Hubert E. Hermanek Sr., 84, attorney and retired auxiliary police captain

Father of North Riverside mayor


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By Bob Uphues


Hubert E. Hermanek Sr., 84, a longtime resident of Riverside, died July 2, 2013 at MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn.

Mr. Hermanek was raised in Berwyn, attending Hiawatha School and Morton High School, where he was valedictorian of his class. He spent two years at Morton College before being accepted at the University of Chicago Law School, where he was classmates with Abner Mikva, Robert Bork and former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark.

He graduated from law school in 1951 and was drafted into the U.S Marines during the Korean War, following in the footsteps of his brother, Tom, who was a Marine who fought on Iwo Jima and was part of the patrol that reached the top of Mount Suribachi and raised the American flag over the island.

During the Korean War, Mr. Hermanek was stationed in San Diego and was a member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps.

While on leave, he was admitted to the Illinois Bar. After the war, he worked independently and had a long career as a trial lawyer handling personal injury cases.

After the war, he married Betty Jo St. Charles, and the couple moved to a home on Maplewood Road in 1962 and lived in Riverside for the next half century.

Mr. Hermanek was also active in the Riverside Auxiliary Police Corps for more than 30 years, retiring at the rank of captain.

"He just absolutely loved it," said his son, Hubert Hermanek Jr., who was elected North Riverside's mayor in April. "His two loves were being an auxiliary police officer and being a lawyer. He never took vacations. He just loved it."

Mr. Hermanek practiced law, joining his son's law practice about 20 years ago. He worked in the practice until about two months ago, according to his son.

"My dad had a very good, full life," said Hubert Hermanek Jr.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Betty Jo Hermanek (nee St. Charles); his children, Marybeth (Richard) Vavrik and Hubert E. (Ana) Hermanek Jr.; his grandchildren, Paula Hermanek, Keith Hermanek, Dawn (Russell) Palmer and Jason (Abbey) Vavrik; and his great-grandchildren Ella Grace Palmer and Camden James Richard Vavrik. Mr. Hermanek was preceded in death by his brother, Thomas (Frances) Hermanek.

Services have been held.

Arrangements were handled by Riverside Funeral Directors, the Original Kuratko Family, directors.

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