Louis Joseph Edward Czarny, age 72, passed away on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, at Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill., after a long illness, surrounded by his loving family.
Lou was born on May 6, 1946, in Chicago, Ill., to Louis J. and Ruth H. (Shearer) Czarny. On Aug. 16, 1969, he married Janie Raffelson at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Des Plaines, Ill.
Lou graduated from St. Philip Basilica High School, Chicago, Ill., in 1964 and from Milton College, Milton, Wis., in 1970 with a B.A. degree in English.
Not long after graduation from college, Lou enlisted in the United States Navy in service of his country for 22 years (8 years active duty and 14 years reserve). During his active duty period he had the honor to work at the Pentagon, serving on the staff of Admiral James Holloway III, Vice Chief of Naval Operations; then on the staff of Admiral Elmo “Bud” Zumwalt Jr., Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), followed by Admiral James Holloway III when he became the next CNO. After Lou left active duty in 1978, he and his family moved to Woodstock. He then started his career working for McHenry County, retiring as the first court administrator for the 22nd Judicial Circuit in November of 2008 with 30 years of service.
Lou was a former member of the Board of Directors of Woodstock Musical Theatre Company (WMTC) and TownSquare Players (TSP), the latter as president, retiring in 2007. He spent 30+ years involved in over 100 shows at the Woodstock Opera House, both on-stage and off-stage, with both companies and Woodstock Summer Theatre.
A past member of the Woodstock Morning Rotary and the American Legion, Lou was also involved with AFS (American Field Service), a foreign exchange program. Over a span of 25 years, he and his wife hosted five exchange students from four different countries (Chile, Austria, The Netherlands, and Thailand). In addition, he was liaison to three exchange students from Norway, Japan, and Bolivia. He had such a wonderful experience with all of them, learning about their countries and cultures.
Lou enjoyed traveling around the country and abroad with his wife. He also loved watching his favorite sports teams (White Sox, Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks). His pride and joy were his three grandchildren. He didn’t want to miss a single activity that they were involved in and especially enjoyed vacationing with them.
Lou is survived by his wife of 49 years, Janie Czarny; a daughter, Lisa (Derek) Hyrkas; and three grandchildren, Trevor, Alexie, and Lia. He was preceded in death by both his parents. Lou will be missed by his loving family, his community theater family, and his AFS family. He will be forever in their hearts.
A Celebration of his Life will be held at the Woodstock Opera House on Saturday, Nov. 24, at 1 p.m.