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Clara L. Bruns, 96

Clara L. Bruns, 96, of Woodstock passed away Friday, September 22, 2023, at Valley Hi nursing Home in Woodstock. She was born on March 24, 1927, in Crystal Lake to Herman and Clara (Jesse) Ehlert. She married Harold Bruns on Aug. 24, 1946. They farmed together in Crystal Lake and Woodstock areas. She enjoyed playing pinochle at the Home State Bank and Dorr Township building in Woodstock. She also loved working crossword puzzles, playing cards, and reading. She loved her life on the farm and spending time with her family. Survivors include two daughters, Linda (Henry) DeYoung and Nancy Clark; a son, Jeff (Melody) Bruns; five grandchildren, Timothy (Marny) Clark, Daniel (Cory) Clark, Christiana (Andrew) DeYoung, Jessica (Dave) DeGrassi, and

Genevieve (Genny) Hay, 105

Genevieve (Genny) Hay of Lake in the Hills passed away Sept. 14 at the age of 105 at Journey Care in Barrington. She was born in Crystal Lake, on Nov. 3, 1917, the daughter of Glen Joseph (Joe) Ober and Vina Gertrude (Sarbacker) Ober. She had one brother, Glen Ober. As growing up she lived in Twin Lakes, Wis., with relatives as her mother died at an early age. She also lived in Woodstock and Crystal Lake. She graduated from the class of 1937 Crystal Lake Community High School and attended her 50th class reunion on Aug. 1, 1987, at the John Evans Inn in Crystal Lake. She had a blind date with her soon-to-be husband (Arnie) at the McHenry

James F. Haager, 85

James F. Haager, 85, of Woodstock, passed away Sept. 12, 2023, at home with his loving family by his side. He was born in Woodstock on March 11, 1938, the son of Louis and Charlotte (Moritz) Haager. He married Audrey Menzel on April 11, 1959, at Grace Lutheran Church in Woodstock. Jim proudly served in the Navy after graduating Woodstock High School. He served from 1957 until 1960. He was a lifelong member of Grace Lutheran Church and served as a Stephens Minister. He enjoyed woodworking, playing pinochle, bird watching, taking pictures of the sunrises and sunsets, going to his Liar’s Club meetings, and was an avid musical theatergoer. He enjoyed spending his winters in Florida, but most of all,

Kent N. Frisbie, 62

Kent N. Frisbie, 62, of Woodstock passed away peacefully on Sept. 10, 2023,­ at his home with his wife and children by his side. He was born Nov. 28, 1960, in Woodstock to David A. and Devona M. (Nelson) Frisbie. He married Diana L. Marlott in Peoria, Ill., in April 1984. Kent was a proud graduate of Woodstock High School and Augustana College. He joined his father in the Frisbie, Overly and Foote Insurance agency in Woodstock in 1986. The agency evolved and, in 1989, Kent was joined by his brother-in-law, Luke Lohmeyer, and soon after the Frisbie & Lohmeyer Insurance Agency was established. The agency has been and continues to be a committed business entity in Woodstock. Kent was

Gerald Justen, 80

Gerald Justen, a loving and adventurous soul, passed away peacefully on Sept. 1, 2023, in Barrington, Ill. Born on June 12, 1943, Gerald lived a life defined by kindness, exploration, and a profound love for his family and friends. Gerald was the cherished husband of Marysue Justen, whom he married 40 years ago on May 27, 1983, in Nevada. Their love story was one of mutual respect and shared adventures, providing a strong foundation for their family. Gerald was a beloved brother to Patricia Dunwiddie and a dear brother-in-law to Jacqueline (Burton) Rundall and Mark Saban (Mary). He was a treasured uncle to Kathy Dixon, Sherry Jenkins, and Robert Sand, and a fond cousin to Tony Adams. Gerald was also

Hans-Peter Labude, 67

Hans-Peter Labude, 67, passed away on Sept. 1, 2023. Born in Bremen, Germany, HP grew up in a town outside of Frankfurt called Dietzenbach in a house his father had built from the ground up. He came to the United States at the age of 35, where he met the mother of his children, Katie Labude. For over 20 years, HP worked at CabConnect Inc., where he was the chief information officer. He was known for being adventurous and intelligent, but most importantly, loving and caring to those who knew him best. Despite moving permanently to the United States, he had frequently gone back and visited friends and family in Germany. Lover of travel, he often spoiled his children with

Pauline H. Dougherty, 98

Pauline H. Dougherty, 98, passed away Aug. 26, 2023, at Valley Hi Nursing Home, Woodstock. Born the fifth of 10 children, Pauline was the daughter of the late Charles S. and Katherina (Busolits) Walakovitz of Coplay, Pa.  Gifted with a helpful demeanor and strong work ethic, Pauline was heavily relied upon by her family to keep the household running. Those skills were further honed after marrying her late husband, Leo Joseph Dougherty, in 1946 and welcoming their only child, Francis (Frank) Joseph Dougherty, in 1947. Pauline added new skills to her repertoire, entering the workforce for Western Electric and then for Russell Stover, where she was promoted to supervisor prior to the death of her husband in 1972. Thereafter, Pauline

Richard Burton Amundsen, 76

Richard Burton Amundsen, 76, of Woodstock, entered into eternal rest on Aug. 26, 2023. Rick was the beloved husband of Catherine (Katie) Amundsen; loving father of Erika (Jeffrey) Sampson of Ferndale, Mich.;,= fond brother of Kenneth Amundsen of Lake Geneva, Wis., and and Donald (Maribeth) Amundsen of Burlington, N.C.; and dear son-in-law of Katharina Heinz Blechschmidt.  He graduated from Luther North High School in Chicago, received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carthage College, in Kenosha, Wis., and attended the University of Illinois School of Law in Champaign-Urbana and Chicago Kent Law School. Rick worked in his youth as a law library clerk at the Chicago Bar Association library, and later in title insurance as a title insurance officer for

Bonnie Lynn (Farris) Giles, 76

Bonnie Lynn (Farris) Giles, 76, of Woodstock, peacefully passed away July 25, 2023, surrounded by her family at the Florence Nursing Home in Marengo Bonnie was born Jan. 4, 1947, in Belvidere, Ill., to Walter and Kathryn (Zeien) Farris. She attended Marian Central High School for two years before transferring to Woodstock High School to attend nursing classes. She had also met the love of her life, Robert, at this time so that may have also led to her transferring. After High School, she attended McHenry County College and Elgin Community College, earning her degree in nursing. She went on to be a much-loved nurse at Centegra Hospital (Woodstock Memorial Hospital) for 50 years. She loved all aspects of nursing,

Lillian Mika Gehrke, 92

Lillian Mika Gehrke, 92, of Woodstock, died Wednesday, July 26, 2023, at JourneyCare in Barrington. She was born Feb. 5, 1931, in Chicago to Frank and Mary (Jurczinski) Mika. Lillian enjoyed needlepoint, cross-stitch, and sewing as well as gardening, bicycling, and walking. She was a devout member of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, and loved spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She is survived by her three sons, Chriss Patrick, Melvin C. (Cynthia) Gehrke Jr., and Steven J. (Debra) Gehrke; her son-in-law, Christopher Pietrzak; her grandchildren, Steven (Olivia), Jackelyn (Jeff), Colton, Dustin (Jasmin), Larissa, and Lynsie; and her six great-grandchildren, Connor, Eliot, Aubree, Ingrid, Alma, and James. Lillian was preceded in death by her

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.

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