. Gehrke, 81, of Maple Park, passed away peacefully into the arms of his Savior, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family after a 30-year battle with Parkinsons Disease, in the early morning hours on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011.
He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Marie; two sons, Robert (Beth) Gehrke and their children, Wayne and Carolyn of Elgin, and Gordon (Sherry) Gehrke of Maple Park; three nieces, Karen (Phil) Stojan of Maple Park, Donna (John) Happersberger of Indianapolis, Ind., and Joyce (Henry) Schwebel of Jacksonville, Fla.; and one sister-in-law, Mildred Winkelmann of Elburn.
He is preceded in death by his parents; his step-mother, Margaret Gehrke; his brother-in-law, Emil Winkelmann; and one nephew, Glen Winkelmann.
Visitation was from 4 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27, at St. Peters Lutheran Church North Plato, 43W301 Plank Road, east of Route 47 on Plank Road, Hampshire, Ill.
A funeral to celebrate his life began at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 28, also at the church. The Rev. Gerhard Mau, pastor of the church, officiated, and interment followed at Lily Lake Cemetery, Lily Lake.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit St. Peters Lutheran Church North Plato. Checks may be made to the church and mailed in care of St. Peters Lutheran Church North Plato, 43W301 Plank Road, Hampshire, IL. Tributes may also be forwarded to P.O. Box 66 or online at www.conleycare.com.
Marjorie (Lucille) Wigton, 101, of Aurora, formerly of Batavia, now rests in the everlasting arms of her Savior after passing away peacefully on Thursday, Oct. 27, at Countryside Care Center in Aurora.
Technically born a Leo on July 29, 1911, Marjorie was really a “lamb” and was a blessing to her parents, Theron “Brownie” and Georgie (Snyder) Wigton.
From birth, Brownie wanted his baby girl to be a harpist, as he himself was a musician who played throughout the United States. He waited patiently for 12 years before her instruction would begin, and begin it did with practice six to seven hours a day. Wiggy took to it so naturally that after only two years learning under a local teacher, the “student became the master” and she was sent to Wurlitzer in Chicago to study under the great Italian Master, Alberto Salvi. He told most students to “go home and help wash the dishes,” but not Wiggy. Though practice took much of her time, it never deterred her from her studies, and she graduated from East Aurora High School in 1929. Her father died several years later, and so Wiggy put down her harp to help support the family.
In 1936, Wiggy became a “Zephyrette,” a group of women stewardess’ on a train that traveled nationwide. When the war came five years later, the trains had barely enough room for the soldiers, so the Zephyrettes were disbanded. Wiggy went back to Chicago and found work in accounting and later in the law departments of the Burlington Railroad. She retired in 1976 after 39 years of service.
Retirement gave her an excuse to return to her passion. She was known to say that you don’t “master the harp—the harp masters you.” Few could argue that she became one with her instrument, and her talent brought her into the company of many other locally renowned musicians and orchestras throughout the years, playing at the NBC Orchestra Silken Strings Hour, Chicago Amphitheater, The Aurora Symphony, Interlochen Music Camp Orchestra, Fox Valley Music Festival, Blackhawk Concert Orchestra—later, the Civic Orchestra of Aurora and soloed with the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra.
Wiggy also shared her passion at weddings, concerts and other functions throughout the Chicagoland area. Her heart was meant for playing music with a passion that wouldn’t be denied and although she never married, she was always quick to add that she “broke a lot of hearts.”
In recent years, she was known as the “Mayor of Stone Manor Circle” and had several articles written about her life and her playing that were featured in local newspapers and the Chicago Tribune. Wiggy also was a member of the Chicago Musicians Union for over 65 years. She had a great sense of humor, loved riddles and was a friend to many, often saying “I love everybody, no matter who you are or how you are made.
In recent years, Wiggy began every morning by praying for others while she played The Lord’s Prayer on her harp, sometimes having so many that she had to play it twice. She will be missed by many and although the sound of her harp now becomes a distant echo, she will never be forgotten in the hearts of all who loved her.
Survivors include one nephew, Ron (fiance Ann Brown) Wigton; two nieces, Janet (Pat) Inlow and JoAnn (Roy) Boeckler; three great-nephews, Ken (Wendy) Wigton, Jeff (Aimee) Wigton and Scott (Pam) Inlo; one great-niece, Sheri (Ed) Washeleski; three great-great nephews, Alex Wigton, Nathan Wigton and Carter Wigton; one great-great niece, Beth Wigton; cousins, Richard and Marie Murphy; and special long-time friends, Sharon “Sandy” Sanderson and Mary Anast. She was preceded in death by her parents and one brother, Wayne Wigton.
Visitation to celebrate her life and her passion was held Monday, Oct. 31, at Conley Funeral Home. Private family burial will occur at a later date.
A memorial will be established in her name to benefit Wayside Cross and other favorite charities. Memorials checks may be made to the Marjorie “Wiggy” Wigton Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through conleycare.com.
Maxie Jean Francis Todd was born Aug. 1, 1920, to James W. and Naomi Francis in Bogart, Missouri. She was the oldest of three children. On Dec. 12, 1942, she married James E. Todd Jr. in Chicago.
In 1949, they moved to Sugar Grove, with their two little girls. They decided Sugar Grove was a wonderful place to raise their two daughters and later a son. James and Maxie joined Sugar Grove United Methodist Church, the Young Adult Club and later “Senior Citizens.” They always participated enthusiastically.
Some younger folks may remember Maxie as Mr. Crow’s secretary at Sugar Grove Elementary School. Later she worked at Hartford Insurance in St. Charles.
In raising her children, Maxie was often heard admonishing them to “Love one another,” “Be kind to one another,” and “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Her children blessed her with eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She loved them all well. Maxie was full of life and lots of energy.
She went home to be with the Lord quietly in her sleep on Oct. 30, 2011.
Maxie is survived by all three of her children; Sherlyn Holdeman of Naperville, Jerolee Richards (Stan) of Naples, Fla., James E. Todd III of Fall River, Wis.; and all of her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, her husband and a son-in-law, Roger.
We praise the Lord for her life and all that she meant to us.
Funeral services will be held Friday, Nov. 4, at noon at Sugar Grove United Methodist Church. Visitation will be held Thursday, Nov. 3, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Healy Chapel in Sugar Grove, 370 Division Drive. Interment will take place at Sugar Grove Cemetery. For further information, please call (630) 466-1330 or visit www.healychapel.com to sign the online guest book.