Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Stillerman, 75, city activist, offered pro bono legal aid

Richard Stillerman, 75, Evanston activist and former aldermanic candidate, died in August on the way to his son’s baseball game.

The attorney had a heart attack and bypass surgery 17 years ago, but his wife, Marcia, said he seemed perfectly fine until the second attack struck him as she drove them to the game.

Stillerman frequented Evanston City Council meetings and ran for alderman in 1989.

“He was articulate and intelligent and frequently did a good job advising the council,” Ald. Edmund Moran (6th) said.

By devoting a great deal of time and energy to informing himself about issues, Stillerman was respected for bringing information to debates, whether others agreed with his views or not, his wife said.

“He was constantly speaking before the City Council,” she said. “He spent a lot of time researching the issues. We have city budgets around the house that he used to read for fun.”

In addition to monitoring budgets, he worked for open council meetings and supported the city’s downtown development.

Stillerman would have considered his sons, 36 and 12, his greatest achievements, followed by his assistance of those in need, his wife said.

“He helped people who could not find help elsewhere,”she said. “Many of his clients are now crying on the phone because they don’t know where to go.”

Stillerman did pro bono research at the Midwest Center for Justice to aid death row inmates in the final stages of their appeals.

“He wanted to do it,”center attorney Carol Heise said. “He had an incredible energy and passion for it. He was always busy.”

–Elizabeth Gibson

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Stillerman, 75, city activist, offered pro bono legal aid