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Obituaries

Memorializing notable Chicagoans and people from around the world who have recently died.

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Tyrone ‘Ty Skippy’ Winfield, renowned stepper with the ‘fastest feet in the land,’ dead at 61

The East Chicago, Ind., resident ‘spoke with his feet,’ says Antoine Carmichael, an R&B performer who records as Carmichael Musiclover. ‘He was the best stepper I’ve ever seen.’

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Dr. Jeremiah Stamler, ‘Father of Preventive Cardiology,’ dead at 102 

The Northwestern University professor was ‘essentially the world expert on the causes and potential prevention of heart disease.’

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Former Pirates player Gene Clines, part of MLB’s first all-minority lineup, dies at 75

Clines later played three seasons with the Cubs and served as a coach on the North Side.

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Peter Robbins, voiced Charlie Brown in Peanuts holiday TV specials, dies at 65

Robbins was the first actor to voice Charlie Brown, beginning at age nine until he was 13.

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CPS teacher killed in murder-suicide was active in violence prevention and mentored troubled kids. ‘She was the most amazing young woman’

Amanda Alvarez-Calo was shot and killed by her husband earlier this week in a parked car in the East Side neighborhood, authorities said, about two miles from where she taught pre-school.

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Nancy Palese, co-founded iconic namesake pizza restaurants in Chicago, dies at 87

She and her husband and restaurant co-founder Rocco Palese created a hearty "stuffed" pizza (not deep dish) that would become the core of Nancy’s Pizza restaurants.

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Thierry Mugler, French fashion designer, dies at 73

His dramatic and avant-garde pieces were worn by Demi Moore, Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and Cardi B.

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Coop’s Records owner Ezell Cooper, South Side store owner and ‘jazzologist,’ dead at 89

Rick Wojcik, owner of the Dusty Groove record store, called him ‘a legend.’ He carried all musical genres, but his specialty was jazz.

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Pat Brickhouse, who fought to preserve legacy of her husband, legendary Cubs broadcaster Jack Brickhouse, dies

"She just adored Jack and loved their connection to the Cubs and was very protective of his legacy," recalled former Sun-Times columnist Bill Zwecker.

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Bill Jackson, creative mind behind Dirty Dragon and the Blob, dead at 86

Jackson, who died in California Monday, brought out-of-the-ordinary characters to life through his Chicago children’s television shows, including "Gigglesnort Hotel."

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Les Grobstein, 670 The Score overnight host, dead at 69

The Chicago sports broadcasting icon died Sunday at his home, the station announced Monday.

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‘Dancin’ Man’ Perry Kanlan, who’d jump onstage at Chicago clubs to perform with stars, dead at 78

He’d dance on his hands, do splits and flips with performers including James Brown, the Jackson 5, Martha Reeves, George Clinton and Sister Sledge.

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Henry Meinke, third generation to run Meinke Garden Center, Niles’ oldest business, dead at 94

He was the third of his name to carry on the family business founded by his grandfather, still located on Touhy Avenue in the same 10-acre site where he once farmed.

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Richard ‘Dick’ Stone dies at 80; Chicago newsman was respected foreign correspondent and media strategist

When Dick Stone asked Mayor Richard J. Daley about giving millions of dollars in city insurance business to a firm that employed his son John, Daley replied: "My mother used to always say, ‘There’s mistletoe hanging from my coattail.’ "

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J.W. Smith, one of Chicago’s great high school football coaches and an innovative CPS sports administrator, dies at 84

J.W. Smith, who was one of the Public League’s most successful football coaches before introducing numerous innovations as its executive director of sports administration, died on Saturday.

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Dale Clevenger, former CSO principal horn, dies at 81

The renowned french horn player passed away in Italy from complications of Waldenstrom’s disease.

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Cook County political heavyweight Frank Zuccarelli dies at 70

The Thornton Township supervisor helped launch numerous Illinois political careers, prioritized social services in his south suburban township — and was no stranger to controversy.

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ESPN 1000 Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson, 43, dies after battling cancer

Dickerson is survived by his 11-year-old son, Parker, and parents, George and Sandy Dickerson. Dickerson’s wife, Caitlin, died from cancer at 36 in 2019.

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South Side funeral home director — one of the first to hold drive-thru viewings — dies at 81

Lafayette Gatling Sr. built Gatling’s Chapel on Halsted Street in the 1980s. He soon became known as the compassionate funeral director who never turned any grieving family away.

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Former Sen. Harry Reid, champion of Affordable Care Act, dies at 82

Reid was the longest-serving senator from Nevada.

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Wanda Young, member of The Marvelettes, dies at 78

Young and other members of the Marvelettes were teenagers when they recorded "Please Mr. Postman" for Berry Gordy Jr.’s Motown Records in 1961. The song became Motown’s first No. 1 pop hit.

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Rudy Malnati Jr., member of Chicago pizza dynasty, director of Air and Water Show, dead at 65

He died Christmas Eve at his Lake Forest home after a five-year battle with gallbladder cancer, his wife said.

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Dr. Lester Fisher, former director of Lincoln Park Zoo, dead at 100

Fisher worked at Lincoln Park Zoo for nearly 45 years, starting in 1947 and later serving as the zoo’s director from 1962 until he retired in 1992. He was the zoo’s first veterinarian.

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Curtis S. Tice dies at 83; artist and architectural modeler worked on walk-through human heart and coal mine at MSI and displays at Rock ’n’ Roll McDonald’s

"He could fix anything. He could make anything," said his daughter Dawn Magliola.

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Mae Hunter, mother to 21 kids, great-great- grandmother to Laquan McDonald, dies at 86

"She’d prepare food for 50 or 60 people, for her family and in case anyone from the neighborhood might be hungry and stop by," said her son.

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Hellen Antonopoulos, CPS administrator, social worker, ‘champion for our students,’ dead at 48

‘A beautiful soul who had done great work,’ said Maurice Swinney, CPS’s interim chief education officer, who said she was ‘one of the best social workers in the youth guidance space.’

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John Mohrlein, who played good and evil in long-running ‘It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago,’ dead at 74

Renowned as a character actor and ensemble artist, he’d play both Clarence, the angel, and the villainous Mr. Potter — in the American Blues Theater production.

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Dorothy Dawson, tough-as-nails track coach with a soft spot, dies at 91

Dawson was a track coach and assistant principal with a paddle. But more than that, she was a steadfast mentor known for her generosity, giving her students food, clothing and a place to stay.

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Chicago hip-hop pioneer Parker Lee Williams, aka DJ P-Lee Fresh, dies at 54

He admired old-school beats and hip-hop artists, working with Grandmaster Caz, Grandmaster Melle Mel and Chuck D.

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Renato ‘Ron’ Turano, leader of Berwyn’s Turano Baking Co. who also held seat in Italy’s Senate, dies at 79

In one busy year, he made 59 trips to Italy to represent expatriates in that country’s Parliament.

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Former Mount Carmel and Illini football star Glenn Foster dies

Foster was in police custody in Pickens County, Alabama, after a car crash.

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Brian Mita, renowned chef and co-owner of Izakaya Mita, dead at 43

Brian Mita shared his struggles with being diagnosed with colon cancer to the Chicago Sun-Times.