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Sharon M. Obeidallah, age 64, (nee Radloff) of Forest Park died June 8. She was a doctoral student in linguistics who loved books and spoke Arabic and French fluently, said her husband Ibrahim. She was born in the near-west suburbs, he said.
The two met in 1970 on a train in the Loop, both on their way to school, said Ibrahim. "She was going to Loyola and I was going to the YMCA to study. I sat down in the empty seat and I noticed she was reading a book in Arabic."
He had just arrived alone in the United States from Palestine the year before and was studying math at University of Chicago at Illinois. The two struck up a quick friendship. They were married 42 years.
Over the years, Sharon received two master's degrees from UIC, and was finally working on her Ph.D.
"She was a kind person. Polite, educated, helpful. She loved reading more than anything else," said Ibrahim.
Sharon was a founding member of Citizens United in Forest Park where she managed the group's website until 2008.
"Sharon was an expert writer and wordsmith. She excelled in analytical thinking which led to lively board discussions, making certain that all points of view were represented and thoroughly discussed," said Gloria Backman. "Her quirky sense of humor always kept us laughing. We were so fortunate to know Sharon and will miss her."
The Obeidallahs travelled together through the Middle East to Egypt, Turkey Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Sharon also travelled to England, Greece and Israel. "She loved history and old things," said Ibrahim.
She worked in banking, in the financial district and helped with the family accounting business. She also worked as a teaching assistant during her time as a Ph.D. student.
She was the sister of Michael and the late Catherine and aunt of many. Services are Wednesday at 9:45 a.m. at Hursen Funeral Home, Westchester. Interment will take place at Glen Oak Cemetery.