Rev. Fred Tomzik

A look back at notable residents and former residents of the Landmark area, who died in 2017.

Suzanne Bartholomew, 70

An advocate for preserving Riverside history and a local historian herself, Bartholomew served on the Riverside Preservation Commission and was a longtime former chairwoman of the Riverside Historical Commission when she died on April 9. 

Richard Breckinridge, 69

Breckinridge, a resident of Brookfield, had a 30-year career in law enforcement, retiring in 2004 as police chief of LaGrange Park. He also was a 20-year member of the Illinois Air Wing, the Civil Air Patrol and a volunteer firefighter for the North Palos Fire Protection District. May 25. 

Anita Duffy, 70

A Brookfield resident and a 1965 graduate of Lyons Township High School, Duffy would devote her career to educating students bound for her high school alma mater. After getting her teaching degree from Western Illinois University, she embarked on a long career as a teacher at Lincoln School in Brookfield, retiring in 2006. Oct. 29.

James C. Haase, 74

A U.S. Army veteran, Haase worked as an accountant by day, but served in a volunteer capacity for 20 years as a Brookfield auxiliary police officer, retiring at the rank of captain in 2009. June 24.

Jack R. Kubik, 87

The former longtime resident of Riverside was owner and publisher of Life Newspapers, following in the footsteps of his father, who bought the fledgling newspaper chain in the 1930s. He joined the business in 1952 and oversaw its expansion, was named publisher and president in 1980. He sold the chain to Liberty Group Publishing in 1999. July 26,

Charles LaGreco, 70

After starting out as an industrial arts teacher in Cicero, he was a Brookfield firefighter for 32 years, LaGreco served as the village’s fire chief from 1994 until his retirement in 2005. He was instrumental in the department providing paramedic service to residents, and also worked for more than a decade as the village’s building inspector. April 22.

William J. Martin, 80

Before moving to Riverside in 2008, the former Oak Park resident was best-known as the man who successfully prosecuted Richard Speck, who murdered eight student nurses in Chicago in 1966. He wrote about the case in the 1993 book “Crime of the Century.” July 7.

William Pavlecic, 95

A longtime resident of LaGrange, Pavlecic was best known in Brookfield and to anyone else who has ever driven through the village on Ogden Avenue as the architect of space-age, steel, glass and brick Brookfield Federal Savings building – now Citibank – at 9009 Ogden Ave. Sept. 15. 

Mary Perret, 83

The LaGrange Park resident worked for nearly four decades as the bookkeeper and secretary at St. Louise de Marillac Church in LaGrange Park, and was active in the parish’s women’s club for 50 years. Oct. 21.

Patricia Poremba, 79

A longtime resident of North Riverside, Poremba was the music director at Mater Christi Church for more than 20 years. Oct. 7.  

Dr. George Rabb, 87

From 1976 until his retirement in 2004, Dr. Rabb lived in Brookfield and served as president of the Chicago Zoological Society, but remained a passionate advocate for conservation and wildlife until his death. July 27. 

Richard Samuel, 86

The North Riverside resident served in the U.S. Air Force before embarking on a long career in law enforcement. He retired as police chief in the village of River Forest. Aug. 29. 

Mildred Schalk, 90

The former Brookfield resident and retired Bell System center for Technical Education supervisor was past-president of the Brookfield Junior Women’s Club, a charter member of the National World War II Memorial and a member of the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation. Sept. 14.

Kathleen “Kay” Snyder, 79

The irrepressible Riverside business woman owned Arcade Antiques and, later Arcade Jewelers, in downtown Riverside. She also beat the odds, finishing first in a four-person race for Riverside village trustee in 1987 – as a write-in candidate. She was the first woman named Riverside Township Person of the Year in 1990. Sept. 4. 

Rev. Fred Tomzik, 59

Ordained a priest by Joseph Cardinal Bernardin in 1984, Father Tomzik served as an associate at parishes in Chicago and Westchester before being named pastor of St. Louise de Marillac Parish in LaGrange Park in 1997, serving there until 2010. Dec. 12.

Giovanni “Gio” Torres, 1

“Baby Gio” Torres, of Brookfield, was just 14 months old when he died from an extremely rare cancer, a rhabdoid tumor. His name became familiar after family and friends launched a “Go Gold for Gio” fundraiser to defray medical expenses, placed gold ribbons around trees and even created a makeshift “Go Old for Gio” sign on a fence along 31st Street. Jan. 31.