Gerald Amen, 74, Former Oak Park - River Forest Youth Football coach

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Gerald G. Amen, 74, of Oak Park, died on Nov. 29, 2011, in his home. Born on Feb. 25, 1937 in Chicago to Harvey J. and Edna C. (nee Waalk, born Waack), he grew up at Lexington and Kilpatrick avenues on the West Side, attended May School and was a 1956 graduate of Austin High School. He married his high school sweetheart, Gail Jensen, in 1958.

Mr. Amen played football for the Columbus Park Cardinals and also played on two City Championship teams and Prep Bowls for the Austin Tigers. He wrestled for Austin at 155 pounds, and was head coach for OP-RF Youth Football for 20 years and served on the board of directors. He began a 47-year Chicago-area softball career, starting as a 15-year-old on the Bethel Lutheran team in the old Lutheran League and ending with a Forest Park championship with the McGaffer's Chiefs in 1999. He was an avid bowler in many leagues from 1958 to 2010.

Gerald Amen was preceded in death by his parents and his wife. He is survived by his sons, Jerry of Oak Park, Kurt (Meg), Erik (Danette), Kris (Kathy), and one daughter, Ruth; his 16 grandchildren, Danny, Abby, Claire, Christopher, Emily, Zak, Josh, Jake, Jeremy, Maggie, Patrick, Michael, Ryan, Mariah, Seth and Gracie; his sister, Faith (Bob) Lowe, and one brother, Harvey (Shirley) Amen; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation was held on Dec. 2 at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home in Oak Park. Services were held there on Saturday, Dec. 3, followed by interment at Forest Park Cemetery. Memorials may be sent to OP-RF Youth Football, P.O. Box 1427, Oak Park, IL 60304, attn: John Callahan.

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