Trust the Torch!


Chester M. (Chet) Hollister, 81

Chet (Chester) M. Hollister, 81, of Woodstock, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023. He was born on May 25, 1941, to the late Chester M. (Dorothy) Hollister in Woodstock. He married Nancy Kazich on July 15, 1967. Chet worked as an earth science teacher at Algonquin Middle School, District 300 for 34 years. Prior to that he served in the U.S. Army for three years, most recently as a signal core instructor where he earned the National Defense Service Medal and Sharpshooter (Rifle) designations. He attended Woodstock Community High School where he participated in many plays and theatrical productions. He achieved his Bachelor of Arts in English and his Masters in Education from Northern Illinois University. Chet was also

Tom Karst, 47

Thomas N. Karst, born March 17, 1975, in Wheatridge, Colo. died Jan. 17, 2023. The son of Deborah (Steven) Reick of Woodstock and Gary (Barbara) Karst of Englewood, Colo., Tom grew up and attended school at St. Mary grade school, Olson Middle School, and Woodstock High School. A resident of Cherry Valley, Ill., Tom was a member of St. Rita’s Parish and spent his working life in the building trades, most recently as a project manager/superintendent for a national commercial builder. Tom was known for his generous and outgoing nature, exemplary work ethic, and loyalty, but most of all his absolute and unfailing devotion to his children, Emily and Garrett. As an avid outdoorsman he played as hard as he

Stephane Lynn Fylpaa Asher, 79

Stephane Lynn Fylpaa Asher, 79, of Woodstock, died of natural causes at Northwestern Hospital in Huntley on Oct. 21, 2022. Her beloved children were by her side.Stephane was born in St. Paul, Minn., on May 18, 1943. She lived as a child in Long Beach, Calif., before moving to Portland, Ore, and eventually Des Plaines, where she attended Prospect High School. She matriculated to Elmhurst College. She lived in California and raised her children primarily as a single mom in Buffalo Grove. She moved to her beloved Woodstock in 1985.She was preceded in death by her sister Constance Lee Corrales Fylpaa; her mother, Grace M. Fylpaa (Sadek); and her father, John William “Jack” Fylpaa.She is survived by children, Hilary Asher

Beverly Meikel, 94

Beverly Meikel, 94, died Jan. 6, 2023, following a short illness. Born and raised in Chicago, she and her husband, Mike, moved in the late 1950s to Wonder Lake, where they built their first home. They moved to Woodstock in 1972 after renovating Mighty Oaks Farm, which was placqued by the McHenry County Historical Society. They lived on the farm for 46 years and were known for the annual cider pressing from their orchard. Bev volunteered for many years at Centegra Hospital in a variety of positions. She and Mike were active members in the Bull Valley Association, and Shepherd of the Hills Church, enjoying many friendships. She was preceded in death by her husband, Mike, whom she was married

Richard T. Sweeney 85

Richard T. Sweeney, age 85, of Woodstock, passed on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, with loved ones by his side. He was born on May 3, 1937, in Chicago. He attended St. Tarcissus Catholic Elementary School and graduated in 1955 from St. George Catholic High School. After moving to Woodstock in 1980, he worked at Cotter Distribution Center and Motorola in Harvard until his retirement in 2002.  Richard is survived by his life partner of 38 years, Barbara Murray, and her children, Michael Murray Jr. (Jen) and daughter Marcia Kalisik (James); daughter-in-law, Deb Donofrio; grandchildren, Jaclyn, Trevor, Jennifer, Morgan, and Joseph Sweeney; and great-grandson, Dacen Sweeney. He was also a special grandfather to Jacob Kalisik. He was preceded in death by

Joyce Sandeen Johnson, 96

Joyce Sandeen Johnson, 96, passed away peacefully on Jan. 4, 2023, at her apartment in Clark Lindsey Village, Urbana, Ill. Joyce was born on May 7, 1926 in Woodstock, the daughter of Dr. Henry W. Sandeen and Merle Gaskin Sandeen. She graduated from Woodstock Community High School in 1943 and received her B.A. from Beloit College in 1947. There she met Arthur T. Johnson from Rockford. They married in 1946 and celebrated 70 years together in 2016.  Joyce taught in various schools in Rockford and received her master’s degree in the field of learning disabilities from Rockford College in 1976. She became a tutor and consultant in this field, and was active in and served as president of the Zeta

Fred Joseph Learman Sr., 80

Born: July 13, 1942 in Chicago Died: Jan. 8, 2023 in Woodstock Fred Learman Sr. passed peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of Jan. 8, 2023. He was 80 years old. He was born on July 13, 1942, to Joseph and Marie (Halter) Learman. The second of four children, Fred graduated from Main Township East High School before going on to work as a plumber for over 46 years. On June 12, 1959, he met Kathleen Ann Buffington, in Mount Prospect, Ill. Fred and Kathy were married on April 4, 1964, having celebrated 58 years together last spring. Fred was a proud member of the Plumbers Local 130, Woodstock Moose Lodge 1329, as well as the CAATS Car

William E. Reese Sr., 91

William E. Reese Sr., 91, passed away on Dec. 30, 2022, at Northwestern Medicine Huntley Hospital.  He was born on June 26, 1931, in Woodstock to Harold E. and Clara K. (Stolp) Reese. William was a lifelong resident of Woodstock and graduate of the Woodstock High School class of 1950. He served in the United States Navy aboard the USS Stephen Potter DD-538 during the Korean War. William was employed as a tool and die maker at Woodstock Tool & Die, Woodstock Die Casting, and TJ Screw Products. His hobbies included woodworking and bowling. Above all, William’s family was his greatest accomplishment. Survived by his son, William (Aimee) Reese Jr.; grandchildren, Kaylee, William, and Addison; and great-grandson, Jace Scherrer.  Preceded

Frances Stanwood, 79

Frances Stanwood passed away peacefully on Jan. 1, 2023. She was 79 years old. She will be dearly missed by her family, and they are grateful she is in a better place. Frances was born on Nov. 21, 1943, in Sioux City, Iowa, to Frank and Ella (Stanton) Gales. She is survived by her loving husband, Walter, of 56 years, and her children, Walter (Jeannine), John (Amy), and Mark (Emily); forever cherished and remembered by her eight grandchildren, Charlie, Peter, Tess, Caroline, Bill, Cecelia, Charlotte, and Jack; her sister, Mary; and nine nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by her siblings Helen, Bill and Ann. She was born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa, and attended Marycrest College in Davenport,

Mary G. Jones, 98

Mary G. Jones of Woodstock died peacefully at home, born to eternity on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022.She was born on Nov. 22, 1924, to John and Maggie (Peterson) Karroll in West Frankfort, Ill. She married William D. Jones on April 3, 1948.She grew up a “coal miner’s daughter” and carried that hard-work life to her life in Woodstock. She with her husband were charter members of the First Baptist Church in Palatine and Calvary Baptist Church Woodstock, now known as Gospel Grace Church. She was an active member at church, teaching Sunday school for many years, and loved the mission work at church. She loved crocheting, gardening, and baking. Her family always came first; grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the center

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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