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2015 Goodbyes

We say our goodbyes to a few Naperville notables who are no longer with us as we end 2015.

Retired North Central College professor, Donald Shanower, known affectionately as “Doc,” spread his passion for the stage throughout Naperville.

Doc ran North Central’s theater program until he retired in 1986, and founded “The Summer Place,” a community theater company that still puts on plays at Naperville Central.

Prior to being a professor, Doc was injured in the Battle of the Bulge. North Central honored him, and his son U.S. Naval Commander Dan Shanower, who was killed in the September 11th 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, with the dedication of the Shanower Family Softball Field, in 2002.

Doc died peacefully in his home at the age of 93 on September 14th.

Lifelong Naperville resident and “Trolley Meister” Donald Wehrli was 87 when he died on May 17th.

The father of seven grew up in the original Pre-Emption House in downtown Naperville, before marrying his childhood sweetheart and wife of 63 years, Jean Knoch.

Some of Don’s accomplishments include serving as a city Councilman from 1983-1987 and being a past commander of the American Legion Naperville Post 43. His love of Naperville became a career when he founded Naperville Trolley and Tours in 1995.

His legacy lives on, as his daughter Annette is now running the company, with a fleet of trolleys.

Pat Pradel, wife of Mayor Emeritus A. George Pradel, succumbed to a 29-year battle with cancer on August 29th.

George and Pat were introduced by his sister and got married exactly one year later in August 1960.

After working as a secretary and assistant, Pat’s caring spirit led her to drive a Special Education school bus for Naperville School District 203 for more than 20 years.

Pat remained a constant support to George during his 20-year tenure as Mayor, and during their 55 years as husband and wife.

Pat Pradel was 75.

Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.


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