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Henry Ludwig


1922 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Henry Ludwig Obituary
Henry "Hank" Warren Ludwig, 90, a resident of Lake Forest, IL, passed away peacefully on May 25, 2013. Hank was born in Chicago on September 30, 1922, and was able to celebrate his final birthday at home with his entire family before relocating to Westmoreland Nursing Center for assistance with his courageous battle with dementia. Hank had also been a long-time resident of Northbrook and Buffalo Grove, IL. In Hank's early years he was a star basketball player at Amundsen High School. He received a scholarship to Michigan State University to continue his playing career but, in a twist of fate, received a military draft notice just days before setting off for college. Hank unpacked his bags and enrolled in the Navy. During his service, he injured his back and returned to civilian life in Chicago. While catching up with friends years later at a local bar, he caught the eye of Naomi, a beautiful woman from the neighborhood. They dated for a short time before marrying in 1947. Shortly after, they relocated to Northbrook, where they raised two daughters, Nancy and Janice. Hank and Naomi remained married for 65 years. Hank was a loving father and family prankster who was known for his hilarious and sometimes nonsensical jokes that put friends and family in fits, mostly because Hank was the king of holding back the punch line. He had some wild times as a lifelong member of the Gas House Goosers, a men's club with about 40 members that originated as a club for Amundsen athletes. Many of the Goosers were split apart due to the draft; for those who returned from service, it was time to have some fun and reconnect with the gang. The Goosers routinely reunited to tell stories, laugh, play poker and have a stiff drink or two. At the time of his passing, Hank was the last remaining Gooser. After retiring from Material Service Corp. in 1988, Hank continued his annual pilgrimages to Hiller's Pine Haven in St. Germain, WI for the summers, a tradition he passed down to two generations. He also spent several winters in the desert sun of Scottsdale, AZ, where he followed off-season training for the Cubs, the same team his father, Henry Sr., took him to see as a young boy, back on the North Side. In 1986, Hank appeared as a background actor in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, seated behind Matthew Broderick as he famously caught a foul ball at, of all places, Wrigley Field. The film was written and directed by Hank's son-in-law, John Hughes Jr., who was Nancy's husband of 39 years. The following day he suffered a major heart attack at 64. Exemplifying his grit and determination, Hank drove himself from work to the hospital during the attack, a distance of nearly 20 miles. After surgery, the doctors gave him 7-12 years to live; in another testament to his strong will, he endured many years beyond the outermost range of the doctor's assessment. Hank retained much of that same resolve when he received a dire outlook on his prospects living with dementia. He held out for as long as he could, until he couldn't anymore. Hank was preceded in death by his loving daughter Janice and his son-in-law John Hughes Jr. He is survived by his wife Naomi Ludwig; daughter Nancy Hughes; grandson John Hughes III and wife Ruta; grandson James Hughes and wife Tracy; and great-grandchildren Katelyn, Wil, Livia and Henry. In lieu of flowers, donations in Henry Ludwig's memory may be made to the .
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on June 2, 2013
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