The many friends of Nancy Kirsten were saddened when they got word of her death. Nancy had not been doing well for some time and finally, last Thursday at about 8 p.m. she left us. Nancy was surrounded by those she loved most in this world; her son Tom and his wife, her sister-in-law Rev. Phyllis Kirsten of Grace Lutheran Church and her dear friend, Kathleen. A memorial service is planned for Wednesday at St. Peter’s Church, Adams St. & Hannah Ave., on January 18 at 11:30 a.m. Our sympathy to Tom, Phyllis, Kathleen and all of Nancy’s many friends. Condolences also go out to the family of longtime Forest Parker Rose Mele, who recently passed away.

On a happier note,Jack and Shirley Christell are celebrating sixty years of wedded bliss this entire year, beginning with their anniversary this week on January 19. Daughter Val and family will be in to celebrate. Next week, Lance, Carol and family will come up from New Orleans. A few weeks after that, son Roy and wife Terry will dedicate a Unity Candle in their church in Missouri, with Shirley and Jack in attendance for that celebration. Later on in 2006 a big, big surprise special anniversary trip is in the planning stages, just about complete. Watch this space for details.

Word just got to me that Brian Hosty, son of the late J.C. Hosty, grandson of the late Betty Campbell, was married last June 18 to Jill Vangarsse. Of course I’ve misplaced the details, but when we get a picture of the newlyweds I’ll fill you in. As you already know, Brian was born and bred right here in Forest Park, went to our schools and has recently earned his MBA. Congratulations to the couple. Here’s to years of happiness. Congratulations also to Dave Goetz and Marcy Wozniak, who got engaged last weekend.

There may be a short waiting list for the trip to the Lincoln Library in Springfield, sponsored by our Community Center. Don’t ever give up. There are always a few last minute cancellations. The bus leaves Forest Park on February 22 and returns on the 23. These trips are always a lot of fun, with a lot of information along with the fun. Remember our free income tax service for seniors, from February 7 till April 11. Make an appointment by calling the community center at 771-7737.

A tax appeal seminar will be held at the center on Thursday, January 19 at 6:30 p.m. (registration), with the seminar at 7 p.m. Commissioner Maureen Murphy and staff will assist you. Bring your tax bill assessment and property identification number. Refreshments will be served. Again, call 771-7737 to make an appointment.

Bring the kids to learn about Chinese New Year at the Magic Tree, 141 North Oak Park Avenue., January 28 at 1 p.m. Minah Alcorn will tell about the Year of the Dog and other tales from the Chinese Zodiac. Crafts and other activities will be part of the program. Bring the kids, bring yourself and learn a little something, too. Elaine Kovarik was at the Magic Tree last week to pick up a copy of Fancy Nancy for the Friends of the Library to present to the children’s library in memory of Dorothy Klaus. Evelyn also got a copy of The Library, a new children’s book about an eccentric woman who loved, loved, loved books and had so many of them all over her house she decided to open up a library. Very appropriate for our late, dear, Dorothy.

On to the birthdays before this computer acts up on me. On January 20 birthday wishes go to Judy Daniels, Dan Olson, Kirk Oliver and Kaitlyn Trage; on the 19th of January to Christopher Madden, Cali Orquiz (whatever happened to Cali?), and happy anniversary to Jack and Shirley Christell; on January 20 Sharon Tierney, Julie Kaiser and Dale Heath get a birthday wish; on the 21st Sam and Anna Roti celebrate number 53!!; Kathy Doss has a birthday on January 24.

Jackie is a former Chicago and Elmwood Park schoolteacher with an undying love for music, friendly pets and a host of life's other treasures too numerous to list. She was born on the far southwest side...