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William van Straaten


1937 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
William van Straaten Obituary
William "Bill" van Straaten, 76, died peacefully at home in Denver, CO, on December 23, 2013. He was born April 29, 1937, to Virginia and Herbert van Straaten in Chicago, IL. Bill founded Chicago's van Straaten Gallery in 1969 on Michigan Ave. In 1982 the contemporary print gallery made a pioneering move to River North, which became the largest concentrated art gallery district in the city by the late 1980s. He served as President of The Chicago Art Dealers Association, exhibited in major international art expositions, and later established the fine print workshop Riverhouse Editions, in Steamboat Springs, CO. Riverhouse produced one "college proof" of each new edition to donate for the purpose of teaching about printmaking. The majority was donated to his alma mater Northwestern University's Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Contemporary Art. Bill was captivated by the American West since boyhood and spent many years vacationing in Colorado before making it his home in the 1990s. He was an avid outdoorsman, fisherman, and horseman. He loved snowmobiling, sledding headfirst downhill, and campfires. In addition to being a devoted husband and father, Bill was an accomplished cook, and was passionate about books, his dogs, American history, jazz, and the Chicago Bears. In addition to his wife Jan, Bill is survived by 3 children from a previous marriage: Tracy, Justine, and Derek (Abigail), Bill and Jan's daughter Hallie, Ginger Kenyon, and Bill's brother Thomas (Nadine). Following a private service, friends and loved ones are invited to celebrate Bill on Monday, Dec. 30th from 1-4 p.m. at Club Lago (331 W. Superior) restaurant in Chicago. Memorial donations can be made to www.americanrivers.org or www.woundedwarriorproject.org. For info The Weinstein Funeral Home 847-256-5700
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Dec. 29, 2013
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