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Dr. Willa Wertheimer, 59

Dr. Willa Wertheimer was born May 10, 1964, to Edna (Faye) Ruth Summerfield and William Wertheimer. She also had a brother she loved, Andre (Andy) Drath, and a half-brother, Marshall Neal Geesey. She was born in Chicago. 

Her two successful son,s Maitiu and Liam, have been by her side during her struggle with leiomyoma sarcoma cancer.

Willa went to Buffalo Grove High School and graduated from DePaul University. She earned her PsyD. from Illinois School of Professional Psychology in 1994.

Willa was a clinical psychologist serving the local community since 1999. She focused on providing psychotherapy to adults who were abused as children as well as other psychological services. 

Willa was a valuable contributor to the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISST-D). She served on the Board of Directors and she was involved in the professional training program as a faculty member.

She also created a local study group called Northwest Illinois Group of ISST-D.

Dr. Willa Wertheimer also provided services to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She provided psychotherapy counseling to military veterans suffering from service-related post-traumatic stress. In that capacity she facilitated healing and readjustment for ex-service members. She has presented on this subject, “Back in the World, But not at Home”

Willa has presented on these related subjects both nationally and internationally.

Willa Wertheimer belonged to the local Jewish community at Ridgefield, McHenry County Jewish Congregation.

She was loved by many friends and family who have stood by her side during the ordeal with cancer, and during that struggle she was a confidant and mentor to many.

She loved fishing, cooking, photography, and oil painting.

She was married to Edward Groenendal, who provided support throughout. They truly loved each other.

Friends and family will gather on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, at Schneider, Leucht, Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home, 1211 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock from noon until the 1 p.m. funeral service. Interment services will be held in the McHenry County Jewish Cemetery section of Oakland Cemetery in Woodstock.

A meal of consolation will follow at the McHenry County Jewish Congregation, 8617 Ridgefield Road, Crystal Lake.

The Schneider, Leucht, Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home assisted the family. To leave a condolence, visit

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