Class Notes are displayed in the order that they are received. You may also view notes by decade, or by class year – simply click on the decade or click on the + symbol to expand the decade and display by year. If a given class year does not appear, notes do not exist for that particular year.
J. Michael O'Byrne '49
J. Michael O'Byrne died Sunday, June 30, 2019 in Urbana. Mike co-founded the law firm of Reno & O’Byrne (which is now known as O’Byrne, Stanko & Jefferson) in 1950. He practiced law with that same firm for 59 years until his retirement. He was a member of the American, Illinois, and Champaign County bar associations. He was honored as the Illinois Law School Alum of the Month and received the Service Award as the Pro Bono Attorney of the Year in 2002. In 2009, in recognition of his outstanding career as an attorney and member of the community, he was named a Pillar of the Bar.
Philip Baker Benefiel '48
Philip Baker Benefiel, 95, died on April 7, 2019, at home in Champaign. Prior to getting his law degree, Benefiel served in World War II as part of the 667th Field Artillery Battalion at the Battle of the Bulge and the Rhine Crossing at Remagen. Following law school, he served as a state's attorney, an Illinois state senator, an associate judge, and circuit judge of the 2nd Circuit. Judge Benefiel's lifelong passion was in social justice. Along with his wife, he founded Volunteers in Probation (VIP), which supported at-risk youth with community mentors. As this model was adopted by adjacent Wabash and Crawford Counties, the name was changed to Cra-Wa-La Volunteers in Probation, an organization which served approximately 1,100 youth over nearly 50 years.
Paul Stone '42
Paul Stone passed away February 11, 2017 at his home in Sullivan, Illinois.