Obituaries

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Chris Burritt, 59, Cameraman, Columbia College instructor

Chris Burritt, 59, a lifelong Oak Park resident, died of complications from stomach cancer on Jan. 7, 2008 at Loyola University Medical Center.

He fell in love with photography and film at Oak Park and River Forest High School, working on the newspaper and yearbook. A graduate of Columbia College in 1970, he worked for the Catholic Television Network of Chicago before freelancing for a number of clients, including the Leo Burnett ad agency, producing advertising and industrial films. Later he taught photography and film at Columbia College.

According to an obituary in the Chicago Tribune, he documented the Indianapolis 500, which he attended every year, and a re-enactment of Marquette and Joliet's trip down the Mississippi River. He was also a train buff and shot photos for the book, Trains of America.

He served as unofficial historian of the Columbia Yacht Club, where he was a member.

In addition to his wife, Barbara, Mr. Burritt is survived by his brother, Richard, and two sisters, Mary Burritt and Penny Bollero.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 19, at St. Edmund, 188 S. Oak Park Ave.

Fannie Bernstein, 98, Former owner of Russell's BBQ

Fannie Bernstein, 98, of River Forest, died Dec. 13, 2007 at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park. Born in 1909 on the Near West Side of Chicago, one of three children, she eventually became the longtime owner of Russell's Barbecue. She and her husband moved to River Forest in 1952.

Russell's, located on Thatcher Avenue, just north of River Forest in Elmwood Park, opened 77 years ago, and, according to an obituary in the Chicago Tribune, Mrs. Bernstein served as the eatery's head greeter and order taker for many years. The Bernsteins bought the business in 1940.

According to the Trib, in the 1950s, they became friends with Oak Parker Ray Kroc, then a restaurant equipment salesman, who later turned McDonald's into a worldwide chain.

Her husband, Jacob, died in 1959 and Mrs. Bernstein operated the business with her two children until they sold it in 1980.

She is survived by her son, Marvin, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Patricia Callahan Shaw, 47, Risk control specialist, pet lover

Patricia Callahan Shaw, 47, of River Forest, died Dec. 28, 2007. Born in Oak Park to Kathleen (nee Hudson) of River Forest, and the late John Blyer Callahan, she graduated from St. Luke School in River Forest, Oak Park and River Forest High School, and the University of Illinois, Chicago, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering.

She was well known nationally and internationally as a property risk control specialist and underwriter with more than 20 years' experience in the commercial property and casualty insurance market. Her most recent employment was with CNA Financial, Chicago as a property risk consulting control director.

She was a member of three professional groups: The Society of Fire Protection Engineers, The National Fire Protection Association, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. During her career, in order to better understand the problems associated with chemical fires, she received training as a firefighter.

In addition to her husband, Winston Shaw, and her mother, Patricia, she is survived by her brother, Dennis J. Callahan and her sisters, Kathy Kimont and Maureen (Michael) Clark; and her nieces and nephews, Amanda, Liz and Jon Callahan, Jimmy and Kaitlin Kimont and Mathew Clark. She is also survived by her mother-in-law, Marjorie Shaw of River Forest and the late Edward Shaw, and her brother-in-law, Edward Reed Shaw. A lover of pets, Patricia leaves her yellow Labrador, Sandy, and Casey the Calico cat.

Visitation was held on Dec. 30 at Dreschler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home in Oak Park. Funeral Mass was celebrated on Dec. 31 at St. Luke's Church in River Forest, Rev. Kenneth Fischer presiding, followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.

Because Patricia chose to be an organ donor to the Gift of Hope, many recipients have been the beneficiary of her generosity.


Tom Strudeman, 76, Communication planning engineer

Tom Strudeman, 76, a resident of Oak Park for 46 years, died Dec. 24, 2007. Born in Chicago, he graduated from Lane Technical High School and served in the U.S. Navy. He worked for Illinois Bell Telephone as a communication planning engineer.

Skilled at carpentry, he was also an avid gardener who shared his produce with neighbors. He loved music, concerts, theater and travel, whether it be a road trip to visit friends or a river cruise to Alaska or in Europe. Friends and family say he had a full, wonderful life.

Tom Strudeman was the husband of Mary T. (Kelty), the father of Ellen (Alfonso) Acevedo, Timothy (Andrea) Strudeman, Laura Strudeman (Michael LeBaron) and Thomas (Nicky) Strudeman; and the grandfather of Alfonso, Emily, Laura and Kevin.

Funeral Mass was celebrated at Ascension Catholic Church, 815 S. East Ave. Memorials to Ascension Church are appreciated.

Barbara Pierce-Thies, 58, Field-Stevenson admin. asst.

Barbara Joy Pierce-Thies (nee Pollina), 58, of Forest Park, formerly of Oak Park, died Jan. 8, 2008. She was administrative assistant at Field-Stevenson School in Forest Park.

Barbara Pierce-Theis was the wife of David R. Thies; the mother of Michelle (John) Kuethe, David M. (Shannon) Thies, Jeff Pierce and Ryan Thies; grandmother of Anthony, Brendon, Sarah, John, Matthew and Ethan; and the sister of Rev. Roy Pollina and Jody Mancera.

Visitation was held Jan. 10 at Zimmerman-Harnett Funeral Home 7319 W. Madison St., Forest Park. Funeral 10:00 A.M. Funeral Mass was celebrated Jan. 11 at All Saints Episcopal Church, 4370 Woodland Ave., Western Springs, followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery.

--Compiled by Ken Trainor

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