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Local News

Lincoln-Way West student dies days before graduation

Adam Hippleheuser never let challenges hold him back

NEW LENOX – Adam Hippleheuser didn't let the challenges he faced stand in his way.

“Adam did everything he wanted to do,” said his mother, Debby Hippleheuser, of New Lenox.

The 18-year-old Lincoln-Way West High School student, who was set to graduate Thursday and had plans to attend Joliet Junior College in the fall, died Monday morning from sudden complications of pneumonia.

Adam was a miracle baby, Debby said. He was born three months early and weighed 1 pound 8 ounces. He had a twin brother who died at birth. Adam was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and had impaired motor skills in his lower extremities, but he didn't let that stop him.

“It never held him back,” Debby said, noting Adam was a strong student and never took special education classes.

Adam loved music, especially heavy metal, and played wheelchair basketball through the Lincolnway Special Recreation Association during his early years at West.

“Everybody knew him and loved him,” Debby said.

In honor of Adam's memory, and to support his family, an account has been established on selling T-shirts for $20 in remembrance of “Adam Crippleheuser,” as he was fondly known to some.

To buy a shirt or donate to the Hippleheuser family, visit

Adam's wake will be held 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Kurtz Memorial Chapel, 102 E. Francis Road, New Lenox.

His funeral will take place 11 a.m. Monday at Maplewood Cemetery at New Lenox Road and Oak Drive in New Lenox.

According to his obituary, as provided by Kurtz Memorial Chapel, in addition to Debby, Adam is survived by his father, Maurice Hippleheuser; and his brother, Cristofer Hippleheuser. He was preceded in death by his twin, Nicholas Hippleheuser.

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