Morris Rubinstein, Holocaust survivor
Morris Rubinstein's mind expanded with knowledge. His soul grew large, nurtured with courage and wisdom. His heart was huge, filled with love for those who survive him. Sixty-two years ago, he married his life-long partner, Basia (Betty). Together, they brought into this world Ida, who married Mark Manning; Charlotte, who married Michael Salvati; and Joyce, who married Mitchell Pollakoff. Morris loved, taught and counseled them. When grandchildren arrived?#34;Vince and Joe Salvati and Zachary and Alexandra (Xani) Pollakoff?#34;Morris' heart, mind and soul grew even larger.
Morris and Basia were survivors of the WWII Holocaust. They lost the majority of their family members to the terror brought by Nazi invaders. They survived, as did two of Morris' younger brothers, Meyer and Irving Rubinstein.
He was devoted to his wife, whom he rescued shortly after she was ripped from her family by the Nazis. Morris married Basia when she was 16 and he was 27. Morris promised Basia they would survive the war together. He kept this promise. After the war, they were reunited and lived in a displaced persons camp in Salzburg, Austria. They built a loving, close-knit family. Their first daughter was born in Salzburg. They, later, resettled in Chicago and nurtured and encouraged their three daughters to pursue education, businesses, professional careers and community service.
Through perseverance, self-education and creativity, they created a retail shoe business to support their fledgling family. Morris was a man who understood the wisdom of basic truths that could be stated in simple maxims. Keep your word. Honor your family. There is never a perfect time to start a business. One must go forward and start a business when ready.
He had his first store on the West Side of Chicago. After a devastating fire caused by arson, Morris eventually moved his shoe-selling efforts to suburban Rolling Meadows. His business flourished there for an extended period of time. He took pleasure in finding the hard-to-find shoe for his customers, in going the extra mile to help.
He always delighted in sharing with family and friends. He would welcome them into their home, saying, "Rest here. Eat this. Come talk." When a hapless soul arrived with a problem, Morris would endeavor to ferret out solutions. He was a man who possessed gifts for creative problem-solving, no matter how formidable the problem and he happily shared this gift.
Morris understood himself to be a citizen of the world. He spoke seven languages, including English. He loved to read and disseminate his knowledge through story-telling. Many fans of his stories will sadly miss his energetic, mesmerizing efforts.
He knew the triumphant joy of finding a good bargain. Morris would drive a good distance to get the best price on gas. He would venture off into neighboring communities to get the best and freshest fruits and vegetables.
He beautifully and easily led the Passover Seders for family and friends and those adopted as members of his extended family. He led prayers in the Sukkot at his daughter's neighbors in Oak Park to the delight of all who attended. He took great pleasure in participating in religious services, most recently at Niles Township Jewish Congregation in Skokie and at the synagogue at his new apartment home of Park Plaza, Rogers Park. He re-introduced Friday Sabbath prayers before dinners at his new apartment building home.
Morris Rubinstein was a giant of a man. We love him and will miss him.
In lieu of flowers, contributions could be made to: The Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois, 4255 Main St., Skokie 60076 or Midwest Hospice and Palliative Care Center, 2050 Claire Court, Glenview 60025.
?#34;submitted by Charlotte Rubinstein
Miriam Brown, 95, Pilgrim Church member
Miriam Brown (nee Harvey), 95, died Oct. 29, 2005 at the Pinnacle of Berwyn nursing home. She had been born on Dec. 14, 2005 in Milford, Conn. She moved to Oak Park in 1975, after retiring as head of the Federal Credit Union of Wallace Silversmiths in Wallingford, Conn. She was one of the first residents of Heritage House on Lake Street. Later she lived in the Baptist Retirement Home in Maywood, and most recently, in the Oak Park Arms.
Miriam sang in the Pilgrim Congregational Church choir for over 20 years, and also served Pilgrim Church as a member of the board of deacons.
Miriam is survived by her daughter, Patricia (Charles) Brauner of Oak Park; her granddaughter, Sarah Brauner; her grandson, David (Joyce) Brauner; and her great-grandson, Jacob, son of David and Joyce. The burial will take place in Milford, Conn. Funeral services were private.
Mark Alley, 83, Avid sailor
Mark H. Alley, 83, of Forest Park, died on Nov. 21, 2005 at his home. Mr. Alley was born in Oak Park on May 1, 1922 to Whitfield and Elizabeth Alley. He graduated from Elgin Academy in 1939 and served with the Army Engineers in the Philippines during WWII. He returned to River Forest after the war and began working with the family decorating business, Peters Decorating Co.
He was an active member of Unity Temple in Oak Park where he was a member of the church choir and the men's group. He was an avid sailor and a member of Burnham Harbor Yacht Club for over 20 years. He was preceded in death by his former wife, Ada, with whom he raised four sons in Elmhurst.
Mark Alley is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Michiels-Alley; his sons, David (Darlene) Alley, Bruce (Karen) Alley, Brian (Debbie) Alley, and Mark Alley.; his grandchildren, Dana (Laura) Alley, Erin and Jack Alley, Matthew (Jaimie), Michael and Jamie Alley, and Alex Varziza; his great-grandchildren Camille, Molly and Christian Alley.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Nov. 26 at Unity Temple, 875 Lake St. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Unity Temple Restoration Foundation, 875 Lake St., Oak Park 60301 are appreciated. Arrangements were handled by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home.
Peter Hansen, 77, U.S. Army Korean War vet
Peter A. Hansen, 77, died Nov. 16, 2005. He lived on South Wesley Avenue in Oak Park, and had been a life-long resident of the community. He was a bookkeeper in the accounting business. Peter served with the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
Peter is survived by his wife, Cathleen Hansen (nee Forrestal); sons Peter (Nancy) and Kevin; and daughter Mary (Thomas) Mahoney. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Kevin and Katie Mahoney, and Meghan Hansen. He was preceded in death by his two brothers and sister.
A funeral Mass was celebrated Nov. 22 at Ascension Church, Rev. Larry McNally presiding, followed by interment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Worth. Arrangements were handled by P.M. Smith and Sons Funeral Home. Memorials can be sent to: Gottlieb Hospice, 701 W. North Ave., Melrose Park 60160.
Mary McCloskey, 44, Longtime OP-RF resident
Mary McCloskey (nee Alcock), 44, died on Nov. 13, 2005 at her home in River Forest. A longtime resident of Oak Park and River Forest, she was the wife of Paul McCloskey and mother of Sean. She is survived by her siblings, Dennis, John, Bob, Sue (Hiebel), and Laura (Karim), and her mother, Genevieve.
A memorial service will be held on Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. at St. Luke's Church in River Forest. A remembrance reception will immediately follow the service, and will be held next door to the church in Waldron Hall. In lieu of flowers, donations to Hospice Partners or the Illinois Chapter of Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization would be appreciated. Arrangements were handled by the Elegy Cremation and Memorial Services.
Frank Kidd, 58, Shriner
Frank C. Kidd, 58, of Grand Haven, Mich., and Oak Park died on Nov. 18, 2005 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Frank was raised in Oak Park, and attended Ascension School and OPRF High School. He was a crew chief for American Airlines, retiring in 2005 after 39 years of service. He was also a Shriner and past president of the Transporters Workers Union, Local #512.
Frank is survived by his two daughters, Maureen (Joseph) DiFranco and Tricia Kidd. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Benjamin, Graham, Joseph, and Owen.
Visitation was held on Nov. 22 at Dreschler, Brown, and Williams Funeral Home. A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Nov. 23 at Ascension Church in Oak Park, followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery. Memorials are appreciated and can be sent to: Shriners Children's Hospital, 2211 N. Oak Park Ave., Chicago 60707.
?#34;compiled by Katherine Galo