obituaries

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Dr. Lawrence Solomon: Renowned dermatologist, book collector loved a mystery

Dr. Lawrence M. “Larry” Solomon loved a mystery — in medicine and also in fiction. His collection of 6,000 books, many of them featuring Sherlock Holmes, was testament to that. Like Holmes, he’d use his powers of observation to arrive at deductions that dazzled and sometimes confounded patients and other physicians. The former University of Illinois dermatology chief Oct. 8 at his North Shore home. He was 83.

Legendary fashion  designer  dead at 82

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One of the world’s most legendary fashion designers, Oscar de la Renta, died Monday, report ABC News and Women’s Wear Daily. He was 82. Mr. De la Renta’s health was described earlier this month by the New York Times as “precarious.” He had cancer in …

Father Bob Botthof, teacher who became priest after losing wife, dies at 85

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When Father Bob Botthof introduced his kids to people, they looked confused. Some asked, “What does your mother think about your dad becoming a priest?” Others inquired, “Isn’t that frowned upon by the church?” He’d lived a whole other life before becoming a Roman Catholic priest. Mad about his fellow teacher and wife, Mary Elizabeth, he used to serenade her with “Shall We Dance?” But after losing her to cancer after 23 years of marriage, the father and former U.S. Marine joined the Dominican friars.

Mars Longden, folk dancer, singer, financial planner, dead at 71

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Mars Longden, who died Oct. 4 in Evanston at age 71, worked in for a year as a chemical enginer but hated it. He ended up reinventing his professional identity several times, notably helping develop some of the earliest freeze-dried coffee products before becoming a financial planner. He found pleasure doing international folk-dancing and choral singing.

Pioneering Argyle Street restaurant owner dies at 92

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Pioneering Argyle Street restaurant owner Frank Ng has died at age 92. He’s said to have opened the first Chinese restaurant on the street on Chicago’s North Side.

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Sarah Goldberg, Chicago-born actress, dies at 40

Sarah Goldberg landed her first show business break because of table linens. She helped arrange tablecloths and napkins for “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” the Julia Roberts-Dermot Mulroney movie filmed at the Cuneo mansion in Vernon Hills. Enchanted by the set, she wandered around. A film staffer spotted the glowing brunette and asked, “Do you have a purple formal?” He wanted her to be a wedding scene extra. “She said, ‘No, but I could get one,’ ” said her mother, Judy Goldberg.

Lou Whitney, ‘elder statesman’ of Midwest rock for many, dies at 72

The Missouri musician and studio owner played bass in the Skeletons and the Morells, two beloved garage bands, but he is also remembered as an influential spirit for many of the bands he recorded, mentored, and produced.

Chicagoan Paul Kraus, WWII GI who nabbed ‘most dangerous man in Europe,’ dead at 95

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It was the scar on his cheek that gave away Otto Skorzeny, the Nazi credited with leading a daring raid that whisked dictator Benito Mussolini from mountaintop captivity in Italy during World War II. That, and the keen observational skills of Paul Kraus, an Austrian-born American GI whose Jewish parents and brother perished at Auschwitz. Mr. Kraus sensed the demanding German SS officer in front of him was more than he seemed.

Sue Gin dies; chief of airline catering empire, real estate mogul

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Sue Gin, who vastly improved the quality of airline food with her company Flying Food Group, died Friday morning. She had suffered a stroke Tuesday.

Evelyn Echols, travel school founder, business pioneer, dead at 99

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Before Orbitz and Expedia, there was Evelyn Echols, who trained tens of thousands of travel agents in the days before the Internet. The pioneering businesswoman and founder of the Echols International Travel and Hotel Schools died Wednesday at her Chicago home. She was 99.

Betty Offutt-Wright, city worker and gifted cook, dies at 75

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Betty Offutt-Wright had as many superb recipes as she had elegant hats, dresses, shoes and wigs. She played Motown while she sauteed her holy trinity of onions, garlic and bell peppers to season her cornbread stuffing. Her macaroni and cheese, a velvety fusion of sharp cheddar, eggs and more butter than her family wants to think about, was umami perfection. Mrs. Offutt-Wright worked 30 years for the City of Chicago, making sure vendors were paid in a timely fashion by the Department of Public Health. She also held posts at the Water Department and the Police Department.

Howard Stern’s diminutive foil

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Eric Lynch landed several TV roles over the years. His credits included “In Plain Sight,” “Fringe” and “American Dream.”

Becky Malkovich, 53, journalist, sister of John Malkovich

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BENTON, Ill. — Rebecca Jane “Becky” Malkovich, a longtime southern Illinois journalist and the sister of actor John Malkovich, has died. Ms. Malkovich was 53 when she died Monday at St. Louis’ Barnes-Jewish Hospital, five days after suffering a heart attack at her home in …

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Mike Harari, 87, planned Mossad’s revenge against 1972 Munich Olympic massacre

JERUSALEM — Israeli secret service agent Mike Harari, who played a major role in planning Mossad’s revenge attacks against Palestinian militants implicated in the 1972 Munich massacre of the country’s Olympics team, has died. He was 87. Mr. Harari was also involved in planning Israel’s …

Rob Bironas, 36, former NFL kicker

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Rob Bironas, who worked his way through odd jobs and the Arena Football League before becoming one of the NFL’s most accurate kickers, died in a car crash. He was 36. The former Tennessee Titans player died Saturday night when he lost …

Polly Bergen, versatile actress, singer, dead at 84

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Emmy-winning actress and singer Polly Bergen, who in a long career played the terrorized wife in the original “Cape Fear” and the first woman president in “Kisses for My President,” died Saturday. She was 84.