Who are Mr. Scheck and Mr. Siress, anyway?


Below is a bit of the history of Scheck & Siress, as told by CEO Jim Kaiser, CP/LP.

 
As we start our 60th year, let’s go back for a visit to 1953…
In the early 50s’, two certified prosthetists were working for prosthetic “shops” making wooden legs.
Bill Scheck, CP, was working at R. F. Rowley Factory. Bill was trained in prosthetics in the military after WW II.  I never had the opportunity to work for Bill because he retired in 1971.
Pat Siress, CP, was working at J.E. Hanger and then American Limb in Chicago. He was introduced to prosthetics at the age of 3 when he lost both legs below the knee due to a farm accident. Pat was trained on the job by making his own limbs. Pat hired me as an entry level prosthetic tech in September 1974. Pat retired in January 1975 and our own John Ruzich, CP, was hired to replace Pat.
In 1953, Bill and Pat partnered to open Scheck and Siress Prosthetic, Inc.
Portraits of founders
About six months later, Bill and Pat purchased a building and the business moved to 1141 Madison in Oak Park where it remained until 2005 when the lab was moved to 401 W. Harrison, Oak Park where it currently remains as our largest office.
If you have called Oak Park lately, you recognize the number… 708-383-2257. It’s quite amazing that is still our original number as listed in the 1950’s yellow page advertisement as EU 3 – 2257.
Bill was the business man and salesman behind the practice who was responsible for branding the name Scheck & Siress to hospitals and doctors. There was no Medicare, Medicaid or insurance, so cash was paid. Amazing!!
Pat was in the lab making limbs. The staff included a receptionist and 3 technicians. A cut-down man who shaped the wooden limbs (Hris Pechtovic, a WW II veteran, who was with SS until 1978), a lamination man and an assembly man (Wally Fester, a Korean veteran, who was also at SS until 1976). I worked with both Wally and Hris in the mid 1970’s.
Wally and Hris established the template for a stable caring staff that still resides at SS.
We all owe Bill and Pat a debt of gratitude for giving us the opportunity to do what we enjoy — taking care of our patients.