Michael Hinsberger, 53
Michael Hinsberger, 53, ex-high school football star
Chicago Sun-Times, Jun 7, 2005 by William Lee
People made up their minds pretty quickly about Michael Hinsberger. A few minutes in the presence of the tall, smiling, barrel-chested guy from the South Side, and people often became his friend, people who knew him say.
So when the former Mendel Catholic High School football standout suffered a number of health setbacks, first with multiple sclerosis and Lyme disease, then with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis -- also known as Lou Gehrig's disease -- family and friends came out to support him. They raised more than $175,000 at a benefit at 115 Bourbon Street to help defray his medical bills.
Mr. Hinsberger, who ran Sullivan's Septic and Sewer in New Lenox, died May 28. He was 53.
Bob Standring, a fellow Catholic League football player, said he and Mr. Hinsberger hit it off immediately when they met and agreed to be roommates at the University of Illinois. They remained roommates all four years and stayed friends.
Mr. Hinsberger made a big effort to keep in touch with people he knew. He even kept in touch with friends from grade school at St. Albie on the South Side.
"He could balance it all and make it look easy," said his wife, Corinne Hinsberger. "And I think that's why people respected him so much -- because it never seemed like a lot of trouble to him."
Mr. Hinsberger was born Feb. 12, 1952, one of six children of Edward and Maria Hinsberger. As a teenager, Mr. Hinsberger moved from his East Side community to Oak Lawn and played football at Mendel, at 111th Street and King Drive. While there, Mr. Hinsberger set a number of school records and played on the team that won the Chicago Prep Bowl championship in 1968.
Years later, the Mendel Alumni Association inducted Mr. Hinsberger into the school's Hall of Fame. Though the school is now closed, his number remains on display at St. Rita High School, another Augustinian school.
His love of sports was transmitted to his three daughters, especially his youngest, Courtney, who was recently a standout athlete at Oak Forest High School.
Mr. Hinsberger often pitched in as a coach for his kids, and he continued to play sports, including 16-inch softball, his friends said.
After being diagnosed with health problems, his family said, all of the kindness and care he visited on others came back to him. Members of his family and his wife's equally large family held a fund-raiser for him at 115 Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park.
And when his health deteriorated, his daughter Katie Schley and her new husband, Joe, moved in to the family home to care for the ailing patriarch.
Besides his wife and daughters, Mr. Hinsberger is survived by another daughter, Stacey; two brothers, Ed and Bill; and two sisters, Mary Lou Furlan and Suzanne Kintzele.
Funeral arrangements were made through Robert J. Sheehy and Sons Funeral Home.
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