Irish family say thanks to Forest Park

As we prepare to leave Forest Park to return to Ireland, we would like to express our thanks to the people of Forest Park.

My Husband Richard and I moved here from Oak Park with our three daughters 16 years ago. Forest Park has not been just a place to live, it has been a true home to our family.

We feel that we live in the greatest neighborhood in the world. A neighborhood that is reminiscent of the 60’s. Parents still watch over each others kids. We have the greatest block parties where young and old enjoy one another’s company. We have outings together, whether it is camping or neighbored weekends at Anne Sullivan’s summer home on Lake Michigan.

The DeSonia family opens up their pool to the entire neighborhood and asks nothing in return. On Halloween we create a fantastic haunted house and many of the parents dress up to be the haunters. The kids come from all over to get the tour of the haunted house but I believe the parents have more fun just being silly. Vinny Casey will always play his bagpipes on those special occasions. The seniors on our block are wonderful. They reminisce with us about their earlier days on our block and thank us for continuing to make the 1500 block of Marengo a great place to live.

In 2001 we lost our daughter in a car crash in Ireland. We had to go to Ireland to make funeral arrangements. Our friends the Hibbits were vacationing there at the same time. They dropped all they were doing and spent the next several days at our side. Our friends and neighbors went to our home, took down our Christmas decorations, and filled our house with food and flowers. The outpouring and support from our community was overwhelming. Mr. O’Connor at the Middle School erected a plaque to our daughter Katie’s memory in the school gym.

Thanks to the Community Center for their wonderful Mommy and me program where I brought my granddaughter, Makaela every Wednesday when she was a toddler. A great big thank you to St. Bernardine’s and especially Father Grady Miss Paula, Mrs. Woods, Mrs. Merkel and Maureen Martin for the love and support they showed Makaela while she was attending the 3 and 4 year old program. Thanks to Betsy Ross and the Middle School for giving our daughters a great education. Thanks to Joey Novak Who has been like a son to us. Finally, thanks to all the kids on my block: Henry Wagner, The Williams, Henry and Zac Trelenberg (two of the nicest boys you could meet), Lucia and Nicolas Foti, our little cuties, Abbey and Leanna and now Evan Caines, true animal lovers, Ashley Shwanderlack and Kelty Sullivan who with proper guidance will become great private investigators. Helen, Maeve, and Fiona Roache, who remind of us so much of our three girls, though you will only be here a few years, I believe you will all have fond memories of our block. You are a great family.

Then there is Ryan Fiona and Ian O’Connor. Though they live on the 1400 block of Elgin they have become members of our block by stating that Marengo rules. Dermot, Erin, and Brian Cases: These three we have known since babies, and are like my own children, if Richard and I had a son we would have loved to have one just like Brian. He is the greatest kid I know. Finally Thanks to Sylvia, Anna, Franky, and Mary DeSonia. These kids have been babysat by my daughters and they have babysat Makaela for us. The DeSonia kids show all of us the true meaning of what a family should be, and Mary, only being ten has the greatest sense of humor.

Thanks to the Farrelly and Geyer families. They have been true friends who will always have a special place in our hearts, even though they live in Oak Park, but we won’t hold that against them.

Thanks to all of Forest Park for supporting us as a family and helping us to heal and grow with our new family. You will all be missed.

Richard, Margaret and Makaela Rossiter