Tony Sirico, Dead At 79

By Vito Lucia, The Chicago Times

July 8, 2022

NEW YORK – Tony Sirico, famed actor from the The Sopranos has passed away at the age of 79.

Sirico, born July 29, 1942, in New York City would later grow up in Brooklyn.  Sirico was known for portraying mobsters in numerous films, including Goodfellas, The One Man Jury, Defiance, The Last Fight, Innocent Blood, Bullets over Broadway, Gotti, The Search for One-eye Jimmy, Cop Land, Turn of Faith, Hello Again, and Mickey Blue Eyes.  Sirico was best known for the role of Paulie Gualtieri in the award-winning drama The Sopranos.

Donations to the family will be donated to Wounded Warriors, St. Jude’s Hospital and the Acton Institute in Sirico’s memory.

Sirico is survived by his two children, Richard Sirico and Joanne Sirico Bello, his grandchildren, siblings, and other relatives.


By The Chicago Times Staff

December 26, 2021

JOHANNESBURG — Desmond Tutu, South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize winner and unwavering opponent of the country’s former racist apartheid policies died on Sunday at the age of 90.

Tutu battled passionately and nonviolently to demolish apartheid, South Africa’s horrific, decades-long government of tyranny against its Black majority that ended in 1994.

When Mandela became president in 1994, he selected Tutu to lead the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which investigated apartheid system violations.

Desmond Tutu was born on October 7, 1931, in Klerksdorp, west of Johannesburg, and worked as a teacher until enrolling at St. Peter’s Theological College in Rosetenville to train as a priest in 1958.  Tutu was ordained in 1961 and appointed chaplain at the University of Fort Hare six years later.

Tutu relocated to the tiny southern African state of Lesotho and then to the United Kingdom before coming home in 1975.  He was appointed bishop of Lesotho, chairman of the South African Council of Churches, and the first Black Anglican bishop of Johannesburg in 1985, followed by the first Black archbishop of Cape Town in 1986.

Tutu died peacefully at the Oasis Frail Care Center in Cape Town on Sunday, according to the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Trust.  After being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997, he had been hospitalized multiple times till 2015.

According to church authorities, a seven-day mourning phase is scheduled in Cape Town before Tutu’s burial, including a two-day laying in state, an ecumenical ceremony, and an Anglican requiem mass at St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town.

The Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 recognized him as one of the world’s most successful human rights advocates, a task he took seriously for the remainder of his life.

Tutu is survived by his 66-year-old wife and their four children.


by Vito Lucia, The Chicago Times

December 5, 2021

TOPEKA, KS — Bob Dole, former Republican senator from Kansas died on Sunday at the age of 98.

Dole’s death was announced by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation following a fight with lung cancer.  In February 2021, Dole stated that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and was receiving treatment.

“It is with heavy hearts we announce that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died early this morning in his sleep . . . At his death, at age 98, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years.” according to Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s statement.

Dole, a native of Russell, Kansas, served in the United States Senate from 1969 to 1996, serving as Senate Majority Leader twice.

He influenced tax policy, foreign policy, farm and nutrition programs, and disabled rights, enshrining anti-discrimination safeguards in the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination in employment, education, and public services.

In the 1996 presidential election, he was the Republican nominee, but he lost to Democrat Bill Clinton, who went on to serve a second term.  In the 1976 U.S. presidential election, Dole was the Republican vice-presidential nominee to Gerald Ford.

Dole previously served as a Republican member of the Kansas state legislature from 1951 to 1953.

Dole was born into a working-class household on July 22, 1923.  During the Great Depression, Dole and his family lived in their basement in order to rent their house to oilfield workers.

“As a young man in a small town, my parents taught me to put my trust in God, not government, and never confuse the two.” he once said, referring to his religious upbringing.

During World War II, he left the University of Kansas to enlist in the army. In 1945, Dole was wounded in combat during the Italian campaign.  Dole’s wounds left him paralyzed in his right arm and hand.

In 1968, Dole was elected to the United States Senate.  From 1984 to 1986, he was the Senate’s majority leader, and then again from 1994 to 1996.  For his public service, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1997.  He was the eighth senator to earn the Congressional Gold Medal in 2018. 

In Memoriam: S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald June 7, 1958 – November 10, 1975

Memorial to be Streamed This Year for Public

On November 10th, 1975, the Great Lakes community lost 29 brave crew members of the S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald as ship and crew were declared lost to Lake Superior during a severe November storm.

The 46th annual S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Ceremony will be a closed event limited to surviving family members of the lost crew and those that took part in the rescue effort.  However, those still wishing to pay their respects can view the event via live stream and on local TV.  Please visit the 2021 Edmund Fitzgerald Ceremony website for more details.

At approximately 7:10pm on November 10, please hold a moment of silence and imagine the Mighty Fitz’s bell solemnly toll for the 29 souls lost.

Ernest McSorley — Captain

John McCarthy — First mate

James Pratt — Second mate

Michael Armagost — Third mate

David Weiss — Cadet

Ransom Cundy — Watchman

Karl Peckol — Watchman

William Spengler — Watchman

John Simmons — Senior wheelman

Eugene O’Brien — Wheelman

John Poviach — Wheelman

Paul Riippa — Deckhand

Mark Thomas — Deckhand

Bruce Hudson — Deckhand

George Holl — Chief engineer

Edward Bindon — First assistant engineer

Thomas Edwards — Second assistant engineer

Russell Haskell — Second assistant engineer

Oliver Champeau — Third assistant engineer

Ralph Walton — Oiler

Blaine Wilhelm — Oiler

Thomas Bentsen — Oiler

Gordon MacLellan — Wiper

Robert Rafferty — Steward

Allen Kalmon — Second steward

Joseph Mazes — Special maintenance man

Thomas Borgeson — Maintenance man

Frederick Beetcher — Porter

Nolan Church — Porter

Eternal Father, Strong to Save

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep,
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea!

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at thy word,
Who walkedst on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep,
O hear us when we cry to thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace,
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea!

Eternal Father, grant, we pray,
To all Marines, both night and day,
The courage, honor, strength, and skill
Their land to serve, thy law fulfill;
Be thou the shield forevermore
From every peril to the Corps.

Lord, guard and guide the ones who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air,
In darkening storms or sunlight fair.

Thornical Press

Soldier, Statesman, & Gentleman: Colin Powell Dead at the Age of 84

by Vito Lucia and Bernard P. Lawson, The Chicago Times

October 18, 2021

Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1989.

WASHINGTON — Colin Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and later Secretary of State died Monday at the age of 84 from complications of COVID-19 while receiving treatment for cancer.

He enlisted in the Army and was one of over 16,000 military advisers sent to South Vietnam by President John F. Kennedy in 1962.  He was assigned as a military assistant to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, who became his unofficial sponsor, after a series of promotions.  Later, he was commander of the Army’s 5th Corps in Germany and national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan.

Powell would serve in the Army for 35 years, rising to the rank of four-star general before becoming the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1989.  During the Gulf War against Iraq in 1991, Powell would become a household name after his successful implementation of the Powell Doctrine, which held that the United States should only commit forces to a conflict if it has clear and achievable objectives, sufficient firepower, and a strategy for ending the war.  Powell would later be appointed Secretary of State under George W. Bush in 2001.

Powell’s family said he had been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus when he died.

Powell’s longtime aide, Peggy Cifrino, said he had also been treated for multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that impairs the body’s ability to fight infection, in recent years.  According to studies, cancer patients do not receive as much protection from the COVID-19 vaccines as healthy people.

Powell with Pres. Reagan, 1988.

Flags at government buildings such as the White House, Pentagon, and State Department were ordered to be lowered.

Former President George W. Bush said Monday “He was a great public servant . . . widely respected at home and abroad. And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend. Laura and I send Alma and their children our sincere condolences as they remember the life of a great man.”

Former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice said in a statement “Powell was a trusted colleague and a dear friend through some very challenging times.”

Powell will be missed by many and is survived by his wife and children and grandchildren.


by Vito Lucia, The Chicago Times

May 26, 2021

Eric Carle, the acclaimed children’s novelist and artist has died at the age of 91. His classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other works offered millions of youngsters some of their earliest and most cherished literary experiences.

Carle died Sunday in his summer studio in Northampton, Massachusetts, with family members by his side.  Penguin Young Readers made the announcement for the family.

Carle was born in Syracuse, New York, to German immigrant parents, and at the age of 6 his family moved back to Germany. Carle’s life was changed when a high school art instructor invited him to his house and privately showed him expressionist work, particularly Franz Marc’s “Blue Horse.”  His unique drawing style involved stitching together pieces made primarily of tissue paper that he had painted with varied colors and textures. 

His father taught him about the marvels of living things, which he would later immortalize in his novels. “As far back as I can remember, he would take my hand and lead me out into nature when I was a small child,” he told The New York Times in 1994.  “And he’d show me worms, bugs, bees, and ants, and tell me about their lives.  It was a really affectionate relationship.”

In 1952, Carle returned to the United States after graduating from a prestigious German art school.  Before moving into advertising, he worked as a graphic designer in The New York Times’ promotion department.

Bill Martin, Jr. was the one who saw Carle’s potential and introduced him into the publishing industry. Carle was working as an art director for an advertising firm at the time, and Martin required an artist for his 1967 book “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”

Carle authored and/or drew over 75 books, occasionally in collaboration with Bill Martin Jr. or other authors, but for the most part on his own.  His most recent book, “The Nonsense Show,” was published in 2015.  Carle is survived by his son and daughter.