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Al Borcover (MSJ57)

Republished from the Chicago Tribune 

Alfred Borcover was the Tribune’s travel editor in the 1980s and ’90s, a time when travel sections were a robust element of Sunday newspapers and writers covered the globe in search of interesting stories.

“Back in the day, Al took readers to places near and far with an easygoing style that made them feel that they were his traveling companions,” said Carolyn McGuire, a retired Tribune associate Travel editor. “Between assignments he was always available to give advice to anyone who asked how to beat jet lag or the best hotel to stay in — you name it.”

Borcover, 92, died of natural causes on Jan. 24 at the Warren Barr Lieberman long-term care facility in Skokie, said his wife of 34 years, Linda. A longtime Evanston resident, Borcover had been battling a range of health issues and had been in hospice care.

Born Alfred Seymour Borcover in Bellaire, Ohio, Borcover was the son of a Russian-born father and a mother who had immigrated to the U.S. from Austria. He received a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University in 1953 and then served for two years in the U.S. Air Force, where he was a first lieutenant and served in Morocco and at a radar station in Maine, his family said.

In 1957, he received a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Two years later he joined the Tribune, briefly as a reporter before becoming a copy editor.

Borcover joined the Tribune’s Travel section in 1963 and for the next 10 years was an assistant travel editor, while also writing long articles about various destinations. His first Travel section article, published July 1963, took readers to Vilas County, in north-central Wisconsin, which he described as a “scenic wonderland of 1,300 lakes and thousands of acres of towering forests.”

Borcover’s stories included a focus on affordable rail travel while he also visited far-flung locales such as Tunisia and Israel. During this time he provided the content for “Arthur Frommer’s Dollar-Wise Guide to Chicago,” which was published in 1967. Tribune book critic Clarence Petersen called it “authoritative, well-written, fascinating and up-to-date,” and a book “to remind us natives of some of the attractions of home.”

A series he developed in 1976 on Bicentennial travel destinations, including Yellowstone National Park, the Arizona desert, Glacier Bay in Alaska and the Grand Canyon, was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration.

Borcover was named the Tribune’s Travel editor in 1979. In addition to leading the section and assigning stories to writers, he continued to file reports from around the world and also wrote a weekly column.

In 1986, he broke a story about scams that had been launched in Chicago by sham vacation brokers who took consumers’ fees but then denied them trips on the dates they desired. Ultimately the brokers were targeted by the Federal Trade Commission and sued by the state attorney general’s office before the state General Assembly passed legislation cracking down on such travel promoters.

Borcover continued focusing on travel scams, and his columns were distributed around the country through Tribune wire services.

“Though he was based here in Chicago, his syndicated stories and columns traveled as widely as he did,” said Randy Curwen, who succeeded Borcover as the Tribune’s Travel editor. “As a travel writer, editor and columnist, Al certainly knew his way around the world. And everybody in the travel world knew Al.”

In addition to basic information on destinations such as maps and costs, Borcover offered personal observations in his stories.

“What struck me … was that I didn’t feel as if I were in South America,” Borcover wrote in March 1983 on a trip to Buenos Aires. “The city’s ambience and architecture — from the colorful Italian district of La Boca with its brightly painted homes to the grandiose scale of Avenida 9 de Julio — were definitely European. The undiluted ethnicity of the few gracious residents I had met, and others I overheard, left me with the quick impression that this melting-pot country had not melted as in the U.S. Language of origin had not been buried, but preserved.”

Retired Tribune foreign correspondent R.C. “Dick” Longworth recalled Borcover’s “always upbeat and good-natured” personality.

“Al was one of the nicest guys in the Tribune newsroom,” Longworth said. “He was also a real pro, a graceful writer and a fine editor whose own sense of fun and adventure infused the paper’s Travel section.”

After visiting 60 countries, Borcover stepped down as Travel editor in 1993 and retired from the Tribune in February 1994.

“People always ask: What’s your favorite place?” Borcover wrote in his farewell column. “I never have an adequate answer. There are just too many places in the world to love, and I’m not finished seeing all that I want to see. There’s no end in sight.”

Borcover continued to write about travel for another 17 years as a freelancer, including a biweekly column for the Travel section.

Shortly after his final byline in the Tribune in 2011, Borcover began volunteering at O’Hare International Airport with Travelers Aid, working at an information desk.

“He loved volunteering to work on the travel desk at O’Hare, and would go every week, for a time, to sit at that desk in one of the terminals and offer advice and help to travelers,” said former Tribune correspondent Storer “Bob” Rowley, a longtime friend.

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Justine N. Fleming (BSJ55)

Justine was an avid sports fan, she closely followed the White Sox, college basketball, the Bulls and anything on ESPN.  Most recently she volunteered at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in the gift shop and enjoyed developing relationships with patients and their families.  She had a particular interest in journalism and fondly remembered her college days at Northwestern University where she met her husband.  She was very grateful in her later years for the caring assistance provided by neighbors and family friends.  She enjoyed the constant companionship of many cats, most recently her orange tabby Polly, who was with her when she passed away.
She is survived by her sons, Steven (Elise) Fleming of Denver, CO and Vincent (Elisabeth) Fleming of Reno, NV. Also sister Theresa (Robert) Krahl and niece Tracy (Andy) Desmedt.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Donald Kingsley Fleming.

Obituary

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Louis John Wolter (BSJ56, MSJ57)

Louis John Wolter, PhD, professor emeritus at Drake University, age 93, died suddenly while vacationing in Florida on February 22, 2023. Louis was born in Western Springs, Illinois, to Louis Edward Wolter and Ottilie L. Wolter on November 27, 1929. Immediately after high school, he served in the United States Air Force for four years as a crew member on a B-36 bomber. He received his undergraduate degree at Northwestern University, where he also received his Masters of Science in Journalism. At the University of Iowa he received his doctorate. He taught advertising, public relations, and mass communications for 26 years at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he was the university’s first director of marketing. He was most passionate about mentoring and advising his many students. In addition, he was President of Directions, Inc., a marketing research firm. He served on the board of Advertising Professionals of Des Moines, Generations, Inc., and Planned Parenthood. He advised a multitude of community and state government organizations about their communications outreaches. Lou was a wonderful motivational speaker, traveling nationally to speak on public relations, primarily for health care organizations. In 2011, he coauthored a book with Robert Wohl, Navigating Organizations Through the Twenty-First Century; A Metaphor for Leadership. He and Carolyn spent many happy years in New Mexico and Florida after his retirement. Lou loved life, family, friends, and his dogs. His favorite pastime was spending time on sailboats, including one he built himself. He had an incredible zest for life. He was often referred to as the “energizer bunny.” He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Lumbard; his children, Melissa (Kekoa) Paulsen, Jon (Lori) Wolter, and Chris Wolter; and their mother, Mary Wolter; his stepchildren, Lisa Severino and Brian (Kathie) Lumbard; grandchildren, Amanda, Christian, Alex, Ben, Katie, Kenley and Brittan; five great grandchildren; and his brother, Kurt (Celeste) Wolter. A celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Iowa PBS, World Central Kitchen, or Drake University School of Journalism.

Desmoines Register

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Paul Lunde (BSJ58, MSJ58)

Paul David Lunde died on January 24, 2023, after hemorrhagic stroke at the age of 86 at Israel Family Hospice in Ames, Iowa.

Paul was born in Bismarck, North Dakota on March 15, 1936, the older of two children of Frits Nikolai Smeby Lunde and Florence Marjorie (Severson) Lunde. When Paul was in first grade, the family returned to central Iowa, eventually settling in Ames, his lifelong hometown. After graduating from Ames High School, Paul went to Northwestern University, got married, then received his B.S. and M.S. in journalism in 1958. The young couple moved to Cambridge, MA, where he attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1961.

Captain Lunde was commissioned as a member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps in the US Army after graduation. He served for three years on active duty near Washington, DC, and then went into private practice with a firm specializing in broadcast law. After the birth of his first child in 1965, Paul and his family moved back to Ames with plans to start a radio station. You’ll find that station today at 104.1 on your FM dial as KOEZ. It was Central Iowa’s first commercial FM station as KLFM, going on the air on June 2, 1967. You can also hear KJJY at 92.5 today, which was the family business’ second project. It went on the air in 1978 as KANY, the Ankeny radio station. Paul was an author, starting with GREAT RESTRAINT in 1985, MELTDOWN in 2007 & 2013 and ROOSEVELT’S WAR in 2012. He was also a teacher, earning his teaching certificate and a B.A. in History in 1989, and, later, an M.S. in Special Education from Iowa State University.

He served in many schools over the next 28 years, including junior and senior high schools in Des Moines, Ankeny and Ames. During this time, he was also a Realtor, working with clients across the Des Moines metro area. Paul relished the idea of being in public life, running for Iowa State Representative in 1978, 1982 and 1990; for the US House of Representatives in 1988 and 1992; and for the US Senate in 2014 and 2018. He also worked in the 1970s and 1980s to secure the downtown Ames Central Junior High School (originally, the Ames High School) building for use today as the Ames City Hall.

In 1957, Paul was married to Barbara Kegerreis; in 1982, to Janice Breen Mitchell; and, in 1990, to Suzanne Clark, a fellow member of the Ames High School Class of 1954, from whom he was widowed in 2017. He is survived by his brother, Mark (Linda) Lunde of Urbandale, IA, his children, Karen (Ingo) and Thomas (Erin) and his four grandchildren, all living in Minneapolis, MN. For more information about Paul, and to leave online condolences for his family, please visit the www.lunde.net/paul website.

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/obituaries/dmr129712

 

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Ruth Fromstein (BSJ56)

Ruth Fromstein, a lifelong lover of arts and culture, learning, languages and Judaism, died at her Bethesda home on February 28, 2023. She was 87. Ruth was a beloved mother, grandmother, sister and friend – and, especially, wife to her husband of 66 years, James Fromstein.

Ruth and James met in 1952, when they were both undergraduate students at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. They got married the day after graduation and immediately moved to North Carolina, where James was stationed as an Army private first class.

They later moved to James’ hometown, Milwaukee, where Ruth began a career as a writer, advertising copywriter and public relations consultant. She also wrote a book, Milwaukee: The Best of All Worlds and later produced a history for the 150th anniversary of her synagogue, Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun.

Ruth was also dedicated to community involvement as well as to the arts, often finding ways to join the two. She served as a docent at the Milwaukee Art Museum, volunteered for the Milwaukee Public Museum and was a board member of the Volunteer Center for Greater Milwaukee. She was a frequent visitor to all manner of arts institutions, including dance performances, jazz and classical music concerts, and art museums.

She traveled widely. She loved languages, especially French, taking immersion classes and studying in France in mid-life. She was passionate about the importance of learning, which prompted her to pursue educational opportunities throughout her life.

Ruth was also deeply involved with Jewish life. Born in Lexington, Kentucky, she moved with her parents at an early age to Birmingham, Alabama, where her father, Milton Grafman, was the rabbi at Temple Emanu-El from 1941 until 1975. Both Ruth and her brother, Stephen Grafman, were greatly influenced by their parents. Milton Grafman was a descendant of a long line of rabbis and cantors. His wife of 64 years, Ida Weinstein Grafman, graduated from the University of Cincinnati when women students were very much in the minority.

Ruth grew up during a time when women generally did not read from the Torah or celebrate a Bat Mitzvah. True to her devotion to learning and Judaism, she learned a Torah portion and read it as part of her grandson’s Bar Mitzvah in 2009.

Survivors include her husband, James Fromstein (BSJ56) of Bethesda, Md.; daughter Mollie Fromstein (Jeffrey) Katz of Bethesda, Maryland; son Richard (Raleigh Shapiro) Fromstein of Golden Valley, Minnesota; granddaughters Mari Fromstein of Orono, Maine, Emily Katz of Washington, D.C., Elisha Fromstein of Boston, Massachusetts., and Julia Fromstein of Golden Valley, Minnesota; grandson Benjamin Katz of Bethesda, Md.; and brother Stephen (Marilyn) Grafman of Potomac, Maryland. Mollie attended Medill’s bachelor’s program (BSJ85), and Ruth and Jim’s son, Richard, like his father, was a Medill cherub.

Mollie said this about her mother:

“Northwestern and Medill left strong, positive imprints on the Fromstein family. My parents made lifelong friends in their Medill classes and in Greek life, limited for them in the 1950s to a handful of Jewish fraternities and sororities. They cheered on the Wildcat football team for years, often driving to Evanston from Milwaukee to attend games dressed in purple while a big NU flag waved from their car as they sped down Interstate 94. Though they did not attend their graduation, they relished marching in the procession at their 50-year alumni reunion and celebrating with their classmates.”

The family requests that contributions in Ruth’s name be made to one of the three similarly-named congregations that occupied such an important part of her life – Temple Emanu-El of Birmingham, Alabama; Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun of River Hills, Wisconsin, or Temple Emanuel of Kensington, Maryland.

https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/silver-spring-md/ruth-fromstein-11178165

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1950s Legacies

Eddie Deerfield (MSJ50)

DEERFIELD, Lt. Col. Eddie (Ret.) died peacefully on August 30, 2022. Here is a link to a video biography filmed in 2005: https://youtu.be/-Pt7hVhUE70

Tampa Bay Times

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Betty Lou Laramore (MSJ51)

Betty Louise Pinney Laramore died at age 93 on September 29, 2022, at Otterbein Franklin Senior Living Community, where she had resided for nine years.

She was born April 19, 1929, in South Bend to Carroll L. and Nettie Mitzner Pinney. She graduated from Riley High School and attended Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. While in high school, and for a year after graduation, she worked in the editorial department of the South Bend Tribune.

On June 25, 1950, in South Bend she married William F. Laramore and moved into the house on Ferndale Street in Plymouth the couple had built before they were married and where she lived for 63 years. She spent more than 30 years working at Bosworth’s, the retail store founded in 1891 by her husband’s grandfather, retiring as merchandise manager in 1983. Bosworth’s was an important business in Marshall County for nine decades, and Bill and Betty Lou were devoted to customer service and caring for their employees. Betty Lou personally ensured that dozens of Marshall County brides had perfect weddings, and she supervised the fashion review at the county 4-H fair for decades. Bosworth’s pioneered providing medical insurance to its employees.

Survivors include her son Jon (Janet McCabe), son-in-law Randolph Johns, grandchildren Alice Laramore (Adam Paltrineri) of Boston, MA, Dan Sheehan (Bri Booram) and Peter Laramore, both of Indianapolis, great-grandchildren Remy Laramore and Jack Paltrineri, five nieces and three nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, daughter Ann Laramore Johns, brothers Wilbur and Donald Pinney, sister Leah Collins Heiderich, and in-laws George and Jean Schricker. She loved hosting family meals featuring produce from her garden.

Betty Lou was devoted to helping people and making Plymouth a better community. She was a founding director and first secretary of the Marshall County Community Foundation, actively involved in raising more than three million dollars to match the initial Lilly Foundation grant. She co-chaired the drive to raise a million dollars for the new Holy Cross Parkview Hospital (now St. Joseph Health System Plymouth Medical Center). She was an active member of First United Methodist Church and its choir and co-chaired the 1998 drive that raised more than $600,000 to renovate the sanctuary building.

As a community leader, at various times she served as president of the Board of Trustees of the Plymouth Community School Corp., Indiana Public Television Society, Ancilla College Board of Directors, PIDCO, Holy Cross Parkview Hospital Auxiliary, and the local United Way and Tri Kappa active and associate chapters, often the first woman board president. She was a director of United Telephone Company of Indiana (now CenturyLink), Holy Cross Parkview Hospital, St Joseph’s Care Foundation, Plymouth Community Improvement Commission, and the Indiana Medical and Nursing Distribution Loan Fund.

For ten years she was a member of the board of Michiana Public Broadcasting Corp., which manages WNIT television, and in 1992 was named Outstanding Auction Volunteer. In 2007 she was honored by the WNIT board of directors for more than 20 years of “exceptional service to the station.” She produced the Politically Speaking program on WNIT for several years. The National Friends of Public Broadcasting honored her with the Elaine Peterson Special Achievement Award in 1995.

With her husband, she received the Plymouth Jaycees Distinguished Citizen Award in 1972, the Ancilla College Distinguished Service Award in 1983, the Community Spirit Award given by then-St. Joseph Regional Medical Center Plymouth in 2003; and the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizen Award in 2005. She was honored by Gov. Joseph E. Kernan as a Sagamore of the Wabash in 2004.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, October 6, 2022 from 12-2 pm at the Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home, 1100 N. Michigan Street, Plymouth. Funeral services will immediately follow with Pastor Lauren Hall officiating.

Burial will be in the New Oak Hill Cemetery, Plymouth.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to First United Methodist Church, c/o Marshall County Community Foundation, P.O. Box 716, Plymouth, IN 46563 or United Way of Marshall County, P.O. Box 392, Plymouth, IN 46563.

cache.legacy.net

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Mark Bates (BSJ56)

Mark Bates completed his Christian tour of duty on earth peacefully on September 19, 2022.

Mark was born on August 14, 1934, in Bloomington, Illinois to Ralph E. and Margaret “Porgie” B. (nee Weldon) Bates.

He was an alumnus of St. Athanasius School and St. George High School in Evanston, IL He graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism in 1956

Mark married the love of his life Janet (nee Fjellberg) on January 5, 1957. They had a glorious life together until Janet’s passing on July 28, 2017. Mark is survived by his children, Mike (Sue), Scott, and Anne Glassow (Marcus).

He is also survived by nine grandchildren: Tom Bates, Betsy (Chris Stevens), Andy Bates (Hanna), Emily Bates (Andy Berlein), Laura Bates, Camryn Bates, Marcus Glassow (Adena), Kelsey (Grady Garrison), and Brittany as well as eight great-grandchildren: Michael Bates-McGowan; Daisy and Blake Glassow; Adeline Garrison, Noah Bates, Jack Stevens, Ted Bates, and Ben Stevens, Harlan Berlein. He will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by all.

A memorial service and celebration of Mark’s rich, full life will be held at a later date. Interment at Ridgewood Cemetery in Des Plaines, IL. The Bates family asks that memorial donations be directed to St. Athanasius School, 2510 Ashland Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201.

The Chicago Tribune

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Russ Bensley (BSJ51, MSJ52)

Robert “Russ” Bensley finished his final broadcast on August 9, 2022. The oldest (by minutes) child of Robert Daniel Bensley and Sylvia Gates Holton Bensley, Russ is survived by his children Skip Bensley, Robin Arena, and Vicki (Ryan) Stevenson; his grandchildren CJ, Sabrina, Jordan, Sarah, Andrew, and Ryan, as well as his twin brother Edward (Laura) Bensley. He is predeceased by his wife, Patrica Bannon Bensley. Also survived and predeceased by a sea of those who admired and respected him throughout his long career at CBS, as a horse farmer, and as an overall great guy.

Russ grew up on and around the University of Chicago campus, where his grandfather was the head of and his mother professor of Anatomy (and the first female graduate of the University of Chicago Medical School), and his father and aunt were integral to the vast scientific advances made there, particularly in the realm of diabetes research, for which the senior Robert Russell Bensley won a Banting Medal. He graduated from Hyde Park High School and went on to earn both an undergraduate and master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. During his years there, he commuted daily from Hyde Park, as he was also caring for his grandfather.

Russ’ career began in radio, eventually landing him at the WBBM-TV station, where he wrote and anchored the late-night news broadcast. Amusingly, this broadcast was watched by one Pat Bannon while sitting at Wally’s Tap in Homewood; she would meet him in person and then marry him almost 20 years later. Russ made his national news television debut doing “man on the street” interviews following the death of JFK.

The CBS network then brought him to New York, quickly making him a producer (eventually executive) of the Evening News with Walter Cronkite. In 1968 he took a crew to cover the Vietnam war, got shot, and then evacuated to a hospital that was then bombed.

“Not a great day” as he put it.

In 1971, he won the first of four Emmy awards for his work on the groundbreaking documentary, “The World of Charlie Company,” for CBS.

After his time on the evening news, he headed the Special Events Unity, covering events like space shuttle launches, royal weddings, and presidential conventions and elections. He recently told his family he loved special events because he wanted to be where the action was. He was the executive producer of On the Road with Charles Kuralt, which he enjoyed for the interesting and uplifting stories. He also taught journalism courses as a guest teacher in a variety of settings, including Columbia University, New York.

After his retirement from CBS in 1985, he, Pat and daughter Vicki moved to Niles, MI, where they raised Morgan Horses until 2003. When asked about what seemed like a major life change, Russ was frequently known to quip, “It’s just a different kind of manure.” He continued remote work for CBS for almost 3 years, putting together a videocassette series, The Vietnam War with Walter Cronkite.

After horse-farming, he took up his favorite title full-time-Grandpa. Russ and Pat moved to Homewood, IL (where Pat had grown up) in 2003, and he remained there until 2014, when he moved into the home his daughter, Vicki, and husband Ryan built for them. He enjoyed the rest of his years in the “west wing” with Vicki, Ryan, his grandsons Andrew and Ryan, and a variety of cats and dogs whom he adored. His grandsons clearly benefited from his constant presence; both have gone into journalism.

Russ celebrated his 84th birthday by jumping out of a “perfectly good” airplane, handling it like a pro, and at 86 had to have an amputation of his lower leg (unrelated to the jumping out of an airplane) proceeding to put everyone in rehab – including 30-year-olds – to shame. (Upon waking from surgery being asked how he was, he replied, “Footloose and fancy-free.”) He walked at home without so much as a cane, and used a walker only at the annoying insistence of his daughter. Until the stroke that disabled him seven weeks prior to his death, he took daily walks, got his own paper and did the crosswords, all while shaking his head at the changes in TV news.

Russ’ colleagues say he was among the best in the business, and to this day speak with great admiration and affection for him and his work. Giants in the industry have described him as “one of the all-time great television news producers and editors” and “the best newsman television ever had….[and] that for a few years a lot of Americans got their information about what was going on in the world from the honest and direct way [he] chose to tell them.”

Russ’ kind heart was even bigger for animals. If you are inclined to honor him in some way, please make a donation in his name to the South Suburban Humane Society, where many of his beloved pets came from. If you want to honor him another way, sneak some Oreo cookies and perhaps a good, dark beer.

And above all, the family encourages you use the phrase he was famous for as often as you can – “Everything is Going to be All Right.”

legacy.com

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Russ Bensley (BSJ51, MSJ52)

Reprint from Legacy.com 

Robert “Russ” Bensley finished his final broadcast on August 9, 2022. The oldest (by minutes) child of Robert Daniel Bensley and Sylvia Gates Holton Bensley, Russ is survived by his children Skip Bensley, Robin Arena, and Vicki (Ryan) Stevenson; his grandchildren CJ, Sabrina, Jordan, Sarah, Andrew, and Ryan, as well as his twin brother Edward (Laura) Bensley. He is predeceased by his wife, Patrica Bannon Bensley. Also survived and predeceased by a sea of those who admired and respected him throughout his long career at CBS, as a horse farmer, and as an overall great guy.

Russ grew up on and around the University of Chicago campus, where his grandfather was the head of and his mother professor of Anatomy (and the first female graduate of the University of Chicago Medical School), and his father and aunt were integral to the vast scientific advances made there, particularly in the realm of diabetes research, for which the senior Robert Russell Bensley won a Banting Medal. He graduated from Hyde Park High School and went on to earn both an undergraduate and master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. During his years there, he commuted daily from Hyde Park, as he was also caring for his grandfather.

Russ’ career began in radio, eventually landing him at the WBBM-TV station, where he wrote and anchored the late-night news broadcast. Amusingly, this broadcast was watched by one Pat Bannon while sitting at Wally’s Tap in Homewood; she would meet him in person and then marry him almost 20 years later. Russ made his national news television debut doing “man on the street” interviews following the death of JFK.

The CBS network then brought him to New York, quickly making him a producer (eventually executive) of the Evening News with Walter Cronkite. In 1968 he took a crew to cover the Vietnam war, got shot, and then evacuated to a hospital that was then bombed.

“Not a great day” as he put it.

In 1971, he won the first of four Emmy awards for his work on the groundbreaking documentary, “The World of Charlie Company,” for CBS.

After his time on the evening news, he headed the Special Events Unity, covering events like space shuttle launches, royal weddings, and presidential conventions and elections. He recently told his family he loved special events because he wanted to be where the action was. He was the executive producer of On the Road with Charles Kuralt, which he enjoyed for the interesting and uplifting stories. He also taught journalism courses as a guest teacher in a variety of settings, including Columbia University, New York.

After his retirement from CBS in 1985, he, Pat and daughter Vicki moved to Niles, MI, where they raised Morgan Horses until 2003. When asked about what seemed like a major life change, Russ was frequently known to quip, “It’s just a different kind of manure.” He continued remote work for CBS for almost 3 years, putting together a videocassette series, The Vietnam War with Walter Cronkite.

After horse-farming, he took up his favorite title full-time-Grandpa. Russ and Pat moved to Homewood, IL (where Pat had grown up) in 2003, and he remained there until 2014, when he moved into the home his daughter, Vicki, and husband Ryan built for them. He enjoyed the rest of his years in the “west wing” with Vicki, Ryan, his grandsons Andrew and Ryan, and a variety of cats and dogs whom he adored. His grandsons clearly benefited from his constant presence; both have gone into journalism.

Russ celebrated his 84th birthday by jumping out of a “perfectly good” airplane, handling it like a pro, and at 86 had to have an amputation of his lower leg (unrelated to the jumping out of an airplane) proceeding to put everyone in rehab – including 30-year-olds – to shame. (Upon waking from surgery being asked how he was, he replied, “Footloose and fancy-free.”) He walked at home without so much as a cane, and used a walker only at the annoying insistence of his daughter. Until the stroke that disabled him seven weeks prior to his death, he took daily walks, got his own paper and did the crosswords, all while shaking his head at the changes in TV news.

Russ’ colleagues say he was among the best in the business, and to this day speak with great admiration and affection for him and his work. Giants in the industry have described him as “one of the all-time great television news producers and editors” and “the best newsman television ever had….[and] that for a few years a lot of Americans got their information about what was going on in the world from the honest and direct way [he] chose to tell them.”

Russ’ kind heart was even bigger for animals. If you are inclined to honor him in some way, please make a donation in his name to the South Suburban Humane Society, where many of his beloved pets came from. If you want to honor him another way, sneak some oreo cookies and perhaps a good, dark beer.

And above all, the family encourages you use the phrase he was famous for as often as you can – “Everything is Going to be All Right.”

https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/legacyremembers/robert-russ-bensley-obituary?id=36206997%26utm_source%3Dfacebook%26utm_medium%3Dsocial%26utm_campaign%3Dobitsharebeta