Steven Campbell, 71
A longtime Riverside resident, Campbell was a prominent commercial and residential property owner in Brookfield who irritated and battled municipal officials in both villages over property issues large and small. A prickly personality, Campbell could also be enormously generous. In 2012, he found himself the target of a bizarre kidnapping/extortion/murder plot that was foiled by a complete stranger who wore a wire for the FBI. Feb. 27.
Robert J. Chierico, 71
A Riverside resident, Chierico was a professor at Chicago State University who taught Spanish, planned and led summer abroad programs to Spain and served as the chairman of the university’s Department of English, Foreign Languages and Interdisciplinary Studies. Aug 3.
William Conmy, 89
A resident of Brookfield, Conmy served as superintendent of the Park District of LaGrange Park and was a founding member of St. Louise de Marillac Church as well as the Limerick Hurling Club of Chicago (GAA). Nov. 13.
Dr. Gregory Cowell, 67
An emergency medicine physician and Riverside resident with boundless energy and interests, Cowell also flew planes, climbed mountains in Mexico and Africa and motorcycled throughout the U.S. and Mexico. He also played three musical instruments and sang in choirs. Aug. 17.
Mark Farina, 61
A longtime Chicago resident and city employee who carved out a niche as a public address announcer at Chicago Public Schools sporting events, Farina moved to Brookfield in 2012. He quickly found a role as the P.A. announcer for Riverside-Brookfield High School baseball and wrote a book recounting the ordeal his father-in-law endured as a prisoner of war during World War II. He died of complications from COVID-19 on Nov. 15.
John Farneda, 59
Best known as the longtime program director for WXRT-FM radio, Farneda made his mark in Riverside when he and his spouse purchased an endangered portion of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Coonley House in 2015, restoring and saving the historic landmark from dereliction. March 9.
Julia Faust, 81
After earning a master’s degree in library science from Rosary College in 1978, Faust served as director of the West Suburban Hospital Professional Library and the Riverside Public Library. She also sat on the board of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation and served as an elected trustee for the village of River Forest.
Kimberly Hayes, 58
A beloved teacher who taught English at Riverside-Brookfield High School for 33 years before retiring to Florida in 2019, Hayes continued to teach in her new home state. She died from COVID-19, disconnected from life support at 3:05 p.m. Central Time – dismissal time at RBHS – on Oct. 1.
Theodora Kiwiet, 84
A longtime resident of Riverside, Kiwiet was an ordained elder and deacon at Riverside Presbyterian Church, where she was a member of 54 years. She was also past president of the Riverside Garden Club and Riverside Historical Society. Feb. 8.
Julie P. Morley, 80
Morley, a longtime home economics teacher at Riverside-Brookfield High School, also served as a department head at the school and was the coordinator of the school’s HERO program prior to her retirement. Aug. 8.
Patricia Pacholski, 83
A former LaGrange Park resident, Pacholski taught kindergarten for more than 30 years at Lincoln Elementary School in Brookfield. June 20.
L. James Paul, 90
“Jim” Paul, a longtime Riverside resident, worked as general manager of Baltis Built Homes for 30 years before starting his own contracting firm. He served as an elected official on the Riverside District 96 school board and as a Riverside village trustee. He also served on the Riverside Police and Fire Commission and was past chairman of the Riverside Golf Club board of directors. Dec. 5.
Richard N. Scheck, 78
A self-made businessman, Scheck served as mayor of North Riverside for five terms, from 1989 to 2009. He was the village’s dominant political force for more than two decades, influential even after retiring from politics and moving out of town. Sept. 26.
Richard Sebek, 76
A Brookfield police officer for 30 years, Sebek survived being wounded by gunfire while responding to a shooting at a wedding reception at the Brookfield Sokol hall in 1986. He was also an expert in aikido, which he taught to fellow officers and at a local martial arts dojo. Feb. 26.
Dr. John Strelecky, 79
Strelecky founded the North Riverside Community Theater – still producing shows as North Riverside Players – in 1989, directing more than 25 musical theater productions. He and his wife, Kathy, also operated a Christmas tree farm in Ottawa before retiring in 2005 to Florida. May 20.
Frank Volpe, 67
Legendary football coach at St. Mary School in Riverside led his teams to nine league championships, including one undefeated season in which his team did not surrender a point. He also coached basketball and baseball at St. Mary’s and football at Riverside-Brookfield and St. Joseph high schools. Sept. 13.