Monday, January 24, 2005

Obituary: Jean Jackson Johnson - Class of 1934

MADISON - Jeanne Jackson Johnson, age 88, of Madison, died Saturday, Jan. 22, 2005, at her home. She was born Sept. 16, 1916, in Madison, the daughter of Dr. James A. and Lillian (Doster) Jackson. Jeanne married Samuel H. Nichols in 1936, and moved to Oak Park, Ill., where they had two children, Stephen H. and Joanne. She later married Daniel S. Johnson in New York City. She spent most of the remainder of her life in New York City and Southampton, N.Y., until moving back to Madison several years ago to be with family. As the daughter of one of the founding members of the Jackson Clinic, Jeanne spent many idyllic years as a child in Madison. She was best known for her joie de vivre and adventurous spirit. Jeanne attended Madisons Central High but graduated from Monticello High in Illinois. She also attended the University of Wisconsin. In 1954, Jeanne moved to New York City, where she was a style consultant for Bergdorf Goodmans. With her husband, Dan, they traveled the world as part of his duties as the Chairman International of the Lawn Tennis Association. Upon their retirement, they lived in Southampton, N.Y., where she worked with organizations such as the Fresh Air Home for physically challenged children, and the Parrish Art Museum. Jeanne most enjoyed the ocean, needle point, reading, playing cards, working puzzles, telling stories and spending time with family and friends. She was a stylish decorator and entertainer, and was a witty conversationalist. She also had a very tender heart for children. Survivors include her two children, Dr. Stephen H. (Mary) Nichols of Salt Lake City, Utah and Joanne Penny (Greg) Vodak of Stoughton; four grandchildren; Liz Nichols (Ed) Karr of Aurora, Col., Andrew H. Nichols of Cambridge, Mass., Deborah (Tom) Still, Madison and Sarah Sennott, Middleton; great-grandson and light of her life, Samuel McKinley Still; two sisters, Claire (the late Bo) Kemp and Ann (Don) Pilcher; sister-in-law and true friend, Margaret Anne Marmie (Dr. Robert D.) Jackson; and many Jackson nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband; and parents; two brothers, James Albert II and Dr. Robert D.; grandson, David A. Nichols, and Mary (Bob) Jackson. A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2005, at the MADISON CLUB, 5 East Wilson, Madison. A private service will be held later this spring at St. Andrews Dune Church in Southampton, N.Y. Memorials can be made to HospiceCare, 5395 E. Cheryl Pkwy., Madison, Wis., 53719. Jeanne will be greatly missed by her family and all those who knew and loved her. Cress Funeral & Cremation Service 3610 Speedway Road (608) 238-3434.

Originally pubished in the Wisconsin State Journal on January 24, 2005

Note: Jean Jackson Johnson is listed as a member of the Class of 1934 in the 35th reunion booklet published by that class. While she may not be a Central graduate, she is definitely an alumna.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Obituary: Jacquelyn (Hanson) Hur - Class of 1941

Jacquelyn Hanson Hur recently passed away after a short illness. She was born in Madison, on June 9, 1925. Her parents predeceased her. John Brastad Hanson and Bird Swenson operated a Williamson Street landmark "The Spot Lunch" for many years: "We can feed 10,000 people, 10 at a time". Jacquie graduated Madison Central High School in 1941 and entered the University of Wisconsin School of Music. Following three required major recitals she was officially recognized by Professors Church and Johanson as a concert pianist. Jacquie was the fifth member of a select group of musicians qualified to play the University of Wisconsin Carillon Bell Tower on Bascom Hill. Jacquie played piano and sang in a trio at the Madison U.S.O. during the war years. Although she was underage at the time, the entertainers were occasionally permitted to stay for the dances. One of her dance partners was Truax Field radar man Ken Hurwitz. They were married in Madison on January 18, 1946 in Trinity Lutheran Church. Jacquie enjoyed singing Sweet Adeline Barbershop Quartet music semi-professionally for over 50 years from New York to New Orleans. The culmination was performing throughout the midwest as the Capitol Squares Quartet together with Barb Geschwend, Doris Howland and Lori Breszee. She worked as a secretary for the Revisor of Statues for the State of Wisconsin, then later as a paralegal. She worked side by side with her husband, flamboyant Madison lawyer, Ken Hur, as he battled for television advertising for lawyers. Following Supreme Court authorization they consequently opened the very first legal clinic in Madison, where "You could talk to a lawyer for just 10 bucks". Jacquie and Ken retired in Key Largo in 1983, where Jacquie was active in the National Organization of Women and other feminist organizations. She was a volunteer brailler, producing translations of magazines, documents and books for people with visual disabilities. She completed the Florida Department of Law Enforcement course to be able to serve as a member of the Monroe County State Attorney's Office as a rape victim advocate. This led to a five year period when she and Ken worked with the Florida State Department of Juvenile Justice as jailers, transporters, court officers and counselors for incarcerated children. One of Jacquie's greatest pleasures was traveling and parading with her family in their antique cars or, after retiring, on Goldwing motorcycles. They had crossed the United States many times and had traveled throughout Europe. They were life members of the Goldwing Road Riders of America. She leaves her life long lover, Ken and their five kids, Janine (Michel) Brimbal of Paris, France, Tamarasue (Ken) Kaplan of Madison, and Savannah, Georgia, Phil (Kathy) of Gresham, Oregon, Jug of Waunakee, and BB (Steve) Otey of Miami, Fla. There are six grandchildren,: Jackie Ray (J.R.) of Waunakee, Daniel and Laure Brimbal of Paris, Dawna, Angelyn and Tremaine Otey of Miami; and a great-grandson, Donovan Otey. A memorial celebration of her life is being planned for this summer in Madison.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on January 16, 2005

Note: According to Social Security records, the date of death for Jacquie Hur is December 4, 2004

Obituary: George Wilson - Class of 1954

STOUGHTON - George Wilson, age 68, passed away after a long illness on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2005. He was born on Sept. 26, 1936, in Madison, a son of the late George E. and Ardis (Oyer) Wilson. He graduated from Central High School in Madison in 1954. He joined the United States Marine Corps in 1954. He was united in marriage to Ruth Tootsie Eastman on July 15, 1969, in Rockford, Ill. George was a member of American Legion Post 59, Eagles Club 2140, Blinded Veterans Association 6087, and a die hard Cubs fan. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Tootsie of Stoughton; son, Kelly (Jan) Wilson; son Ken (Michelle) Koehler and their children Debbie (Stuart) Wipperfurth, Kelsye, Stephanie, and Brent; daughter, Kathy (Rick) Knight and their children, Jessie and Jackie; son, Darrell (Cheryl) Bickle and their son Derek; daughter, Donna (Randy) Bartz and their children Michael and Miranda; and son David (Nancy) Bickle and their children Jennie (Matt) and Katie. He is further survived by three great-grandchildren, Veronica, Caleb and Taylor; good friends, Lorrayne Thompson and John Christopherson; many in-laws, nieces, nephews; and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; a son Patrick; and a daughter Diana. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2005, at OLSON-HOLZHUTER-CRESS, 206 W. Prospect Ave., Stoughton. Monsignor Gerard Healy will officiate. Military rites will be by the Stoughton American Legion Post 59 Honor Guard. Family will greet friends from 10 a.m. until the time of service on Wednesday at the funeral home. An Irish wake will follow the service at Georges home. Olson-Holzhuter-Cress Funeral & Cremation Service 206 W. Prospect Ave. Stoughton (608) 873-9054.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on January 16, 2005

Obituary: Thomas Notes (Nasiopulos) - Class of 1942

MADISON - Thomas G. Notes (Nasiopulos), age 80, died on Friday, Jan. 14, 2005, at St. Marys Care Center in Madison. Thomas, the only child of Greek immigrants, George and Margaret Nasiopulos, was born in Madison on May 20, 1924. He attended Longfellow School and graduated from Central High School in 1942. After graduation he served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific during World War II. When he returned home he worked in the family business, the Coney Island Restaurant on State Street. He married Dena Kiryakakis of Fond du Lac in 1947. It was at this time that the family legally Americanized their last name to Notes. Tom operated the family restaurant until he closed its doors in the mid-sixties and worked as a postal clerk until his retirement. Tom is survived by his daughters, Patricia Notes of Fitchburg and Sandra (Gerry Zingg) Connery of Madison; and grandsons, Matthew Connery of Sun Prairie and Andrew Connery of Madison. He is also survived by his brother-in-law and his family; John Demos; his wife, Susan; and sons, Anthony Demos and Christopher Demos, all of Fond du Lac. Tom was preceded in death by his wife, Dena; his parents; in-laws; his brothers-in-law, James and Peter Kiryakakis; and sister-in-law, Eugenia Kiryakakis; who were all very special to him. Visitation will be held from 4:30 p.m. until 7 p.m., with a 6:15 Trisagion, on Monday, Jan. 17, 2005, at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison. Funeral Services will be at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2005, at ASSUMPTION GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH, 11 North Seventh Street, Madison, with a visitation one half hour prior to the service. A burial at Forest Hill Cemetery will follow the service. Following the burial a luncheon will be held at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church. Memorials may be made to the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, The Alzheimer's Association, 517 N. Segoe Road #301, Madison, WI 53705, or a charity of your choice in Tom's memory. The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at St. Marys Care Center for the excellent care, concern and love Tom received during his stay. Cress Funeral & Cremation Service 3610 Speedway Road (608) 238-3434.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on January 16, 2005

Obituary: Irene Mary Newman

STOUGHTON - Irene Mary Newman, age 109, passed away on Friday, Jan. 14, 2005, at the Nazareth House. Irene was born on Feb. 5, 1895, in Madison, the daughter of Michael and Rosetta (Heim) Newman. Her maternal grandparents were early Dane County pioneers, arriving from Bavaria in Germany and settling on government land along Lake Mendota in Middleton two weeks after Wisconsin was admitted to the union in 1848. Her paternal grandparents arrived in Wisconsin in 1853 from Poseu, Poland, built their first house in the 200 block of North Broom Street, where Irene was born and lived until September of 1995. Her pioneer grandparents helped to establish Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, to which the Newmans were lifelong members. Irene attended Holy Redeemer Grade School, Central High School, and the University of Wisconsin, graduating in 1917 with a B.A. degree, and from the U.W. Library School (now the School of Library and Information Studies) in 1918. She was the oldest living U.W. alumna for several years prior to her death. She worked with the Minneapolis Public Library system, then returned to Madison to join the Wisconsin Library Commission. She served the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for 43 years, first as the assistant supervisor of school libraries, and, after her appointment in 1937, as Wisconsin supervisor of school libraries, a position Irene held until her retirement in 1965. Irene had the distinction of working with four state superintendents of public instruction who were much aware of the importance of a library's vital role in the school program. Under Irene's leadership, libraries were established in the smaller high schools and at the elementary level. During this period, the place of libraries in a school was legalized and certified teacher librarians became compulsory. As supervisor, Irene served as secretary of the Wisconsin Reading Circle Board which directed the supplementary reading in the grades and professional reading for teachers. Irene was a past president of the Wisconsin Library Association, a past treasurer of the Wisconsin Library School Association, and served on numerous committees on education and book selection, including the original committee for the Cooperative Children's Book Center, now part of Wisconsin's School for Library and Information Studies and U.W. School of Education. Irene was a member of Sigma Kappa Social Sorority, from which she holds a diamond anniversary certificate, and also the Alpha Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Honorary International Educational Society, for many decades. Other memberships included the American Library Association, the Wisconsin Library Association, the Wisconsin Alumni Association and its Half Century Club, the State Historical Society, Dane County Red Cross, St. Martins Guild, St. Anne's Altar Society of Holy Redeemer Church, the Madison Catholic Woman's Club, the Catholic Daughters of America, and the Madison Area Retired Education Association. After retiring, Irene remained an active member of Holy Redeemer Church, serving as treasurer of the altar society for 13 years, and vitally involved in all church programs and community service projects. Irene is survived by cousins and many loving friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Newman; two brothers, Dr. J. Robert Newman and Edward Newman; and two sisters, Rose Katherine Newman and Elsie Newman. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the NAZARETH HOUSE CHAPEL, 814 Jackson Street, Stoughton, on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2005, at 11 a.m. Monsignor Gerard Healy will officiate, with burial in Resurrection Cemetery. Friends may call at the chapel on Tuesday after 10 a.m. until the service time. Memorials may be made to the Apostolate to the Handicapped or Holy Redeemer Church. Many thanks to the caring staff of Nazareth House and Irene's many devoted friends. "I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show any human being, let me do it now. But let me not defer or neglect it, For I shall not pass this way again.-Stephen Grellet" Joyce-Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services 5701 Odana Road (608) 274-1000.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on January 16, 2005

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Obituary: Jeffrey Anderson

MADISON - Jeffrey N. Anderson, age 54, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2005, following a battle with cancer. He was born on May 29, 1950 the son of Karl and Mary (Farley) Anderson in Madison. He attended St. Patrick's Catholic Grade School and Madison Central High School. During his lifetime he mastered many trades and hobbies, but most of all he will be fondly remembered for sharing good times with his many friends. He is survived by his mother, Mary Anderson, Madison; a son, Lance (Jennifer) Anderson of Verona; two grandchildren, Cate and Cody, both at home; two brothers, Scott Anderson of California, Jay (Vicki) Anderson of Madison; and sisters, Debbie Anderson, Stacy (Peter) Grant and Becky Anderson, all of Madison. Private family services will be conducted. Jeff's family would like to thank Susan Brye and the staff at University Hospital and Oak Park Nursing Home for their help and support. All Faiths Funeral & Cremation Services Madison (608) 442-0477.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on January 9, 2005

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Obituary: Rudy Custer - Class of 1931

Obituaries: Football
Rudy Custer, 92
Longtime aide did many jobs for Halas

by Don Pierson and Bill Jauss
Tribune Staff Reporters

The Navy assigned Rudy Custer to George Halas as an administrative assistant during World War II. Halas later wrote that Custer was so efficient, "I tagged him for postwar service to my Bears."

Custer, who died in Charleston, S.C., on New year's Eve at 92, never left the Bear's owner and coach, serving as business manager of the team for 38 years.

The title failed to cover the scope of Custer's duties.

"I also did advertising, public relations, travel arrangements, the stadium box office, credentials, halftime entertainment and personnel records. Just about everything but coaching and scouting," Custer told author Jeff Davis in a recently released biography of Halas, "Papa Bear."

Custer's primary contribution was to organize and oversee one of the first NFL television networks in 1949 when Halas feared TV exposure would diminish his gate.

Custer first sold a Monday highlights package to Standard Oil of Indiana, which sponsored the "Bears Quarterback Club" with host Red Grange. Later, Custer and Halas drew a 75-mile blackout area around Chicago and sold cable rights to games to the DuMont network.

In his autobiography, "Halas by Halas," the Papa Bear wrote: "Television's prime objective would undoubtedly be to flood the rich Chicago market with football telecasts, something I did not want. I delegated Rudy Custer to the task.

"Rudy worked hard and we finished with a loss of only $1,750. The quarterback show more than met loss. I told Rudy he had worked wonders but next year he would have to double them. He did."

Custer eventually sold rights to the Bears in the Deep South and West and was virtually running the DuMont operation.

"By the end, our network was the largest independent sports network in the country, at a profit of $153,000," Custer said.

Custer retired in 1984, the year after Halas died.

"Jim Finks was running the Bears then," former assistant coach Chuck Mather recalled. "When Rudy retired, Jim had to hire seven people to fill all the rolls he had filled for the Bears."

"Rudy was everything to the Bears," said Mather, Custer's longtime neighbor in Wilmette. There wasn't anything he couldn't do and didn't do."

But he loved his job.

"Dad was blessed to have a job he loved to pour himself into seven days a week," said his son Jim.

"When I was in high school, I hung around Soldier Field as a sort of gopher. It was hard to keep up with Dad. He stood only about 5 feet 3 inches, but he walked around like he was 8 feet tall."

Custer, was a native of Madison, Wis. and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. He was working in advertising in Milwaukee when he entered the Navy and was an avid Packers fan.

He described Halas' offer to him in Davis' book, "He took me out to dinner at the end of his tour in '45. He handed me an envelope. It had $500 cash in it. I siad, 'George, you don't have to do this.' Halas replied, 'You don't know how much you've helped me. I'd like you to go to work for me.' Just like that! offered me $5,0000."

Custer said his boss in Milwaukee advised him to take it.

"Five thousand dollars felt like a million bucks to me," Custer said.

Besides his son, Custer is survived by a daughter, Terrie, and two grandchildren. His wife, Evie, died in 1991.

Originally published in the Chicago Tribune on January 8, 2005.

Note: Rudy Custer's graduation year is based on information in a June 5, 1931 article in the Wisconsin State Journal listing the Central High School graduates. He is listed as Rudof Presber Custer. Rudy Custer was the twin brother of Madison history chronicler Frank Custer, who was also a member of the Class of 1931.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Obituary: George Rogers

MADISON - Dr. George Rogers departed from this earth on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2004, following a brief illness. He was born on Nov. 27, 1949, a son of the late Anna and Leroy Rogers. He was raised on the south side of Madison and attended Franklin Elementary School and Central High School. He was a locally and nationally known gospel musician and organist. George had the opportunity of accompanying celebrities such as Gregory Hines, Ann Nesby and Prince. His life was dedicated to helping others. Making other people happy brought joy to George. George served on the South Madison Coalition of the Elderly. Although raised in the St. Paul A.M.E. Church, he later affiliated with SS Morris, Second Baptist, Faith Community Church and Christ of Solid Rock Church. He is survived by a daughter, Demetria Shelton; three grandchildren, Shanice, Daijon and Dominique; a sister, Margaret Brown; two brothers, Bert Rogers and Leroy Rogers; beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and numerous close friends. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the family. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday Jan. 8, 2005, at MOUNT ZION BAPTIST CHURCH, 2019 Fisher St., Madison. From noon until 1 p.m., please feel free to greet and visit with the family at the church. Cress Funeral & Cremation Service 6021 University Ave. (608) 238-8406.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on January 6, 2005

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Obituary: Mary (McGuire) Byrne - Class of 1930

MIDDLETON - Mary McGuire Byrne, age 91, died on Monday, Jan 3, 2005, surrounded by her family at Middleton Village Nursing Home. She was born on June 7, 1913, in Quincy, Ill., the daughter of Mark and Carolyn (Laydon) McGuire. She graduated from Madison Central High School, and later attended and graduated from UW-Madison. She owned and operated with her mother, Carolyn, the millinery business known as Carolyn Hats. Mary and her late husband, John T. "Jack," also operated Weber's Restaurant on State Street, in Madison. Survivors include four children, Timothy (Gail) Byrne of Middleton, Mary (Peter) Rowe of Laguna Beach, Calif., John (Michelle) Byrne of Acworth, Ga., and Michael Byrne of Laguna Beach, Calif.; eight grandchildren, Brendan, Erin and Dillon Byrne, Carolyn, Meghan and Matthew Rowe, Carolyn and Devin Byrne; a sister-in-law, Patricia McGuire of Winona, Minn.; and two cousins, Jack and Tom Layton. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, John T.; and a brother, John McGuire. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 405 S. Owen Drive, on Thursday, Jan 6, 2005, at 11 a.m. Monsignor Kenneth Fiedler will officiate with burial in Resurrection Cemetery. Friends may call after 10 a.m. on Thursday at the church until the service time. Memorials may be made to HospiceCare; or the charity of one's choice. A special thank you to Dr. Mark Timmerman, Dr. Charles Diggs and Dr. Gary Licklider, who over the years have participated in Mom's excellent care. Also a special thank you to the all of the staff at Middleton Village Nursing Home, especially, Cindy, Becky, Dawn, Tara, Nan and Angel. Joyce-Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services 5701 Odana Road (608) 274-1000.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on January 4, 2005

Note: Mary (McGuire) Byrne's graduation year is based on information in a June 6, 1930 article in the Wisconsin State Journal listing the Central High School graduates. She is listed as Mary Virginia McGuire.