The Village of Forest Park will honor the lives and achievements of notable Forest Parkers through more honorary street dedications, according to resolutions passed by the council on Monday. A number of friends and family members of the loved ones listed below attended the village board meeting to receive the honorary street signs before the actual dedication ceremonies.
Edward B. O’Shea Jr.
Edward B. O’Shea Jr. served as Forest Park’s village attorney for 42 years from 1955 to 1997. Throughout the years he dedicated to the village, he also actively participated in the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club of Forest Park, Trinity High School Father’s Club, St. Ignatius Alumni Association, West Suburban Bar Association, St. Luke’s Catholic Church and its men’s club.
O’Shea died on May 23, 2009 at 82 years old. He is remembered by his wife of 57 years, Irene, and their seven children, Patricia, Sharon, Maureen, Kevin, Peggy, Sheila, and Timothy, as well as 12 grandchildren.
The village will rename a portion of Hannah Avenue between Madison Street and the east/west alley south of Madison to the “Edward B. O’Shea Jr., Way.”
At Monday night’s meeting, Kevin O’Shea, while surrounded by family, was brought to tears accepting the honor on his father’s behalf.
“Growing up I always hated the second and fourth Mondays because I knew that meant my dad was here,” he said. “He was a great man. He did a lot of good for the village. I’m glad to see the village of Forest Park honor him in this way. … It’s quite an honor.”
The Welch Family
Helen Welch had lived at 1031 Lathrop Ave. in Forest Park since 1949 until her death in 2010. Her first husband, Henry Dowdle, passed away at 28 years old in 1955 leaving her with four young children. Welch eventually married a good friend of the family, George Welch, in 1958 and had two more children. The couple’s six children all attended St. Bernardine School. Though their kids went their separate ways as they grew up, the couple remained at 1031 Lathrop for 52 years together.
George and Helen Welch both passed away in 2010.
The village has decided to rename the 1000 block of Lathrop Avenue in their memory as “Welch’s Way.”
“It’s been a very long story, this story that we honor tonight,” said one of their sons at the council meeting. “We lost Helen and George very quickly. …It’s been tough on us, but this really helps.”