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Area attorney memorialized at McGraw Wildlife service

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Updated: July 12, 2012 6:06AM

EAST DUNDEE — The life of the late Aurora attorney Kim Edward Presbrey was celebrated on Sunday afternoon at Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation along Illinois 25 in East Dundee.

“I cannot imagine anywhere else that Kim would want to be remembered,” said his friend, Bill Weir. “He spent a lot of time here. He was taken away from us way too soon. I never saw a more devoted father. He was so proud of his sons, Kenton and Kevin. I hope someday we’ll all be together again.”

Presbrey, 60, a certified private pilot, died May 26 as a result of injuries suffered in a plane crash April 2 into a supermarket in DeLand, Fla.. The other person in the experimental Sea Wind 3000 aircraft owned by Presbrey was commercial pilot Thomas Rhoades of Bull Valley.

Bill Cullerton Sr. of Oak Brook, former host of the “Great Outdoors” program on WGN Radio in Chicago for 30 years, said he knew Presbrey through the Illinois Conservation Foundation.

“He was a great guy,” Cullerton said. “He was an enthusiastic supporter of the outdoors.”

Presbrey was the managing partner of Presbrey & Associates, a law firm founded in Aurora by his father, George Presbrey, in 1948.

Presbrey’s law-related accomplishments and activities were many, as noted by an Illinois Senate resolution recently passed in his memory. According to the resolution, “Presbrey practiced workers compensation law since 1977. He also served as president of Illinois Futures Inc., a scholarship program for children of disabled workers, for 10 years. He was a founding member of a medical malpractice company that he started in December 2006.”

“Presbrey was a past president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and a member of the Board of Governors of the Illinois State Bar Association. He was also a member of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Larson’s National Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board, vice president of the Workplace Injury Litigation Group, and a past secretary and section member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America Workers’ Compensation Section.”

State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora, and state Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, both spoke at the memorial service.

“I would not be where I am without Kim,” said Chapa LaVia, the first Hispanic to win a seat in the legislature outside of Cook County. “Thank you for sharing Kim with us in Springfield. He made the world a better place.”

“He understood our world and was there to help,” Holmes said. “He was always a driving force that was bigger than life.”

In addition to working as an attorney, Presbrey was an avid sportsman. He liked to fish, hunt, ski, scuba dive and fly planes. He enjoyed walking the fields with his hunting dog, Hershey.

“He had 5 million hobbies,” said Presbrey’s son, Kevin. “He was always on the cutting edge of technology. He had 75 magazine subscriptions. He lived the life of 10 people in 60 years.”

“They say of heroes that they need not be undefeated, just undeterred,” said Presbrey’s friend and colleague Matt Belcher of Belcher Law Office in Chicago. “No man I have ever met has been more undeterred than Kim Presbrey. Kim was married for 32 years to Colleen. She truly was the love of his life.”

“I’ve known Kim for 35 years,” said Chicagoan Chuck Haskins. “Kim enjoyed life to the fullest.”

Attorney Bob Brownlee of St. Louis remembered going muskie fishing with Presbrey.

“He was a true conservationist,” Brownlee said. “After he caught a 47-inch muskie, he spent more time reviving it than he spent on catching it. Kim was a role model to me. He emphasized his family above all else.”

Presbrey is survived by his wife Colleen; their two sons, Kenton (fiancee Kelly Johnson) and Kevin; and his brother, Tom Presbrey, Tom’s wife Laurie, and their children: Joseph, Scott and Kara.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals at

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