At about 5 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, Diane Becker left us after a long, hard battle. Sympathy to her family, John, husband of more than 40 years, children Lisa, Nancy, Jim and Michelle and grandchildren, John, Connor and Janie Grimes and Georgia and Josie Becker.

Sympathy also to the family of Mo, faithful worker at the Wednesday Journal/Review/Chicago Parent/Austin News, etc. Mo and I never crossed paths because he was there on the days I never am, but I know everyone loved and respected him.

Congratulations to Rich Cassiani who single-handedly rebuilt the entire brick front of his house while clearing out his back yard for paving. I don’t know how those people in the house got in and out all summer-they had no front entry way and the back was blocked as well.

Welcome to baby Hailey Lunebach, daughter of Kevin and Liz Lunebach. Baby Hailey arrived Oct. 5 and she loves living in Forest Park, upstairs from her uncle Terry Hemstreet. Hailey’s grandparents are Janet and Bill Lunebach and Nancy Beasanski. Great-grandparents are Bernice Lunebach and Pat Hemstreet.

Congratulations to Hatim and Hamida Simba on the happy occasion of their 20th anniversary in the engraving business in Forest Park. Ambees, at 7507 Madison St. has conferred a kind of immortality on hundreds of people in the form of trophies, plaques, bowls, and the like. Much of the couple’s earlier life was tragic, however. Mr. Simba endured hardships few of us could imagine.

He and his family were living a prosperous, serene life in Uganda where his father owned a business. But in 1972 Idi Amin forced non-blacks out of the country.

Hatim became separated from his new wife and baby daughter and sent to a refugee camp on the Isle of Malta. Finally the U.S., under the leadership of Richard Nixon allowed the young man to come here.

Mr. Simba found a menial job where he worked for $2.65 an hour, got a room at the YMCA and saved until he had enough to send for his young wife. They started a small engraving business in the basement where they were living. Then, in 1987 the Simbas opened their engraving shop on Madison Street, choosing the name “Ambee” since that word is a blessing in the Muslim faith. They educated their daughter and son who are both pursuing fulfilling careers.

Just as things seemed to be going well, Mr. Simba developed a serious abdominal cancer five years ago. He lost a lot of weight and energy and things were again grim. But now, five years later, he is back to normal and working six days a week at his business with his wife at his side. So again, congratulations to two unforgettable people.

Nov. 9 happy birthday wish goes to Emily Johnson and Amy Brod; on the 10th to Mark Conway, Anty Thiesse, Anita D’Souza and Virginia Rossi; on Nov. 11 to Bradley Drane and Max Trage: Nov. 12, happy anniversary wishes to Gloria and Steve Bachman; and happy birthday to Jane Lentini, Sandy Riley, Ellie Drane, Danielle Sullivan, and Louise Douglas; on the 13th to Derek Miranda, Scott McAdam, Honor Milette, and Paula Diverde; Nov. 14, Michael Harnett; on the 15th, Elizabeth Kachlic and Rebecca Borzello.

Jackie Schulz

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...