Michael Phenner lived a thoughtful, intentional life, and died a peaceful death on September 18, 2019 at his home in Evanston, IL. Michael was born on March 2, 1938 in Toronto Canada, and moved to Evanston in 1951. Michael attended the University of Notre Dame for his undergraduate and law degrees, graduating in 1959 and 1962, respectively.
Michael clerked for Judge Roger Kiley in United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, followed by three years in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. During that time, Michael served as White House social aide in President Lyndon Johnson's administration, when he met Mary Theresa White, whom he married on September 23rd, 1967 in Bronxville, NY.
Michael practiced law in Chicago at Hopkins & Sutter for 34 years until 2000, when he left to lead New Ventures at The Cradle, the adoption agency where he welcomed his daughter Maureen and son Christopher in 1975 and 1972, respectively. Michael and Mary Phenner served on the board of The Cradle for 25 years. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Cradle, 2049 Ridge Avenue, Evanston, IL 60202.Michael was preceded in death by his sister Sonja, his father Lewis, his mother Bernice, his wife Mary of 49 years and Mary's sisters Dorothy and Patricia White.Michael is survived by his two children Chris (Erika) Phenner and Maureen (Justin) Albring and his four grandchildren of William and Harrison Phenner, Mac and Louis Albring, as well as Patricia White's husband Doug Snyder and his daughters Hue and Ket White.Funeral Mass will be at 10am CT on Monday, September 23 at St. Mary's Parish, 1012 Lake St, Evanston. A reception will follow at The Mather, at 425 Davis St., Evanston. St. Mary's has parking on its property, and is wheelchair accessible. The Mather is 0.4 miles to the northeast.