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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

Ronald Keith Parrish, 82

Ronald Keith Parrish, known to his loved ones as Ron, passed away on July 25, 2023, at the age of 82 in Barrington, Ill. Ron was born on June 2, 1941, in Fairmont, W.Va., to Ralph and Juanita Greene Parrish. He was preceded in death by his parents and his grandson, Mason Parrish. Ron is survived by his beloved wife, Barbara; his daughter, Kelly (Steve Carbon) of Bloomingdale, Ill.; his oldest son, Brad (Wendy) Parrish of Pittsburgh, Pa., his son Christopher (Ilisa) Parrish of Woodstock, and his son Doug (Sarah) Parrish of Eagle, Colo.; and his 11 grandchildren and one great-grandson. Ron had an impressive educational background, having obtained his Master’s in Education from Northern Illinois University, an MBA from

James ‘Red’ Gavers, 84

James “Red” Gavers, 84, of Woodstock, passed away Monday, July 17, 2023, in the comfort of his own home. He courageously battled his fight against cancer. He was born April 14, 1939, in Cary to Otto and Ann (DeVogelaere) Gavers. Unyielding his patriotism, Red joined the Army, 82nd Airborne Division in 1960, and was stationed in Fort Bragg, N.C., as a sergeant. and paratrooper. He joined his brother and business partner, Bob Gavers, in 1962, operating Gavers Automotive in Woodstock after leaving the service. For 57 years, they together were a staple in the community as mechanics and towing operators before retiring in 2019. There was never a job too challenging. He attributed his success to a positive attitude and

John Sullivan, 61

For John Sullivan, a perfect evening found him sitting outside on the patio he built, enjoying pizza and a cold Hamm’s with family and friends, swapping stories, and showing off his abundant garden handiwork.John, 61, of Woodstock, a teacher, gardener, and lover of the outdoors, died July 15. He was born in Chicago to John Sullivan and Mary Ann Conrad Sullivan and grew up in a close-knit family of five sisters and one brother in Glenview. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1984 and began his teaching career in the north suburbs. He taught social studies and coached track and soccer at Glenbrook South High School – his own alma mater – for 33 years, and made an

Kenneth C. Kopsell, 74

Kenneth C. Kopsell, 74, of Woodstock and Apache Junction, Ariz., passed away peacefully on July 7, 2023, with his family by his side.  A 1967 graduate of Huntley High School, Ken was a proud veteran, having served as an aircraft repair mechanic during the Vietnam War. Following that, Ken worked as a mechanic for Illinois Bell and earned his associate degree before turning to farming full time. He was an avid reader who stayed up nights to read anything he could find – including his daughters’ school books.  Ken loved to ride his Harley-Davidson motorcycle around McHenry County and cross-country, often with his wife, Kris, on the back; they were married 54 years on June 29.  Ken is survived by

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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