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naperville sun estate sales

Radio personality puts Naperville estate up for sale

August 15, 2008, Naperville Sun
By Karen Goveia

Across Chicagoland and the Midwest, the thousands of fans of former Chicago radio personality Kevin Matthews are known as "KevHeads."

Continuing though Saturday, area KevHeads, sports memorabilia and antique collectors are invited to a one-of-a-kind liquidation sale in Aurora of Matthews' Chicago estate. Along with that opportunity, Matthews will be on-site to autograph items purchased.

Kevin Matthews Naperville

The voice of Matthews has been heard over airways across the country for almost 25 years. Locally, he was best known for his 12-year association with the Loop (WLUP) and sister station AM-1000, where he developed his popular alter-ego, sports radio announcer Jim Shorts.

This character became a significant part of the Chicago sports scene through featured radio chats and public appearances with many Chicago sports heroes, including Michael Jordan, Mike Ditka and Jim McMahon. Matthews left Chicago radio in 2005 and headed for Grand Rapids, Mich., where he does the morning-drive slot at WLAV and works for Citadel Communications.

The estate sale will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Saturday at the Ace Hardware on Lake Street in Aurora. Visitors will find myriad antiques, collectibles and Chicago sports memorabilia for sale. Doug Golter, of A Step Beyond Estate Sales, said there are some really interesting items, including an official Chicago Bears football with the entire team's autographs, as well as many vintage antiques such as a 1940s (dime) Coke machine, slot machine, barn door dining table, a grandfather and mantle clock from the 1800s, several pieces of furniture, along with Matthews' posters, CDs and cookbooks.

The estate sale of former Chicago-area sports commentator Kevin Matthews will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Saturday at the Ace Hardware on Lake Street in Aurora. For a detailed list of the items included in the sale, visit

Sun-Times News Group | Link to Suburban Chicago News Archives Naperville Sun

cbs2 chicago

Local TV Nostalgia Goes Up For Sale

Treasures Available At Estate Sale Of Man Who Helped Build
Garfield Goose Puppet

by Mike Puccinelli

garfield goose estate sale

Estate Sale

garfield goose estate sale

AURORA, Ill. (CBS) ― "Garfield Goose and Friends" was a television program that captivated Chicago children from the mid-1950s through the mid-1970s.

Now, you have a chance to buy a piece of the estate of the man who helped build the famed puppet. Tens of thousands of items are up for sale beginning today, June 9, when the estate of Bruce and Claire Newton, goes up for sale.

The sale is being held at the couple's historic home, at 247 West Park in downtown Aurora, beginning at 9 a.m. today and ending next Thursday.

In addition to items related to puppetry, there is a telephone owned by Henry Ford, Thomas Edison records, and a vast array of antiques collected by the Newton's over the past 50 years.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the avid collector or someone who is just starting," said estate sales conductor Douglas Golter. "There are antiques from floor to ceiling in every room. It's a piece of American history. Mr. Newton has been collecting since the 1950s; they've gone around all of America's heartland."

The house itself, which is painted red throughout, is also up for sale. The couple is moving from the house into an assisted living facility.

Frazier Thomas came up with the idea for Garfield Goose, but Bruce Newton helped build the puppet and worked behind the scenes as a puppeteer. Many of the original puppets will be donated to museums.

"He's impacted literally tens of thousands of people…. He was before 'Bozo'," Golter said.

CBS 2 was one of the many stations where Newton worked.

pdf Downloadable PDF Version | Link to CBS2 Chicago Archives


Daily Herald - Chicago

Garfield Goose creator to hold estate sale

Author: Jill Jedlowski, Daily Herald Staff Writer

The Aurora mansion of the longtime resident who created Garfield Goose, the lovably simple children's television character, will be opened to the public for the first time at an estate sale.

The sale, which begins Friday, will be conducted at the 18-room, four-story home of Bruce Newton, of Garfield Goose fame, and his wife, Claire. Garfield Goose appeared on TV shows such as "Bozo's Circus" and "Garfield Goose and Friends" between 1955 and 1981.

Bruce NewtonThe Newtons are a retired couple looking to unload the numerous collectibles and antiques they have amassed, said estate sale director Douglas Golter of A Step Beyond in Wheaton.

"This is extremely rare for the public to be allowed inside a celebrity's home for an auction," Golter said. "I think it's quite a treat."

The Newtons are opting to sell their personal collection publicly because they want to share the joy the many pieces have brought them.

The Newtons were not available for interviews.

The auction will feature thousands of items ranging from some Garfield Goose memorabilia - though not Garfield himself - to unique antiques. Some of the more spectacular items include an all-wood nickel jukebox in working order, a telephone booth thought to have been used by Al Capone, part of a split-rail fence considered to have been hand-hewn by President Abraham Lincoln, and one of the oldest popcorn machines on wheels.

Entire rooms in the house are devoted to replicating old- fashioned lawyers' and dentists' offices. Other items include a soda fountain, a shoe shine stand, musical instruments and farm implements.

Items will range in cost from $10 to $12,5000 for the jukebox. Anything more than $100 will be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity and origin.

In addition, a 1925 Model T Ford and the house itself will be available for purchase during the sale.

No cameras will be allowed inside.


Suburban Life

Giving it away: Wills, trusts ensure heirs get what they deserve

By Joan Hadac

When there’s a will, there is a way, but when no will exists a death can leave a family unsure of how to disperse belongings, or turtles, as the case may be.

For one family, a turtle is caught in a custody battle. No accommodations were made for the devoted 40-year companion of a now-deceased woman prior to her death.

A five and dime purchase, the pet grew to 3 feet in diameter and very heavy, according to Bill Wilson of Wilson and Wilson Law Offices in La Grange. Pampered, his owner kept him in a glass terrarium in the basement during the winter months and put him in a pond outside during the warmer months.

But now his digs aren’t so permanent.

A next-door neighbor is caring for the turtle until a decision is made about the turtle’s new home.

While the case may be unusual, it’s not uncommon a missing will to cause issues.

According to Wilson, 60 to 75 percent of the population doesn’t have a will.

“People deny and deny, and it gets to the point where it’s too late and the heirs have to figure it out,” Wilson said.

How to divvy the goods.

Not every family divides the assets the same. Rather than the owner writing up a will, some get a little creative.

Some people, Wilson said, take masking tape or a sticker and put the intended recipient’s name on the back of the item.

Or there’s the “grab bag method,” where items are written on a piece of paper and put in a box. Family members gather around and select a piece of paper from the box and that item is there’s.

Still others just say, “Let them figure it out. I’m not going to be here anyway,” he said.

Usually though, it’s much simpler, Wilson said.

“It’s more about asking, ‘What do you want?’” he said.

Bernard Euwema, a lawyer and owner of Adelante Planning Services in Berwyn, advises clients to sit down with their children or other heirs once or twice a year to ask them their opinion and what they would like.

“Nobody does it,” he said, “because it’s such an awkward topic.”

No matter what unique way of determining where possessions will go, making it legal is important. Wilson said it’s as easy as writing a list containing the name of the items and who will receive them, and attaching it to the will.

“If you want others to figure it out, give them a mode of how to figure it out in your will,” Wilson said.

If there’s no mention of who gets what or a method of dividing the items, Wilson said an executor has the ability in Illinois to sell those pieces that can’t be agreed on after 30 days. The money is then distributed.

Considering other options

Doug Golter of A Step Beyond Estate Sales agrees that making a will is the best way to account for “all items of interest.”

The rest of the personal property can be taken care of by businesses like his that catalog and sell the remaining items for the heirs. The belongings can fetch quite a price, in some cases.

Golter once oversaw an estate sale in which a 1950s punchbowl sold for $55,000.

“And that’s what I enjoy in this business,” he said.

More people are using irrevocable living trusts to divide property between heirs, said Wilson. He said people make an agreement with a trustee — usually themselves — to hold the property during their lifetime. At their death, it is distributed the way they determined by a person named the successor trustee.

A trust is private and is not subject to probate, which many people like, Wilson said.

When to start the process

The estate planning process doesn’t begin at a certain age, Wilson said, but “when a person starts to accumulate some type of assets that are valuable.”

Married couples with children should write a will if they haven’t done so, he said. It is especially important parents name a guardian for their children in the case they both die or are unable to take care of their children.

“Estate planning is important for everyone,” Euwema said. “Take care of things so you can avoid probate.”

Online sites are available that show individuals how to plan their estate or make a will, Wilson said, but he cautioned that those may be “cookie cutter” and advised people to at least let a lawyer review what they’ve written to make sure its legal.

“The main thing is to have a written document to determine who gets what and to make sure the document is a legal document that complies with Illinois law.”

Euwema advises that the will contain a paragraph that lists all tangible, personal property and distributes it evenly. Another paragraph, he said, should take care of the “residue,” or bulk of the estate.

Without prior plans, it’s not always up to the family to distribute assets.

“If there’s no will,” Wilson said, “the state decides who gets what.”

pdf Downloadable PDF Version | Link to Suburban Life Archives

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