Giuseppe Zappani

Paul Bednarz, 74

A scion of the family that operated Bednarz Ace Hardware in Riverside, Bednarz spent a lifetime in public safety. He started as a dispatcher with the Riverside Police Department and later became a police officer in North Riverside, where he retired a detective. He was also a member of the Riverside Fire Department, earning the rank of lieutenant. May 15.

 

Lee Phillip Bell, 91

A Riverside-Brookfield High School graduate and longtime Riverside resident, Bell found fame first as an Emmy Award-winning Chicago TV talk show host on the long-running “Lee Phillip Show” and “Noonbreak.” In the 1970s, she and her husband William Bell, a soap opera script writer, would team up to create the hit TV soap operas “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.” Feb. 25.

 

Sally Danihel, 64

Danihel was a longtime resident of North Riverside and a devoted employee of the village of North Riverside, serving as administrative clerk, as well as taking on several other duties at the Village Commons. March 9.

 

Donald Farnham Sr., 94

A two-time Emmy Award-winning TV cameraman for ABC-TV, Farnham worked three Olympic Games, professional football and baseball games and was part of the TV crew covering President Nixon’s visit to China in 1972. A U.S. Marine combat veteran who saw action at Iwo Jima, Farnham would become one of the “fathers” of Riverside TV, creating a model government-funded cable TV operation and serving on the village’s cable TV commission for 23 years. Feb. 9.

 

Lois Palmer Huth, 102

After graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1939, Huth raised three boys of her own and fostered 12 other children before turning her eye, at the age of 40, to her art as a sculptor. She would create more than 8,000 works during her lifetime. In her late nineties, Huth was still at it, sculpting figures in her studio/apartment at The Woodlands at Cantata Adult Life Services in Brookfield. “I’d like to quit, but my kids don’t want me to,” Huth told the Landmark in 2015. “And I get new ideas all the time.” Aug. 26.

 

Rev. Paul Landahl, 82

The son of Swedish immigrants, Landahl served as parish minister of Ascension Lutheran Church in Riverside, making a name for himself as a champion for social justice and an advocate for marginalized groups. He was a longtime member and chairman of the Riverside Township Mental Health Board, volunteer and board member at BEDS Plus and a board member of Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208. He also served as bishop of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and was director of candidacy for the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Aug. 31.

 

Frank Llewellyn, 92

After serving in the U.S. Army, Llewellyn was hired as a police officer in Riverside in April 1957. He would remain a fixture on the force for 34 years, retiring in June 1991 at the rank of lieutenant. Sept. 30.

 

Robert Molaro, 69

A native of Chicago’s Southwest Side, Molaro made his mark locally as a state legislator representing Riverside and Brookfield during his years in the Illinois General Assembly. He served as a state senator from 1993 until 2002 and as a state representative from 2002 until resigning in the summer of 2008. He was known for promoting legislation in support of animal welfare and the horse racing industry. He also sponsored and passed laws banning shooting preserves and outlawing the slaughter of horses for human consumption. Legislation proposing banning aluminum baseball bats and the consumption of foie gras was not successful. June 15.

 

Martin Sandoval, 56

A product of Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood, Sandoval was a Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commissioner when he ran for a seat in the state Senate and won in 2002. As senator for the 11th District, which includes part of Riverside, he rose to become chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. As head of that committee, he took bribes from a red-light camera company official to serve as that industry’s protector in the Senate. He pleaded guilty to that offense in January in federal court and died while awaiting sentencing on Dec. 5.

 

Kathleen Subaitis, 85

Along with her friend Annette Corgiat, “Kay” Subaitis was a founding trustee of the North Riverside Public Library District, serving in that capacity for 30 years from 1985 to 2015. As a trustee, she championed a successful 1995 referendum to build a proper library, which opened in 1999. She was also active with the Friends of the Library and the library’s nonprofit foundation. Oct. 2.

 

James Votava, 92

As mayor of North Riverside from 1981-85, Votava was instrumental in the development of the Village Commons campus. After losing a bid for re-election, he won a seat as a village trustee in 1987 and held that post for the next 24 years, serving for much of that time as finance chairman. He was also a keen amateur actor and past president of the North Riverside Recreation Community Theater. Oct. 29.

 

Myron J. Wimmer Jr., 85

“Mike” Wimmer lived in both Riverside and Brookfield through the years. An architect, he served on the Riverside Historical Commission, designing the interior of the Riverside Historical Museum’s home in one of the two water tower well houses in Centennial Park. He would later serve on the Brookfield Zoning Board of Appeals. Oct. 24.

 

Giuseppe Zappani, 65

Though he never lived in Riverside, Zappani will be remembered as the Man Who Saved the Arcade Building. The Italian immigrant, who founded a successful west suburban roofing company, fell in love with the Victorian gothic structure, the only commercial building specifically commissioned by the Riverside Improvement Company in 1870. He bought the vacant, endangered landmark in 2010, restored it to its original glory and got it listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Oct. 10