Larry Piekarz wins an award from the Illinois Assn. of Park Districts. (Courtesy IAPD)

A solemn and dignified farewell to Jack Christell took place last Saturday, Feb. 17 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Oak Park. Everyone in church was respectfully silent as the military honors were conducted. Tributes to Jack by his three children, Valerie, Roy and Lance were especially moving. Jack’s help and encouragement as a father were remembered but everyone especially seemed to recall the spark in Jack’s eye. Jack and Shirley Christell had an ideal, old fashioned marriage. True believers, old fashioned patriots and true to each other for almost seventy years. Everyone will miss him, especially Shirley his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

The Soup and Bread event is still going on. Tuesday, Feb. 17 and 24 will be at Old School Tavern, 201 DesPlaines from 5 – 8 p.m. This event is sponsored by the Forest Park National Bank and Szurko and Lane Custom Framing. Remember: it’s soup and bread, pay whatever you want. The money goes to the Forest Park Food Pantry and Hephzibah Children’s Association.

Celebrate Valentine’s weekend with art at Zenith Art Studio. Friday, Feb. 13 hosting the exhibit What’s Love got do with it? at 7756 Madison # 3 in River Forest from 7-11 p.m. Bring your valentines, galentines and bromances. Snack on cookies and wine and see art by owner Claire Reynes and Forest Park artist Elaine Luther, as well as Angela Lovell, Danilel, Mitsui and Adelina Sarkisyan.  

Commissioner Chris Harris is running for mayor and invites you to a meet-and greet at Amelia’s on Tuesday, Feb. 17 from 7-9 p.m. Other candidates present will be Daniel Novak, Theresa Kelly, Ned Wagner and Claudia Medina. 

Denise Murray has lots of good things planned for March and April including a trip to Horseshoe Casino, a Saint Patrick’s party at the Community Center, an afternoon in Indiana at the theatre Center and viewing of On Golden Pond,  a mystery trip, a look at Joliet’s murals, art and Lockport and a stop at Truth for lunch.

Remember Sandy Byrnes is always looking for new members for the Senior Citizens Club of Forest Park. The club meets on Tuesdays and they always have a great time. You can contact Sandy at 708 771.7737.

Another sad event here at the Review, our dependable hard-working editor Jean Lotus is moving on. Good luck to Jean, a true leader who never worked for self-aggrandizement, but only for the good of the paper and the town. She joined whatever she could to become a Forest Parker. Jean’s interest in the Historical Society, the schools, everything Forest Park, tells a good bit about her devotion to her responsibility. Good-bye and good luck to Jean Lotus.

Congratulations to Larry Piekarz for having the state of Illinois confirm what we already know: He’s a ‘shining example’ who has grown our park district into a ‘true community asset.’ Larry was honored by the Illinois Association of Park Districts last month. 

Before we go on we must call attention to the fact that Feb. 19 begins the Year of the Goat (or Sheep) So happy new year to everyone. In Cantonese it sounds like “gung hay fah choi.”

Dean’s lists are in and we have a special congratulations to Angelica Allen, attending Elmhurst College. Also, Miranda Binns-Calvey made the dean’s list at University of Montana Western. 

Remember the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest will perform Sunday, Feb. 15 at Dominican University and 4 p.m. Music of Weber, songs of Mahler, and Nielsen Symphony No. 3. Doug Anderson very talented local baritone will perform the Mahler. This program is guaranteed to cure listeners of the winter blahs, blues and cabin fever.

Mark March 1 on your calendars if you want to hear the great masterpiece Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B Minor. The piece will be performed by the Handel Week Festival at 4 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church, 924 Lake Street in Oak Park. This weekend Sunday, Feb. 15, Handel Week performs music for orchestra and Saturday, Feb. 21 is their chamber “cabaret” concert with chocolates and wine. See www.handelweek.com for more details. 

Happy Birthday this week to Karrie Schlichting, Kirsten Cursel, Paul Stahlke, Elisha Apilado, Tiffany Greenberg, Christine Manshan, Cedric Javier, Ian McSheffrey, Daniel Marote, Paula Peterson, emmaly Sansone, Carl Grapentine, Amelia Huebner, Michael Paulin, Hailey reis, Timothy X. Lane, Kyle Vincent Clifton, Valentina Marusek, Payton Schmidt, Marty Redmond, Mike Cossio, Ethan Flanigan, Lauren Pardun, Shelby Adolphson, Hannah Brown, Judy Jilek, Becon Pfennig. Happy anniversary to Tim and Dorothy Gillian.

 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 of Chicago in a great neighborhood when it was a great time to be young.

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...