Trust the Torch!


Thomas A. Micek, 72

Thomas A. Micek, of Woodstock, passed away on May 5, 2024, at the age of 72. Born on October 19, 1951, in Chicago, Tom had fond memories growing up there with his brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends. He loved old cars, became a pilot able to fly small planes, played the saxophone and loved to learn completing a degree in finance and masters in accounting. He loved creating spreadsheets for his budget. Tom met Patty Taylor while attending NIU, DeKalb. They were married on October 24, 1981, and had 42 wonderful years together raising 2 sons. Tom loved his family dearly. He was especially excited to become a grandpa to baby Brayden. Tom will be missed by everyone who knew

Juanita D. Whiting, 82

Juanita D. Whiting, 82, of Woodstock, IL passed away on Friday May 10, 2024 surrounded by family at The Springs of Monarch Landing in Naperville.   She was born in Woodstock on November 16, 1941 to Basil and Isabel (Crummer) Colburn. She married James A. Whiting on October 7, 1961 in Woodstock.  She was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Woodstock. She was a very talented seamstress and a national award winning quilter.  She taught classes at Sewing Concepts in Woodstock as well as working as a designer and baker. Her family was her passion in life. She was very much loved, and her passion and vitality will be greatly missed.  She is survived by three sons, Ronald (Jill)

Orrin Wayne Kinney, 83

Orrin Wayne Kinney, 83, of Harvard, Illinois, passed away surrounded by family on May 7th, 2024, at JourneyCare Hospice in Barrington, Illinois.   Orrin was born on December 24, 1940, in Momence, Illinois to Clare and Myrna (Doehring) Kinney.  He was one of five children, Doris (Shourd), Melvin, JoAnn (Schaafsma), and Gary.  He married Karen Benscoter on March 10, 1962, at the First United Methodist Church in Kankakee, Illinois.   Orrin was a remarkable individual known for his unwavering dedication, creativity, and charismatic personality.  He built A-OK Incorporated, a successful manufacturing business that has thrived for over 40 years. His entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering commitment not only sustained his business but also led to the restoration of the Starline Factory.  When Orrin purchased the building in

Nancy Ludwena Braun, 86

Montpelior, VT – Nancy Ludwena (nee Lang, nee Briscoe) Braun, age 86, known as “Grandma Llama” to many, passed away peacefully of natural causes Wednesday May 15, 2024 attended by her beloved daughter Betsy and the compassionate caregivers at Heaton Woods. Nancy was born March 1, 1938 in Niagara Falls, NY to Beryl & Francis Lang, both teachers. She was a girl scout and an avid hiker and swimmer. She participated in synchronized swimming at Niagara Falls High School, graduating in 1956 with honors and won a scholarship to study nursing at Le Moyne College. Nancy cherished childhood memories of summers spent with her sisters Barb & Fran and neighborhood friends—including her lifelong friend Anna (Trish) Johnson—at the family cottage on

Don Mast

Donald C. Mast transitioned peacefully on April 14, 2024. He leaves behind his second wife, Erma, with whom he enjoyed the last 20 years both in Woodstock then in a beautiful senior living residence at Garden Spot, in Pa; his five remaining children: Dean, Colleen, Tim, Jill and Hans (son Pete had passed 5 years before); and many friends; most who remember him and his first wife, Eunice through their monthly sing-alongs at Masthouse.  He got his start in a life of community service through music when in the 60s Don and “Euni” helped start a communal living “experiment” with the intention of being involved in community outreach and social justice issues. They began a weekly coffee house in their

David E. Fish, 77

David E. Fish, 77, a resident of Port Townsend WA for 35 years (formerly of Woodstock, Illinois) passed away on April 25, 2024 from cancer, at Life Care Center of Port Townsend with his sister by his side. He was born in Woodstock, Illinois in 1946, to Edwin H. and Mildred L. (Persson, Fish) Luallen. David was baptized and confirmed at Grace Lutheran Church in Woodstock. He graduated from Woodstock Community High School and served 4 years in the Navy. Later, he attended McHenry County College, Wenatchee Valley College and went to the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Townsend Washington. David was an incredible artist and a professed “Handyman”. He could fix just about anything and do

Robert ‘Rob’ J. McMahon, 62

Robert “Rob” J. McMahon was only 62 when he died May 5, 2024, at Northwestern Hospital, Huntley. Rob, who lived with his wife, Candee, and their two “girls” – their dogs – and cat in Wonder Lake was the son of Robert J. McMahon Sr. and Betty (Sherry) McMahon. He was born Dec. 15, 1961, in Elgin. Rob met Candee B. Phillips on a blind date, and they married July 2, 1988, in Vandalia. Basketball was his sport – a perfect match for his 6-foot-4 frame. It was basketball that strengthened bonds with his nephews and made for decades of Men’s Sunday Night Basketball with friends and other round-ball enthusiasts. Rob was patient, nurturing, non-confrontational, and would roll with all

Sharon Ann (Van Riper) Reyes

Born on September 11, 1943 in Muskegon, Michigan to parents Marshall and Lois (Hall) Van Riper, Sharon Ann (Van Riper) Reyes began her childhood in a small home on Spring St. in Muskegon—a place where her parents also started their lifelong printing business, Lakeshore Printing, her mother sometimes taking wedding orders in the living room while watching little Sharon. She lived along Spring St. with her younger sister & brother, Daughn & Tim, until she was a teenager, when the family moved to a home on Lake Harbor Rd. in Norton Shores—a place where later Sharon & her husband, Leo, would bring their three children, Rodney, Wendy & Malissa, to spend Thanksgivings & summer days with their grandparents & cousins.

Ruth Ann Hunt, 84

Ruth Ann Hunt (nee Sherman) passed away on April 23, 2024, in Barrington, IL at the age of 84. Ruth was born on July 27, 1939 on a farm on McConnell Road in Woodstock to Floyd and Hazel (Thompson) Sherman. She was the fifth child in the family. At the age of six, Ruth’s mother tragically passed away from Polio, and her father, unable to care for all the children, sent them to different homes. Ruth went to live with Lloyd and Edith Kretchmer. She attended Clay Street School for primary education and later graduated from Woodstock High School. Ruth met the love of her life, Ralph Hunt, in high school, and they were married on March 3, 1957. They

Larry D. Walton, 74

Larry D. Walton, 74, of Woodstock, passed away unexpectedly on April 5, 2024 with his wife by his side. He was born in Harvard on June 30, 1949. On May 7, 1983 he married Maureen Mackey at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Woodstock. They were married 40 years until his passing on April 5, 2024. Larry attended grammar school at Northwood and Westwood in Woodstock. He attended Woodstock Community High School, graduating in 1967. Upon graduation he began his 5 year apprenticeship program for tool and die at T&K Tool in Woodstock. Upon completion of his apprenticeship, he continued working at T&K as a journeyman tool and die maker. In 1984 he changed employers and went to work for Pro

Top Writers

Larry Lough

Larry Lough

Larry Lough is editor of The Independent and reports local news.

Janet Dovidio

Janet Dovidio

Janet Dovidio has been a freelance correspondent for The Independent for eight years.

Susan W. Murray

Susan W. Murray

Susan W. Murray wrote for The Independent, covering various beats, from 2005 to 2008.

Tricia Carzoli

Tricia Carzoli

Tricia Carzoli is a freelance writer and photographer that on community news.

Keep Exploring

WHS Jazz Ensemble gets tips from jazz musician Lenard Simpson Jan Dovidio The Woodstock High School Jazz Ensemble learned from a master for its April …

Subscriber Access