Let’s begin with a correction from last week’s column. The press release I got praised “Nancy” and Rich Schauer for a donation to the food pantry in the late Wayne’s name. I inquired all over the hardware store as to who “Nancy” was. It seems there is no “Nancy.” The donation was made in the name of Sandy Schauer, wife of the late Wayne. Wayne Schauer will always be missed by Forest Parkers.
Sympathy to Elizabeth Apilado and all her family on the death of Elizabeth’s mother, on Christmas Eve. The family had planned to visit the Philippines in a few months mostly to see their “Lola.”
The family of Jack Becker planned their annual Christmas Eve celebration at the Becker home on Thomas Avenue. Since Jack was a bit “under the weather” they moved the party to daughter Lisa Grimes’ house in River Forest. Jack died on Christmas Day, mid-afternoon.
He is shown here with most of his family, taken last summer. Missing from the family photo is Jack’s son, Jim Becker, who teaches at our middle school. Jim’s wife, Desiree, who also teaches here at Garfield, and their daughters, Georgia, Josie and Thea. Georgia is now attending PMSA. The Becker family has been a Forest Park family for four generations.
They want full credit for Jack’s long survival to go to his three-year caregiver, Noel Torres, who has become a family member since he devoted 24 hours a day, seven days a week to the care of their father. He even got Jack a “job” at a little store in Pilsen where he dressed him up, and made him feel he was needed. Noel got Jack a little dog, which I’m sure prolonged his life. If you know anyone who would like to live forever, Noel Torres is the man to do it.
Jack’s sister is Carol Friedl, a former Forest Parker. The Becker in the real estate firm of Reich & Becker was Fred Becker, their father. (The Reich of the firm was the late Vernon Reich who was, I think, a former mayor of the town.) Jack’s mother was the late Carol Becker, a lovely, very bright lady, a devoted stay-at-home mother who also maintained a beautiful garden, much of which can still be seen today. A memorial service at Zimmerman-Harnett is planned for Jan. 2.
Mariah Fortier is practicing driving her new Christmas Porsche and she’s fast learner. She hopes to perfect parallel parking by her March birthday. Lots of luck on that one, Mariah. Some of us never learned that trick.
Happy New Year and Happy Birthday to Mario Tricoci, Ed Hunter Trieber, Mark Rice, Tom Ahern, Ryan Neff, Lauren Trage, Amy Hocheimer, Rich Gray, Rita Trage, Caitlin Miller, Helen Collis, Jenni Jargstorf, Alice and Lara Mellin, Lou Moran, Tom Kloess, Marce Skoda, Ian Hoffman, Danielle Watson, Christine Malone, Joan Huynh, Deb Harris, Lynn Karavitos, Mike Marcantonio, Ashley Breseman, April Kutak, and Juliane Vincenza.
Happy anniversary to Mark and Amy Vabornik.
Happy 2016 to you.
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.