Wilma Grace Vrancken Wall, of Northbrook, Illinois, passed away April 7, 2015. She went peacefully, in her own home, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Wilma was born Wilma Grace Vrancken in Union City, New Jersey, in June of 1926. She went to the Cooper Union in Greenwich Village, married Ned Wall of Hoboken, a journalist, and moved with him to the Chicago area in 1959.
After a stint in the south suburbs of Chicago, she became a Wilmette, IL resident for 11 years where her three sons graduated from New Trier East. She spent more than a decade in Winnetka, IL before eventually retiring to Northbrook, IL
Wilma worked for 15 years at the Chicago Sun-Times as the executive assistant to the Head of Production and later, the Head of Features.
She worked closely with the assistants of legendary Sun-Times writers such as Roger Ebert and Mike Royko, knew Rich Roeper when he was a rookie, took Rupert Murdoch’s kids to the opera and loved being a part of the newspaper business. While she was working at the Sun-Times, she went back to school at night and got her BA from Northwestern University. She was in her early 60s at graduation.
She also spent many years working for Northwestern University Technological Institute in Evanston and after her retirement from the Sun-Times, at the Pioneer Press in Wilmette.
Wilma is survived by her sister, Barbara Mahnken of Ft. Worth, Texas, and her three sons: Glenn Wall, Gregory Wall and Chris Wall.
Services will be private. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Wilma’s memory to the National Organization for Women in Washington, D.C., a cause Wilma personally supported for 50 years.