William N. Krucks
1949 - 2021
Skokie, IL
William "Bill" Norman Krucks, age 71, passed away peacefully at his home in Winnetka on July 23rd with his wife Linda and family by his side. William was born in Chicago on October 28, 1949. He grew up in Deerfield and would later attain degrees from Tulane University followed by the University of Mississippi School of Law, where he graduated first in his class, served as editor of the Mississippi Law Journal, and was a member of the Moot Court Board. He initially practiced law in Chicago at a prominent law firm. In June 1983, William took a momentous and courageous step as an entrepreneurial attorney that would later largely define his career and that of hundreds of others. Together with five partners and six staff, William departed his firm and co-founded a new law firm, Freeborn & Peters LLP, to pursue their vision of what the practice of law could be. At the time they did not have an office, desks, or telephones, and moved into an unfinished space with no walls, rented metal desks, and wires hanging from the ceiling. Now some 38 years later, that vision William embarked on at the young age of just 33 years old, has now grown to a law firm ranked among Chicago's elite that employs more than 350 people across five national offices in four states.

As an avid reader and lifelong student, William's reputation for winning was due, in no small part, to the extra hours he spent each day reading the latest in legal opinions and new case law to ensure that his clients were well informed and represented. Many of his clients relied on him for more than 30 years, a tribute to their long found successful partnership. William was recognized among the best in his field. He was named a Leading Lawyer in the fields of Labor, Employment, and Insurance Defense Law by the Leading Lawyers Network, a designation accorded to less than five percent of practicing lawyers in the United States. Additionally, William was recently nominated as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation (2011) and Fellow of the College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers.

Despite his passion for the law, William's storied life of accomplishment was not limited to the court room alone. He cared deeply about public service and felt it important to give back to and provide leadership for his community. From 2010-11, William was elected to serve as Chair of the Village of Winnetka Caucus Council. In successive years, he would go on to serve as a Commissioner of the Zoning Board of Appeals, Chair of the Winnetka Plan Commission, as well as Village Trustee and Member of the Winnetka Village Council from 2014-17. William also served as a Member of the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Advisory Board since 2017. Apart from his law practice and civic leadership, William also served as Chairman, Director, and Vice President & General Counsel for the Rauland-Borg Corporation. Yet, he still found time to make it home for family dinner every night and was always there to coach his girls' soccer teams and help with science projects. Along with his wife, William poured any extra time into the activities his children loved. Together they held multiple roles within the Trevian Girls Softball Association and could often be found cheering on the sidelines of their children's various sporting events.

Notwithstanding his immeasurable contributions to the Firm, the legal profession, and his community, he will be remembered most for being a loving Husband and Father who never stopped giving of himself. At the end of the day, William's life was filled with love. He loved his Cigarette Racing boat, the annual fishing trips he took with his buddies, his passion for rock and roll, and his ever-improving golf game.

He is survived by his beloved wife Linda, brother Kenneth R. Krucks, children Jaylee (McGarvey) House, Cary (Ashley) Levine, Kathryn "Kiki" Krucks, Greta Krucks Montagano, Laura (Matt) Strautman, and five grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents William and Lorraine (Rauland) Krucks.

In accordance with William and Linda's wishes, he will be laid to rest in a private family service. Memorial contributions in William's memory may be made to Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF): https://give.themmrf.org/William-N-Krucks

Just like he dealt with each experience in life, William managed his illness with strength and grace, and chose to spend as much time with his loved ones as possible. On his final day, he was surrounded by his children and his wife, who he adored more than anything else in the world.

Info: donnellanfuneral.com or (847)675-1990.

Published by Chicago Tribune from Jul. 28 to Jul. 29, 2021.
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13 Entries
Sleep well my dear friend and law classmate. You were such a kind and endearing man. God speed.
Robert Biggs III
October 5, 2021
Bill was my partner and friend. Bill's kindness was evident from my first day at the firm. I would often find him sitting on my couch as I walked into my office. He just wanted to say hi, talk and exchange ideas on how the world was on that particular day. I will miss him greatly. Rich
Rich Traub
August 2, 2021
Not only was Bill very gentlemanly in his lawyering, he never took himself, or life itself I suspect, too seriously and always seemed to put things in perspective and be able to laugh about whatever we were discussing, one of the least adversarial of adversaries.
Tom Lichten
July 30, 2021
I am so saddened to hear of Bill's passing. I had the pleasure of working with Bill at Freeborn and Peters. I will always be grateful for his friendship and mentorship. My thoughts and prayers are with his family in this time of sorrow.
Beth Dolehide
July 29, 2021
Bill was an outstanding attorney who was always a gentleman even as he was beating me down on a case. I will miss him as will the entire workers' compensation community.
David Barish
July 29, 2021
I am so sorry to hear about Bill's passing. Having known him since we both were at Rooks Pitts when he started in 1976, I will miss one of the true gentlemen who practiced law. Bill's gentle way will truly be missed.
Steve Friedman
July 29, 2021
Being 9 years older, I knew Bill as a very young attorney who brought his energy, enthusiasm and knowledge of the law daily to work. I have the upmost respect for him as an attorney but more so as a parent, grandparent and husband. We followed same path although on different sides of the "legal fence". He will be so missed. Deepest Sympathy to the whole family
Joseph A. Vitell
July 29, 2021
I had only one case with Bill years ago, yet remember fondly what a gentleman he was. Too young to pass. My condolences to his family and friends.
peter schlax
July 29, 2021
I enjoyed working with Bill for many years at Freeborn & Peters. I´ll never forget how nervous I was during my interview with Bill until he asked me, "What is your favorite radio station?" He had a unique way of working with people. My condolences to his family.
Suzanne Neblett
July 29, 2021
Thinking of the family and wishing them comfort and peace
July 29, 2021
Sincerely, Your JPMorgan Team
July 28, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
July 28, 2021
May his memory be a blessing. Sending much love to you all. xox
Gina Logan
July 27, 2021
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